Healthcare Industry News: Celsion
News Release - October 4, 2010
Celsion Receives Positive FDA Guidance for its New Drug Application for ThermoDox(R) to Treat Primary Liver CancerFDA confirms Celsion's preclinical studies are sufficient to support NDA submission
COLUMBIA, Md., Oct. 4 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Celsion Corporation (Nasdaq:CLSN ), a leading oncology drug development company, announced that the Company has reached agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the requirements for non-clinical studies have been met for the New Drug Application (NDA) of ThermoDox.
The FDA has provided written guidance that the Company is not required to conduct any additional non-clinical pharmacology, safety pharmacology and general toxicology studies assuming the results of current studies are adequate. The results of these current studies will be reviewed at the time of NDA submission. This agreement takes advantage of an NDA application known as a 505(b)2 which allows a company to reference existing data regarding doxorubicin and other liposomal drugs currently approved by the FDA.
As previously announced, the FDA has granted Fast Track Development for the Company's 600 patient pivotal Phase III clinical trial (the HEAT study) of its investigational drug, ThermoDox®, in combination with radiofrequency ablation (RFA), The Fast Track Development Program provides for expedited regulatory review including frequent interactions between the FDA. Celsion is eligible to submit its NDA on a rolling basis and review sections of the NDA with the FDA in advance of submitting the complete submission. The HEAT study is being conducted under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) agreement with the FDA.
"We are very pleased with the FDA's continued willingness to work closely with the Company to identify the most expeditious regulatory pathway forward for ThermoDox® in HCC, a life threatening disorder," stated Mr. Michael H. Tardugno, Celsion's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our past consultation with the FDA regarding Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) has permitted Celsion to implement and validate process improvements to its manufacturing methods used to produce ThermoDox at commercial scale."
About ThermoDox® and the Phase III HEAT Study
ThermoDox® is a proprietary heat-activated liposomal encapsulation of doxorubicin, an approved and frequently used oncology drug for the treatment of a wide range of cancers. In the HEAT study, ThermoDox is administered intravenously in combination with RFA. A thermal zone created by the RFA releases the entrapped doxorubicin from the liposome. This delivery technology enables high concentrations of doxorubicin to be deposited preferentially at the targeted tumor.
For primary liver cancer, ThermoDox® is being evaluated in a 600 patient global Phase III study at 75 clinical sites under an FDA Special Protocol Assessment. The study is designed to evaluate the efficacy of ThermoDox in combination with RFA when compared to patients who receive RFA alone as the control. The primary endpoint for the study is progression-free survival (PFS) with a secondary confirmatory endpoint of overall survival. A pre-planned, interim efficacy analysis will be performed by an independent Data Monitoring Committee when enrollment in the trial is complete and 50 percent of the PFS events are realized in the study population. Additional information on the Company's ThermoDox® clinical studies may be found at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov
About Primary Liver Cancer
Primary liver cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer and ranks as the fifth most common solid tumor cancer. The incidence of primary liver cancer is approximately 20,000 cases per year in the United States and has a worldwide incidence of approximately 650,000 cases, due to the high prevalence of Hepatitis B and C in developing countries. The standard first line treatment for liver cancer is surgical resection of the tumor; however 80% to 90% of patients are ineligible for surgery. Radio frequency ablation (RFA) has increasingly become the standard of care for non-resectable liver tumors, but the treatment becomes less effective for larger tumors. There are few non-surgical therapeutic treatment options available as radiation therapy and chemotherapy are largely ineffective in the treatment of primary liver cancer.
Celsion is a leading oncology company dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative cancer drugs including tumor-targeting treatments using focused heat energy in combination with heat-activated drug delivery systems. Celsion has research, license, or commercialization agreements with leading institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, Duke University Medical Center, University of Hong Kong, Cleveland Clinic, and the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System. For more information on Celsion, visit our website: http://www.Celsion.com.
Celsion wishes to inform readers that forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, unforeseen changes in the course of research and development activities and in clinical trials by others; possible acquisitions of other technologies, assets or businesses; possible actions by customers, suppliers, competitors, regulatory authorities; and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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