Oct 212013


AltheRx Pharmaceuticals has received a notice of allowance for its patent application from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the use of solabegron, a beta 3-adrenergic receptor agonist, in combination with antimuscarinics at both therapeutic and sub-therapeutic doses, for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB).

AltheRx obtains US patent for solabegron combination therapy for OAB treatment


Solabegron (GW-427,353) is a drug which acts as a selective agonist for the β3 adrenergic receptor. It is being developed for the treatment of overactive bladder andirritable bowel syndrome.[1][2][3] It has been shown to produce visceral analgesia by releasing somatostatin from adipocytes.,[4][5]

Solabegron was discovered by GlaxoSmithKline and acquired by AltheRx in March 2011. Solabegron relaxes the bladder smooth muscle by stimulating beta-3 adrenoceptors, a novel mechanism compared to older established drug treatments for overactive bladder syndrome such as the anticholinergic agents. Astellas Pharma have developed the first commercially available β3 adrenergic receptor, mirabegron, which is now licensed in Japan[6] and the US[7] for overactive bladder. Mirabegron is not licensed for irritable bowel syndrome.

A Phase II study of Solabegron for overactive bladder (OAB) looked at 258 patients with moderate to severe incontinence experiencing an average of 4.5 wet episodes per day. Results demonstrated a statistically significant improvement with Solabegron as compared to placebo, as measured by the percent reduction of the number of wet episodes and the absolute number of daily voids.

A Phase II study for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) evaluated 102 patients with IBS. Solabegron demonstrated significant reduction in pain associated with the disorder and a trend for greater improvement in the quality of life, compared to placebo.

Both Phase II studies indicated a tolerability profile for Solabegron that was similar to placebo. The OAB patients did not suffer from dry mouth, constipation, increase in heart rate or cognitive issues.

AltheRx is currently preparing to advance Solabegron into a large clinical study in OAB.


Solabegron scheme.png

  1.  Hicks A, McCafferty GP, Riedel E, Aiyar N, Pullen M, Evans C, Luce TD, Coatney RW, Rivera GC, Westfall TD, Hieble JP. GW427353 (solabegron), a novel, selective beta3-adrenergic receptor agonist, evokes bladder relaxation and increases micturition reflex threshold in the dog. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 2007 Oct;323(1):202-9.doi:10.1124/jpet.107.125757 PMID 17626794
  2.  Grudell AB, Camilleri M, Jensen KL, Foxx-Orenstein AE, Burton DD, Ryks MD, Baxter KL, Cox DS, Dukes GE, Kelleher DL, Zinsmeister AR. Dose-response effect of a beta3-adrenergic receptor agonist, solabegron, on gastrointestinal transit, bowel function, and somatostatin levels in health.American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 2008 May;294(5):G1114-9. PMID 18372395
  3.  Kelleher DL, Hicks KJ, Cox DS, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo (PLA)-controlled, crossover study to evaluate efficacy and safety of the beta 3-adrenergic receptor agonist solabegron (SOL) in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Neurogastroenterol Motil 2008;20 (Suppl 2):131.
  4.  Cellek S, Thangiah R, Bassil AK, Campbell CA, Gray KM, Stretton JL, Lalude O, Vivekanandan S, Wheeldon A, Winchester WJ, Sanger GJ, Schemann M, Lee K. Demonstration of functional neuronal beta3-adrenoceptors within the enteric nervous system. Gastroenterology. 2007 Jul;133(1):175-83.
  5. Schemann M, Hafsi N, Michel K, Kober OI, Wollmann J, Li Q, Zeller F, Langer R, Lee K, Cellek S. The beta3-adrenoceptor agonist GW427353 (solabegron) decreases excitability of human enteric neurons via release of somatostatin.Gastroenterology 2009 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print]

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