Ventrus rises on trial of anal fissure treatment

AP News
Posted: May 14, 2012 2:49 PM
Ventrus rises on trial of anal fissure treatment

Shares of Ventrus Biosciences Inc. jumped Monday after the company said a late-stage study shows its diltiazem cream is more effective than a placebo as a treatment for anal fissures.

The cream is designed to treat pain caused by anal fissures, which are tears in the lining of the anal canal. Those tears can cause severe pain. Ventrus said two strengths of diltiazem were more effective than a placebo in treating patients' pain associated with defecation. Both strengths were also more effective than placebo in terms of overall pain and healing.

Shares of Ventrus climbed $2.11, or 19.3 percent, to $13.07 in midday trading.

Ventrus said the cream was applied three times per day for eight weeks, and patients were then observed for four weeks after the end of treatment. A total of 465 patients were involved in the trial. The company said the side effects of diltiazem and placebo were similar. The most common types of side effects were gastrointestinal disorders.

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Diltiazem has long been used in pill form as a treatment for high blood pressure and angina. It is the active ingredient in drugs including Cardizem.

Ventrus has the rights to market diltiazem cream in the U.S. and is developing the drug with SLA Pharma.