Auxilium Pharmacueticals Inc manufactures Xiaflex, a drug approved in early 2010 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Dupuytren's contracture, a medical condition characterized by the inner curving of the fingers due to a thickening and shortening of the tendons in the hand. Xiaflex is currently only approved for use on patients who have one cord of affected tissue, but Auxilium is testing the drug's effectiveness on patients with more than one thickened cord.
The study involved 60 patients. According to Axilium, approximately 60% of these patients experienced significant improvement after one injection of Xiaflex into each contracted joint. The pharmaceutical company said that these results were "numerically higher" than results in patients treated with placebos in other studies. The most common side effects in the trial affected the injection site and included pain, bruising and swelling. Two serious side effects were reported. One involved a patient who suffered injury to the ligament in the patient's middle finger. The other involved a patient who was hospitalized for 24 hours for pain after two injections in the little finger.
Auxilium shares fell to $25.91 in afternoon trading on July 30, a 3% drop, after reports of the study were made available to the public. The company is planning on seeking FDA approval before the end of the year to use Xiaflex for the treatment of Peyronie's disease, a condition involving severe curvature of the penis during an erection. This condition is caused by scar tissue and can make it difficult and/or painful to have sexual intercourse.
Auxilium was founded in 1999 and is based in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The company plans to start a larger Xiaflex trial in the third quarter of 2012.