It’s been a very good week for Cara Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA). The biotech stock soared after Cara reported positive results from a phase 2/3 clinical study of intravenous (IV) CR845 in alleviating post-operative pain. 

Success for CR845 in post-operative pain no doubt has investors more eager than ever to see how the drug performs in treating chronic kidney disease-associated pruritis (CKD-aP), a severe itching that occurs in patients with kidney disease. Is now the time to buy Cara Therapeutics stock?

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A closer look at the good news

Cara Therapeutics evaluated two doses of IV CR845 in patients who underwent abdominal surgery, a 1.0 mcg/kg dose and a 0.5 mcg/kg dose. Pretty much everything looked great for the 1.0 mcg/kg dose. The company reported that this higher dose achieved the study’s primary endpoint of reducing pain by a statistically significant amount when compared to placebo over 24 hours after surgery. 

Actually, this dose of IV CR845 reduced pain throughout all the periods evaluated for the patients who completed abdominal surgery. Cara stated that statistically significant pain reduction was seen during the first six hours and the first 18 hours following surgery for patients receiving the higher dose IV CR845 compared to patients on placebo.

Pain is, of course, one of the most common issues for patients following abdominal surgery. Another is nausea and vomiting. IV CR845 appeared to be effective in addressing both problems.

Cara reported that the higher dose of IV CR845 reduced the incidence of patient-reported vomiting by 73% versus the level for patients on placebo. Significant improvement was also observed in post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) impact scores for patients receiving the 1.0 mcg/kg dose of IV CR845.

The results weren’t as great for the lower dose of IV CR845. Although some pain improvement was seen…

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