CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Genzyme Corporation (Nasdaq: GENZ) announced today that its alemtuzumab for multiple sclerosis development program has been granted Fast Track status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This designation covers patients with relapsing-remitting forms of the disease.
The FDA's Fast Track program is designed to expedite the review of new drugs that are intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs. Under Fast Track designation, alemtuzumab for MS is eligible for Priority Review and the FDA may consider for review portions of the marketing application before the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) is completed.
“We are extremely pleased that our alemtuzumab development program has been assigned Fast Track status, and look forward to working closely with the FDA to expedite the program’s review process,” said Henri Termeer, Genzyme’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Alemtuzumab is a potentially transformative therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, and an important part of our future.”
Alemtuzumab for the treatment of MS is currently being evaluated in two pivotal multi-center, multi-national trials, known as CARE-MS SM (Comparison of Alemtuzumab and Rebif® Efficacy in Multiple Sclerosis). The company’s CARE-MS I Phase 3 trial is a randomized study comparing alemtuzumab to the approved therapy Rebif (high-dose interferon beta-1a) in early, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients who have received no prior therapy. The second Phase 3 trial, CARE-MS II, is comparing alemtuzumab to Rebif in RRMS patients who had active disease while on other MS therapies.
Both trials are fully enrolled and data are expected to be available in 2011.
About Campath® (alemtuzumab)
Campath® is licensed in the United States as a single agent for the treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), and outside of the U.S. for the treatment of B-CLL in patients who have been treated with alkylating agents and for whom fludarabine combination therapy is not appropriate. The product was launched in its oncology indication in 2001 in the US, where it is marketed as Campath®, and in Europe, where it is named MabCampath®.
Campath for B-CLL has a boxed warning that includes information on cytopenias, infusion reactions, and infections. The most commonly reported adverse reactions in patients with B-CLL were infusion reactions (fever, chills, hypotension, urticaria, nausea, rash, tachycardia, dyspnea), cytopenias (neutropenia, lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia), and infections (CMV viremia, CMV infection, other infections). Other commonly reported adverse reactions include vomiting, abdominal pain, insomnia and anxiety. The most commonly reported serious adverse reactions are cytopenias, infusion reactions, and immunosuppression/infections.
One of the world's leading biotechnology companies, Genzyme is dedicated to making a major positive impact on the lives of people with serious diseases. Since 1981, the company has grown from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with more than 12,000 employees in locations spanning the globe and 2009 revenues of $4.5 billion. In 2010, Genzyme was named to the Fortune 500.
With many established products and services helping patients in approximately 100 countries, Genzyme is a leader in the effort to develop and apply the most advanced technologies in the life sciences. The company's products and services are focused on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, cancer, transplant and immune disease. Genzyme's commitment to innovation continues today with a substantial development program focused on these fields, as well as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and other areas of unmet medical need.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Genzyme’s future plans and business strategies, including its expectations about when data will become available from the two phase 3 trials, plans to seek expedited review with the FDA, and the success of alemtuzumab to treat MS. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements, including: that the phase 3 trials are not successful; the timing and outcome of discussions with the regulatory agencies regarding approval of alemtuzumab for MS and the granting of expedited review; the actual safety and efficacy of alemtuzumab for MS; and the risks and uncertainties described in reports filed by Genzyme with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including without limitation the information under the heading "Risk Factors" in Genzyme’s Amended Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q/A for the quarter ending March 31, 2010. Genzyme cautions investors not to place substantial reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Genzyme undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements.
Genzyme®, Campath®, and MabCampath® are registered trademarks and CARE-MS is a service mark of Genzyme Corporation. All rights reserved. Rebif® is a registered trademark of EMD Serono, Inc. or affiliates.