Healthcare Industry News: Ceplene
News Release - July 10, 2009
EpiCept Initiates Post-Approval Clinical Study with Ceplene(R)Further Evidence of Efficacy for Ceplene (R) in Patients with AML Will Be Assessed by Measuring Biomarkers and Minimal Residual Disease
TARRYTOWN, N.Y.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--EpiCept Corporation (Nasdaq and OMX Nordic Exchange: EPCT) today announced the start of a post-approval clinical study with Ceplene(R) (histamine dihydrochloride) following Ethics Committee and Competent Authority approvals in Sweden, Belgium, and France. This study will fulfill the post approval commitments requested by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) in granting marketing authorization. Ceplene(R) is indicated for remission maintenance in adult patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in first remission. Ceplene(R)is to be administered in conjunction with low-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2).
This study will enroll up to 150 patients at approximately 25 centers across Europe with sites in Sweden, Belgium, France, the U.K., Spain and Italy. The two primary objectives are to further demonstrate the clinical pharmacology of Ceplene(R) by assessing certain immunologic biomarkers in AML patients in first remission, and to measure the effect of Ceplene(R)/IL-2 on minimal residual disease in the same patient population. Secondary objectives will assess leukemia-free survival after a follow-up period of up to two years. EpiCept expects the study will take approximately three years to complete.
“We are pleased to begin this study under the leadership of study chair and principal investigator Dr. Robin Foa in Rome, Italy and co-principal investigator Dr. Mats L. Brune in Gothenburg, Sweden and to be working closely with a broad network of hematology thought leaders,” stated Jack Talley, President and Chief Executive Officer of EpiCept. “The commencement of this trial meets our post-approval commitment to the EMEA and underscores our determination to move forward as quickly as possible with the commercial launch of the drug in the European Union. Ceplene(R) is an important therapy for AML patients because it is the only medical therapy ever proven to prevent relapse in this deadly disease.”
Ceplene(R) is EpiCept's proprietary product approved in the European Union for maintenance therapy for adult patients with AML in first remission. Ceplene(R) is designed to protect lymphocytes responsible for immune-mediated destruction of residual leukemic cells. Laboratory research has demonstrated that Ceplene(R) reduces formation of oxygen radicals from phagocytes, inhibiting NADPH oxidase and protecting IL-2-activated NK-cells and T-cells. In October 2008 Ceplene(R) received full marketing approval in the European Union for maintenance therapy and prevention of relapse in adult patients with AML in first remission.
About EpiCept Corporation
EpiCept is focused on the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of cancer and pain. The Company’s lead product is Ceplene(R), which has been granted full marketing authorization by the European Commission for the remission maintenance and prevention of relapse in adult patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in first remission. The Company has two oncology drug candidates currently in clinical development that were discovered using in-house technology and have been shown to act as vascular disruption agents in a variety of solid tumors. The Company’s pain portfolio includes EpiCeptTM NP-1, a prescription topical analgesic cream in late-stage clinical development designed to provide effective long-term relief of pain associated with peripheral neuropathies.
This news release and any oral statements made with respect to the information contained in this news release, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include statements which express plans, anticipation, intent, contingency, goals, targets, future development and are otherwise not statements of historical fact. These statements are based on our current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or developments to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results or developments to differ materially include: the risk that Ceplene(R) will not be launched in Europe in the second half of 2009 or achieve significant commercial success, the risk that we are unable to find a suitable marketing partner for Ceplene(R) on attractive terms, a timely basis or at all, the risk that any required post-approval clinical study for Ceplene(R) will not be successful, the risk that we will not be able to maintain our final regulatory approval or marketing authorization for Ceplene(R), the risks associated with the adequacy of our existing cash resources and our ability to continue as a going concern, the risks associated with our ability to continue to meet our obligations under our existing debt agreements, the risk that our securities may be delisted by The Nasdaq Capital Market and that any appeal of the delisting determination may not be successful, the risk that Ceplene(R) will not receive regulatory approval or marketing authorization in the United States or Canada, the risk that Myriad's development of Azixa™ will not be successful, the risk that Azixa™ will not receive regulatory approval or achieve significant commercial success, the risk that we will not receive any significant payments under our agreement with Myriad, the risk that the development of our other apoptosis product candidates will not be successful, the risk that we will not be able to find a buyer for our ASAP technology, the risk that clinical trials for EpiCeptTM NP-1 or crinobulin will not be successful, the risk that EpiCeptTM NP-1 or crinobulin will not receive regulatory approval or achieve significant commercial success, the risk that we will not be able to find a partner to help conduct the Phase III trials for EpiCeptTM NP-1 on attractive terms, a timely basis or at all, the risk that our other product candidates that appeared promising in early research and clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in larger-scale or later stage clinical trials, the risk that we will not obtain approval to market any of our product candidates, the risks associated with dependence upon key personnel, the risks associated with reliance on collaborative partners and others for further clinical trials, development, manufacturing and commercialization of our product candidates; the cost, delays and uncertainties associated with our scientific research, product development, clinical trials and regulatory approval process; our history of operating losses since our inception; the highly competitive nature of our business; risks associated with litigation; and risks associated with our ability to protect our intellectual property. These factors and other material risks are more fully discussed in our periodic reports, including our reports on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You are urged to carefully review and consider the disclosures found in our filings which are available at www.sec.gov or at www.epicept.com. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, any of which could turn out to be wrong due to inaccurate assumptions, unknown risks or uncertainties or other risk factors.
*Azixa is a registered trademark of Myriad Genetics, Inc.
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