Procter & Gamble (P&G) Pharmaceuticals and ARYx Therapeutics, a private drug discovery and development company, have announced a strategic alliance under which P&G will develop and commercialize ARYx's drug ATI-7505 for the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gastroparesis.
ATI-7505 is an oral, serotonin Type 4 (5HT4) agonist that is in Phase II development. The drug has been shown to have prokinetic properties -- it increases upper GI motility, which is believed to play a beneficial role in GI symptom reduction. Based on its mechanism of action, initial studies show that the drug prevents the regurgitation of stomach contents into the esophagus and accelerates the emptying of the stomach. This action may help relieve the symptoms of conditions where motility of the GI tract is a problem. A prior 5HT4 agonist, Propulsid (cisapride), achieved nearly $1 billion in global sales, but was withdrawn from the market in 2000 due to side effects.