Healthcare Industry News:  chronic myelogenous leukemia 

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology Regulatory

 News Release - August 1, 2006

Dacogen(TM) (Decitabine) For Injection Receives European Orphan Drug Designation for Patients With AML

MINNEAPOLIS--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Aug. 1, 2006--MGI PHARMA, INC. (Nasdaq:MOGN ), a biopharmaceutical company focused in oncology and acute care, today announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has granted Dacogen(TM) (decitabine) for Injection orphan designation for the indication of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Dacogen was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 2, 2006 for the treatment of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) including previously treated and untreated, de novo and secondary MDS of all French-American-British (FAB) subtypes (refractory anemia, refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts, refractory anemia with excess blasts, refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation, and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia), and Intermediate-1, Intermediate-2, and High-Risk International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) groups.

The orphan drug designation was established by the EMEA to encourage the development of treatments for rare, life threatening medical conditions that affect fewer than five in 10,000 people in the European Union (EU). This designation may also provide 10 years of market exclusivity in the EU following marketing approval. Dacogen was previously designated as an orphan drug by the EMEA for the MDS indication.

Dacogen is being co-developed by MGI PHARMA and Janssen-Cilag, a Johnson & Johnson company. Janssen-Cilag companies are responsible for regulatory and commercial activities in all territories outside North America, while MGI PHARMA retains responsibility for all activities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

About Dacogen(TM) (Decitabine) For Injection

Dacogen is a hypomethylating agent that is believed to exert its antineoplastic effects by incorporation into DNA and inhibition of an enzyme called DNA methyltransferase. Methylation is a process in which methyl (CH3) groups are added to DNA, resulting in the inactivation of genes that are critical for control of cellular differentiation and proliferation. Abnormal methylation, which silences certain genes, is associated with the development of many types of tumors. Dacogen-induced hypomethylation in neoplastic cells may restore normal function to genes that are critical for the control of cellular differentiation and proliferation. In rapidly dividing cells, the cytotoxicity of Dacogen may also be attributed to the formation of covalent adducts between DNA methyltransferase and decitabine incorporated into DNA. Non-proliferating cells are relatively insensitive to Dacogen. Please visit or for full prescribing information.

Dacogen may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while using Dacogen. Men should be advised not to father a child while receiving treatment with Dacogen and for two months afterwards.

The most commonly occurring adverse reactions with Dacogen include neutropenia (90%), thrombocytopenia (89%), anemia (82%), pyrexia (53%), fatigue (48%), nausea (42%), cough (40%), petechiae (39%), constipation (35%), and diarrhea (34%). Please visit for full prescribing information.

MGI PHARMA is currently conducting a phase 3 pivotal trial to evaluate Dacogen in patients with AML. Additional phase 2 studies are also underway to evaluate alternative dosing regimens for Dacogen in patients with MDS, AML and chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML. A phase 3 European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer- (EORTC-) sponsored study of Dacogen in patients with MDS is ongoing in Europe.


MGI PHARMA, INC. is a biopharmaceutical company focused in oncology and acute care that acquires, researches, develops and commercializes proprietary products that address the unmet needs of patients. MGI PHARMA has a portfolio of proprietary pharmaceuticals, and intends to become a leading biopharmaceutical company. MGI PHARMA markets AloxiŽ (palonosetron hydrochloride) Injection, Dacogen(TM) (decitabine) for Injection and GliadelŽ Wafer (polifeprosan 20 with carmustine implant) in the United States. The Company directly markets its products in the U.S. and collaborates with partners to reach international markets.

This news release contains certain "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are typically preceded by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "will," "may," "should," or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of MGI PHARMA's future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in these statements. Factors that might cause the Company's results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the ability of MGI PHARMA to successfully introduce Dacogen for Injection into the marketplace; acceptance by physicians and patients of the product; and Dacogen for Injection competing successfully with other therapies for MDS; and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its most recently filed Form 10-Q or 10-K. MGI PHARMA undertakes no duty to update any of these forward-looking statements to conform them to actual results.


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