Immediate-release (IR) formulation of linaclotide 290 μg improves abdominal pain and constipation (APC) in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation. Overall, 532 patients were randomized; the mean age was 45.1 years, most were women (83.3%) and White (64.7%). All linaclotide DR1 and MD-7246 groups experienced greater improvements in abdominal pain from baseline and throughout treatment vs placebo. Linaclotide DR1 and IR led to numerically greater improvements from baseline in complete spontaneous bowel movement frequency and higher APC+1 responder rates compared with placebo; MD-7246 results were similar to placebo. Diarrhea was the most common adverse event with DR1 and IR; rates were similar between MD-7246 and placebo.
Altering the site of drug delivery in the intestine might uncouple linaclotide’s pain relief from secretory effects. Persistent, modest abdominal pain improvement with limited impact on bowel symptom parameters, as seen across MD-7246 doses, warrants further study of MD-7246 as a novel treatment for abdominal pain, regardless of IBS subtype.