Ventrus Biosciences Inc., a NY-based pharmaceutical developer, while still development stage, has assembled a strong portfolio of product candidates targeting the late-stage prescription market, specifically in the gastrointestinal disorder area. A massive, underserved market of some 12.5M people in the US alone suffer from symptomatic hemorrhoids, with another 7M fecal incontinence and 4M in the anal fissure category, yet no US FDA approved prescription treatments for these conditions appear in the market.
Ventrus Biosciences is working on three platforms to address this market. Iferanserin (VEN 309 – lead product), which is an NCE (new chemical entity) ointment in late stage development (Phase III), engineered for twice-daily topical treatment of hemorrhoids and highly selective, antagonistic targeting of the serotonin receptor associated with the disease (5-HT2A). Phenylephrine (VEN 308), a gel formulated to treat fecal incontinence, specifically that type associated with post colectomy surgeries involving an IPAA (ileal pouch anal anastomosis). Diltiazem (VEN 307), a topical cream for relief of the chronic pain associated with small, extremely painful tears in the tissue the lines the anus, which often require surgery.
In each category VTUS has devised a solution that is either superior to existing offerings out rightly or highly preferable to existing offerings, as in the case of Diltiazem, which has been used for decades in hypertension/angina to dilate blood vessels, where the only alternatives are either minimally effective or require surgery. The market potential in North America alone is substantial and with no FDA-approved competition on the horizon, VTUS stands poised to capture both the market momentum and territory.
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