The arsenal of gout medicine to target gout is growing.
Probenecid is an established option for gout sufferers who fail to excrete enough uric acid. This family of drugs, called uricosurics, is now joined by a new candidate – arhalofenate.
It’s developers, CymaBay Therapeutics, have recently announced new clinical trials for arhalofenate to treat gout patients. Arhalofenate, originally called MBX-102, was developed for diabetes sufferers, but it has a special bonus for gout sufferers. As well as lowering uric acid, it helps reduce gout flares.
In the latest clinical trials for arhalofenate for preventing flares and reducing uric acid in gout patients, the new gout medicine will be compared with allopurinol over a 12 week test period. The prime aim is to compare the average number of gout flares over that period. Several secondary goals will compare different doses, both with and without combining allopurinol with colchicine.
There are many exclusions to eligibility for this trial. Clearly, when two gout treatments are being compared, it is important to exclude gout patients whose uric acid levels might be affected by other health conditions or medications.
Excluding health conditions include organ transplant, bone marrow diseases, ulcers, stroke and heart disease, and much more. Excluding medications include amoxicillin, cyclosporine, steroid shots to joints, and much more.
This does not indicate that arhalofenate will not help such groups when trials are finished. It is required to try and reduce confounding factors when comparing the different treatments. Indeed, one exclusion is known intolerance to allopurinol or colchicine. That is an obvious exclusion for this trial, as these drugs are included in the tests. Once tests are complete, then these groups are among the main candidates who will benefit from this new gout medicine.
If you get included in the clinical trial for arhalofenate, please share your experiences in the gout forum.