Missing steps in the STAIR case: a Translational Medicine perspective on the development of NXY-059 for treatment of acute ischemic stroke

Author(s): Feuerstein GZ, Zaleska MM, Krams M, Wang X, Day M, et al.

Abstract

The continued failure in approving new drugs for treatment of acute stroke has been recently set back by the failure of the NXY-059 (Stroke-Acute Ischemic NXY Treatment (SAINT) II) trial. The disappointment was heightened by the latter study being viewed as a most promising compound for stroke drug development program based on the preclinical data. Since the SAINT I/II development program included many of the STAIR (Stroke Therapy Academic Industry Round table) guidelines, yet have still failed to achieve the expected efficacy, there is a clear need to continue and analyze the path forward for stroke drug discovery. To this end, this review calls for a consortium approach including academia, government (FDA/NIH), and pharmaceutical industry partnerships to define this path. It is also imperative that more attention is given to the evolving discipline of Translational Medicine. A key issue in this respect is the need to devote more attention to the characteristics of the drug candidate nature-target interaction, and its relationship to pharmacodynamic treatment end points. It is equally important that efforts are spent to prove that phenotypic outcomes are linked to the purported mechanism of action of the compound. Development of technologies that allows a better assessment of these parameters, especially in in vivo models are paramount. Finally, rational patient selection and new outcome scales tailored in an adaptive design model must be evaluated.

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