Penis-Straightening Drug Xiaflex May Provide Relief for Peyronie's
Pfizer's new drug for claw hand may be used by men with bent phallus.
Feb. 5, 2010— -- A new drug for claw hand, a condition that causes bent fingers, may serve double-duty as a penis-straightener. Pfizer's drug Xiaflex was not approved for this, but it may provide much needed relief for those suffering from Peyronie's Disease -- a hard-to-treat condition in which the penis becomes permanently and painfully bent.
"It's a disease that's very frustrating," says Dr. Robert Davis, professor of urology at the University of Rochester, "hitting men in the prime of life," causing pain, sometimes erectile dysfunction, and making it difficult to impossible to have sexual intercourse.
The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday night explicitly for use against claw hand, but research suggests that Xiaflex is effective in Peyronie's patients as well. The release of the drug this spring may lead to off-label use for Peyronie's Disease.
But Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the company developing the drug, says that -- as a safety precaution -- it will do everything it can to discourage off-label use of Xiaflex for Peyronie's.
That is a prospect urologists and patients will find frustrating, Davis says.
In both Peyronie's and claw hand, known clinically as Dupuytren's contracture, an excess buildup of collagen creates scar tissue, preventing normal movement and functioning of the hand or penis.
Xiaflex, delivered in a series of injections to the affected area, works by breaking down the excess collagen with the enzyme collagenase, providing more movement to the extremity.