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An Open Label Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of COR-003 (2S, 4R ketoconazole) in the Treatment of Endogenous Cushing's Syndrome

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An Open Label Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of COR-003 (2S, 4R ketoconazole) in the Treatment of Endogenous Cushing's Syndrome


The primary objectives of this study are to evaluate the efficacy of ascending doses of COR-003 in subjects with elevated levels of cortisol due to endogenous Cushing's Syndrome by assessment of reduction in Urinary Free Cortisol (UFC) concentrations and to identify the range of safe and effective doses of COR-003 that reduce mean UFC concentrations ≤ULN (upper limit of normal) of the assay at month 6 of the maintenance phase of dosing without a prior dose increase in that phase.


CW ID: 208654

Date Last Changed: June 25, 2015

Inclusion Criteria:

Subjects eligible for enrollment in the study must meet all the following criteria:

  • Male or female, ≥18 year of age
  • Confirmed diagnosis of persistent or recurrent CS (with or without therapy) or newly diagnosed disease, if they are not candidates for surgery. Subjects in whom surgery will be delayed beyond 5 months will be permitted to participate. CS will be defined according to the criteria in the guidelines for diagnosis of CS (Nieman 2008). Previous medical records will be collected and used to support the diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for appropriateness of inclusion of each subject into the study will be reviewed by the Medical Monitor. Diagnosis of the disease will be based on the association of clinical features of endogenous CS (see Appendix G in clinical protocol), review of past medication history, excluding exogenous sources of glucocorticoids, and abnormal values from two of the three following tests:
    • Elevated 24-hour UFC levels ≥1.5X ULN of assay based on a minimum of 4 measurements from adequately collected urine. Urine may be collected on sequential days.
    • Abnormal DST: Elevated 8 AM serum cortisol ≥1.8 ug/dL (50 nmol/L) after 1 mg dexamethasone orally at 11 PM the evening prior (if not conducted already in the diagnostic workup of the subject within the previous 6 months; previous test results and details of conduct will need to be available; normal serum cortisol ≤ 1.4 ug/dL)
    • Elevated late night salivary cortisol concentrations (at least 2 measurements) >ULN at screening
    • [NOTE: For subjects with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR as determined by MDRD equation >40 and <60 mL/min) a late night salivary cortisol test (≥2 measurements) MUST be conducted in addition to measuring UFC levels to demonstrate evidence of CS.]
  • Previously irradiated subjects will be allowed as long as the radiation treatment occurred ≥2 years ago and they do have stable UFC levels based on 24-hour urine collections for at least 6 months. The total number of previously irradiated subjects will not exceed 10.
    • In the vast majority of subjects treated with radiation, efficacy is observed in <2 years.
  • Confirmed diagnosis of persistent or recurrent endogenous hypercortisolemia as defined by UFC concentrations on repeated determinations (described in Inclusion #2) caused by either ACTH-dependent or ACTH-independent etiologies.
  • Subjects on treatment for CS for whom treatment has been inadequate or not well tolerated must agree to the following minimum washout periods as determined by the nature of their treatment before baseline assessments are performed for participation in this study:
    • Inhibitors of steroidogenesis: 2weeks; subjects on ketoconazole will be considered inadequately treated if they had failed to normalize UFC with a dose lower than or equal to 600 mg/day (also see Exclusion 7 below).
    • Dopamine agonists: bromocriptine (2 week), cabergoline (8 weeks)
    • Octreotide acetate LAR and lanreotide Autogel®: 12 weeks
    • Lanreotide SR/long-acting pasireotide: 8 weeks
    • Octreotide acetate (immediate release formulation) or short-acting pasireotide: 1 week
    • Mifepristone (RU 486): 4 weeks
  • Subjects on megasterol acetate (medroxyprogesterone acetate) must agree to a wash out of ≥6 weeks prior to receiving the first dose of the study medication.
  • Female subjects should be either post-menopausal, surgically sterile, or women of child-bearing potential (WOCP) with a negative serum beta human chorionic gonadotropin (ßhCG) pregnancy test prior to entering the study and who agree to use an acceptable method of contraception, for the duration of the study. Condoms will be considered an acceptable form of contraceptive.
  • 12-lead ECGs show no acute ischemia or clinically significant abnormality needing medical intervention
  • Ability to comprehend and comply with procedures
  • Agree to commit to participate in the current protocol
  • Subjects provide written informed consent prior to any study procedures being performed (all subjects should be able to understand the informed consent form and any other documents that subjects are required to read)

Exclusion Criteria:

Subjects will be excluded from the study if any of the following criteria are met:

  • De novo Cushing´s disease AND a candidate for pituitary surgery
    • If surgery is to be delayed for >5 months, subjects may be allowed to participate in the trial while awaiting surgery, but must agree to complete this study prior to surgery.
  • Subjects treated with radiation within the previous 2 years.
    • In the vast majority of subjects treated with radiation, efficacy is observed in <2 years.
  • Characteristics of pseudo-CS (see Appendix H in clinical protocol)
  • Subjects with adrenal carcinoma
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeding 50 kg/m2
  • Body habitus preventing repeated venipuncture as required by protocol
  • Subject is currently in another study or has received any investigational treatment (drug, biological agent or device) within 30 days or 5 half lives of screening, whichever is longer
  • History of significant abnormalities in liver function tests on ketoconazole; history of therapeutic response failure to ketoconazole as defined by lack of normalization of UFC at a dose greater than 800 mg/day; lack of therapeutic response failure at maximum dose of mitotane
  • Male and female subjects with QTc interval of >470 msec
  • History of Torsades des Pointes or ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation
  • Subjects with a non-endogenous source of hypercortisolemia such as exogenous source of glucocorticoids or therapeutic use of ACTH
  • History of malignancy, other than thyroid, early stage prostate, squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, within 3 years prior to the initial dose of the study medication. Subjects with history of carcinoma must have a life expectancy of >1 year and must be on stable doses of their specific therapies. Subjects with early stage prostate cancer undergoing no treatment due to low grade potential may be enrolled.
  • Diagnosis of HIV
  • History of persistent uncontrolled hypertension (>210/110 mmHg) despite medical intervention
  • Subjects with hypercholesterolemia who are on current atorvastatin or simvistatin and not willing or unable to change to alternative therapies as noted (pravastatin, fluvastatin, and rosuvastatin) with 2 weeks of study screening
  • Subjects with T2DM or with a history of hyperglycemic episodes requiring repeated, frequent hospitalizations
  • Subjects with decreased renal function as defined by eGFR ≤40 mL/min, using Modified Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation for estimating renal function (eGFR).
  • Any other clinically significant medical condition, as determined by the Investigator that precludes enrollment and participation in the study through completion (for example, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III or IV congestive heart failure).
  • Known hepatic disease, other than mild to moderate hepatic steatosis consistent with fatty infiltration (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis [NASH]), with ongoing sustained biochemical activity (subjects with CS would be at risk for NASH)
  • History of recurrent gall stone attacks or pancreatitis
  • Positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg) or positive hepatitis C test
  • Liver function tests (LFT) must not be above the following cut-offs at screening: ALT and/or AST >3.0X ULN, alkaline phosphatase (AP) >1.5X ULN and total bilirubin >ULN. If all LFTs are within normal limits (WNL) and total bilirubin is elevated, examination of direct and indirect bilirubin may be conducted. Subjects with indirect total bilirubin up to 3X ULN are presumed to have Gilbert's syndrome and may be enrolled if all other LFTs are WNL.
  • Presence of any other clinically significant medical condition, as determined by the Investigator that would preclude the subject from being able to follow instructions or to perform the necessary procedures (for example, psychiatric instability or severe disability)
  • Compression of the optic chiasm
  • Abnormal free T4. Subjects with TSH
  • Excessive alcohol intake (>20 g per day for females (1.5 standard alcohol drinks) or >30 g per day for males (2.0 standard alcohol drinks) (a standard drink contains 14 g of alcohol: 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine or 1.5 oz of spirits) or drug abuse. (1.0 fluid oz (US) = 29.57 ml)
  • The subject is currently taking any H2 receptor antagonists or proton-pump inhibitors (which inhibit absorption of COR-003). Only over-the- counter liquid and tablet antacids are allowed which should be used in moderation and taken a minimum of 2 hours after dosing of COR-003.
  • The subject is receiving the following concomitant therapies:
    • Weight loss medications (prescription or over the counter)
    • Coadministration of COR-003 and drugs primarily metabolized by the cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme system may result in increased plasma concentrations of the drugs that could increase or prolong both therapeutic and/or adverse effects. Therefore, appropriate dosage adjustments may be necessary.
    • Medications with metabolism largely mediated by CYP3A4 and a narrow therapeutic margin include: cyclosporine, midazolam, triazolam, alprazolam, digoxin, coumarin-derivatives, phenytoin, rifampin, erythromycin, clarithromycin, loratadine, astemizole, terfenadine, nicotinic acids, resins, orlistat, sibutramine, HIV protease inhibitors, thiazolidinodiones, aliskiren, and spironolactone.
    • A complete list of medications metabolized by or with an effect on cytochrome P450 3A4 is provided in Appendix K. Also see Section 10.2.
    • Coadministration of strong inducers or inhibitors of CYP3A4 enzyme system that may interfere with COR-003 and cannot be discontinued prior to the start of the study (see Appendix K for the list)
    • Statins other than pravastatin, fluvastatin and rosuvastatin
    • Following herbal medicines should be avoided: St John's Wort, yohimbe and red rice yeast
    • Potent topical steroids, containing urea or salicylic acid, which are applied over 20% of the body
    • Inhaled steroid medications that exceed minimal to moderate use
    • Carbamazipine, fenofibrate, carbenoxolone
    • Excessive ingestion of genuine licorice
  • Pregnant or lactating women
  • Any other condition which would increase the risk of participation in the trial in the opinion of the Investigator

Adrine Gdakian

UCLA School of Medicine

700 Tiverton Avenue, Factor Building Rm 9-240

Los Angeles, CA 90095

Phone: 310-825-5874

Fax: 310-206-5553


Jessica Rios-Santiago

Coastal Metabolic Research Center University Medical Center, Dept. of Endocrinology

3454 Loma Vista Rd.

Ventura, CA 93003

Phone: 805-658-8460

Fax: 805-658-8462


Betsy Parrott, RN, CCRC

Rhode Island Hospital, Hallett Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology

900 Warren Avenue, Suite 300

East Providence, RI 02914

Phone: 401-444-2091

Fax: 401-444-4921


Becky Wood, CCRP

Swedish Neuroscience Research

500 17th Ave

Professional Bldg 303

Seattle, WA 98122

Phone: 206-320-7115

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The manufacturer of this drug, Cortendo, was kind of a mess until recently, but they recently hired a new CEO, staffed up their office in the US, and finally got the ball rolling on their clinical trial. Hopefully the results are good. It would be nice to have another option that actually works.

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