Already a stock to watch for weeks now thanks to some pending catalysts and volatile trading, Ampio Pharmaceuticals further solidified its pipeline potential this week by announcing favorable results for its trial in Australia testing its lead product Ampion for the treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee (AIK).

The trial found that, according to Wednesday's announcement, Ampion was well tolerated and reduced pain over and above steroids. The positive results will now allow Ampio to test Ampion as a stand-alone therapy and to also expand the trail to include two additional arms. The stage is also set to seriously consider the potential of Ampion on the open market, which could come quicker than expected if subsequent trial results also prove to be positive, given Ampion is a biologic, a molecule already produced by the human body (as albumin) and has an already-established safety profile.

With positive results now demonstrated, the AIK treatment could just be a stepping stone to advancing this product into the heart of the anti-inflammatory market at a time when alternatives to standard anti-inflammatory medications are being considered, given some common side effects to the standards of care.

The milestone news from the Ampion trial comes as Ampio is ready to commercialize its most ready-for-market product, Zertane, a treatment for premature ejaculation. A licensing agreement was landed earlier this year with Daewoong Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd of South Korea; a deal that will net Ampio millions in an up-front payment in addition to a 25% royalt rate on all future sales.

Daewoong also licensed the rights for a combination drug, combining Zertane with an erectile dysfunction drug - one that would simultaneously treat premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction (ED) - and has agreed to conduct the trials necessary to bring that product to market in South Korea. Ampio is looking to land other regional partners to ramp-up the Zertane distribution as Ampion and the rest of the pipeline moves through the developmental phases.

A brief summary of the Australian trial was released in Wednesday's press release, with a more detailed synopsis to follow, according to Dr. Vaughan Clift, Ampio's Chief Regulatory Officer.

Next up on the trial front is Optina. Optina, repositioned from the already-approved Danazol, is being tested as an oral treatment for diabetic macular edema (DME) and diabetic retinopathy.repositioned. Trials are ongoing for this purpose and results are due early next year.

Zertane, Optina and Ampion, each being positioned to enter very lucrative markets, mark a formidable trio of late stage product candidates and are starting to picque investor interest.

To add to the pipeline potential of Ampio, the company is also advancing its ORP diagnostic devices, designed to measure oxidative stress in patients, which is often believed to be a more accurate measure of one's health than the standard set of 'vitals' taken on a patient when entering a Doctor's office.

Meanwhile, the volatile AMPE stock has traded back up to the north side of seven dollars recently following a dip back into the fives last month. However, any more such dips could be worthy of a buying opportunity for those looking to make a play in late-stage company nearing regulatory approval, such as Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) and Oncothyreon (ONTY).

Wednesday's announcement of solid trial results marks another milestone achieved by Ampio this year, and is another reason why investor interest is growing.

Disclosure: Long AMPE.

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