Arena’s Phase II etrasimod has welcome anti-inflammatory MOA for PBC but may be nonspecific, data in UC inapt for extrapolation, experts say

12 Dec 2018

Although Arena Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:ARNA) etrasimod has a logical anti-inflammatory mechanism for potential Phase II success in primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), experts also noted the same mechanism may lack specificity to have clear impact on the autoimmune disease.

While there is etrasimod Phase II data in ulcerative colitis (UC), it is unlikely to be areliable gauge for potential efficacy in PBC due to disease differences, even if both have inflammatory disease elements, experts noted.

Nonetheless, with the Phase II trial enrolling only 20 patients without a comparator arm, if the study is positive, only a potential efficacy signal to warrant further clinical trial development should be expected, experts said. As etrasimod features a novel mechanism for PBC as an SIP modulator, adverse events like liver toxicity, pruritus and infections should be monitored.

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