Healthcare Industry News: Mucopolysaccharidosis
News Release - July 25, 2007
Kuvan Receives Priority Review Status from FDAPDUFA Date Set for November 25, 2007
NOVATO, Calif., July 25 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq and SWX: BMRN News) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for filing and granted priority review status to the New Drug Application (NDA) for Kuvan(TM) (sapropterin dihydrochloride). Under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), the FDA is expected to take action on the application by November 25, 2007. Kuvan, an investigational oral small molecule for the treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic metabolic disorder, is being developed in partnership with Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
"We are pleased that Kuvan has been granted priority review status, a designation that emphasizes the significant need for an effective therapy to manage PKU. Over the next four months, we will work closely with the FDA to support their review of the NDA," said Jean-Jacques Bienaime, Chief Executive Officer of BioMarin. "We are preparing to launch Kuvan in the U.S. in December, if approved."
Priority review is typically granted to drugs that, if approved, will provide a significant improvement in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of a serious or life-threatening disease. Kuvan has also been granted orphan drug designation, which is conferred upon investigational products for diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 patients in the United States. Products with orphan drug designation that are the first to be approved for a specific indication have seven years market exclusivity in the U.S.
Kuvan is an investigational oral small molecule therapeutic for the treatment of PKU. The active ingredient in Kuvan, sapropterin dihydrochloride, is the synthetic form of 6R-BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin), a naturally occurring enzyme cofactor that works in conjunction with phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) to metabolize Phe. Clinical data suggest that treatment with Kuvan results in significant reductions in blood Phe levels in BH4-responsive patients. It also may enable some patients to minimize or eliminate highly-restrictive dietary constraints by increasing Phe tolerance levels. BioMarin and Merck Serono estimate that Kuvan could be a potential treatment option for approximately 30 percent to 50 percent of the estimated 50,000 identified PKU patients in the developed world.
Kuvan has received orphan drug designation from both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA). If approved, it will receive seven years of market exclusivity in the United States and 10 years in the European Union for this indication. Additionally, the FDA has granted Kuvan Fast Track designation, which is designed to facilitate the development of new drugs that are intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs.
PKU, a genetic disorder affecting approximately 50,000 diagnosed patients in the developed world, is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH). PAH is required for the metabolism of phenylalanine (Phe), an essential amino acid found in most protein-containing foods. If the active enzyme is not present in sufficient quantities, Phe accumulates to abnormally high levels in the blood and becomes toxic to the brain, resulting in a variety of complications including severe mental retardation and brain damage, mental illness, seizures, tremors, and limited cognitive ability. As a result of newborn screening efforts implemented in the 1960s and early 1970s, virtually all PKU patients under the age of 40 in developed countries have been diagnosed at birth. Currently, PKU can only be managed by a Phe- restricted diet, which is supplemented by nutritional replacement products, like formulas and specially-manufactured foods; however, the strict diet is difficult for most patients to adhere to the extent needed for achieving adequate control of blood Phe levels. To learn more about PKU, please visit www.PKU.com. Information on this website is not incorporated by reference into this press release.
BioMarin develops and commercializes innovative biopharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. The company's product portfolio comprises two approved products and multiple clinical and preclinical product candidates. Approved products include NaglazymeŽ (galsulfase) for Mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MPS VI), a product wholly developed and commercialized by BioMarin, and AldurazymeŽ (laronidase) for Mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I), a product which BioMarin developed through a 50/50 joint venture with Genzyme Corporation. Investigational product candidates include Kuvan(TM) (sapropterin dihydrochloride), a Phase 3 product candidate for the treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU), and 6R-BH4 for cardiovascular indications, which is currently in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease and sickle cell disease. For additional information, please visit www.BMRN.com. Information on BioMarin's website is not incorporated by reference into this press release.
This press release contains forward-looking statements about the business prospects of BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., including, without limitation, statements about: the development of its product candidate Kuvan; expectations regarding the Kuvan expanded access program; expectations regarding filings with regulatory agencies; and the development of 6R-BH4 for other indications. These forward-looking statements are predictions and involve risks and uncertainties such that actual results may differ materially from these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: the results of ongoing clinical trials related to Kuvan; the content and timing of decisions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency and other regulatory authorities concerning Kuvan; results and timing of current and planned clinical trials of 6R-BH4 for other indications; and those factors detailed in BioMarin's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the factors contained under the caption "Risk Factors" in BioMarin's 2006 Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended, and the factors contained in BioMarin's reports on Form 8-K. Stockholders are urged not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. BioMarin is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Source: BioMarin Pharmaceutical
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