Late-breaking Digestive Disease Week news

Los Angeles, CA Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PGNX) and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE), today announced that late-breaking news was presented during the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference in Los Angeles, CA, about phase 3 data of methylnaltrexone, a drug subcutaneously delivered in patients with advanced illness.

The data are from the second pivotal phase 3 clinical trial of the investigational drug methylnaltrexone for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation in patients with advanced illnesses, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Results presented at DDW showed that nearly half of constipated patients with advanced illness experienced laxation (bowel movement) within four hours of receiving their first dose of methylnaltrexone (0.15 mg/kg), and more than 70% responded by the end of the first week of treatment (0.15 mg/kg qod). For those who responded, the median time to laxation following methylnaltrexone treatment was 30 minutes, and there were no reports of diminished analgesia due to study medication.

"In order to provide the most compassionate care possible, health care professionals want to focus on aggressive pain management without the worry of opioid-induced bowel dysfunction," says study investigator Neil Slatkin, M.D., DABPN, Director, Department of Supportive Care, Pain and Palliative Medicine, City of Hope, Duarte, CA. "These data are encouraging for patients living with advanced illnesses who must take opioids to control their pain."

Opioids such as morphine are widely used to lessen the suffering of the approximately 1.7 million Americans living with painful terminal illnesses. In addition to their analgesic effect of blocking the perception of pain within the central nervous system, these medications also interact with opioid-specific receptors outside the brain and spinal cord, resulting in constipation. More than 50 percent of cancer patients admitted to palliative care u

Contact: Jennifer Paganelli
Edelman Public Relations

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