Healthcare Industry News: ViroPharma
News Release - October 18, 2011
Halozyme Announces Positive Results from Roche's Subcutaneous Herceptin Phase 3 TrialSAN DIEGO, Oct. 18, 2011 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO ), a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products targeting the extracellular matrix for the diabetes, cancer, dermatology and drug delivery markets, today announced that the Phase 3 HannaH trial, conducted by Roche, showed that women with HER2-positive early breast cancer who received a new, investigational subcutaneous (SC) injection of Herceptin® (trastuzumab), experienced comparable results to Herceptin given as an intravenous (IV) infusion. The SC administration takes around 5 minutes to administer whereas the IV formulation (the current standard) takes around 30 minutes to infuse. Since the subcutaneous administration is an injection under the skin it may allow patients to spend less time in hospital receiving their treatment versus the intravenous method. The ready to use formulation may also significantly reduce pharmacy time as no medicine preparation time is required.
"We are very pleased to see this important program achieve success in a Phase 3 pivotal clinical trial," said Gregory Frost, Ph.D., Halozyme's president and CEO. "The convenience of subcutaneous administration may provide another option for women living with early breast cancer."
No new safety signals were observed and adverse events were overall consistent with Herceptin IV. Data from the trial will be submitted for presentation at an upcoming medical meeting and will support a marketing application to regulatory authorities in the European Union in 2012.
Roche has additional ongoing trials of a subcutaneous formulation of MabThera® (rituximab), using Enhanze™ Technology in patients with CD20+ non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL).
About the HannaH trial
HannaH is a Phase III, open-label trial involving 596 women with HER2-positive early breast cancer. The trial was designed to compare trastuzumab concentration in the blood (pharmacokinetics), efficacy (pathologic complete response) and safety of Herceptin SC to that of Herceptin IV.
The trial met its co-primary endpoints that were trastuzumab concentration in the blood (serum concentrations) and efficacy. Secondary endpoints included event-free survival and overall survival. In the trial the most common side effects seen were infections and abnormal blood counts (anaemia and low white blood count) similar to other trials with chemotherapy and Herceptin IV.
About Herceptin subcutaneous delivery
Herceptin SC uses Enhanze™ Technology, developed by Halozyme(R) which enables the injection of large volumes of a medication under the skin (subcutaneous) and enhances pharmacokinetics. It works by reversibly breaking down a gel-like substance (hyaluronan) that forms a barrier in the tissues between cells under the skin.
About Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Each year about 1.4 million new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed worldwide, and over 450,000 people will die of the disease annually.
In HER2-positive breast cancer, increased quantities of the HER2 receptor are present on the surface of the tumour cells. This is known as 'HER2 positivity' and affects approximately 15-20 percent of people with breast cancer.
Halozyme Roche Collaboration
In December 2006, Halozyme entered into an agreement with Roche to apply Halozyme's proprietary Enhanze™ technology to Roche's biological therapeutic compounds. Under the terms of the agreement, Roche made an initial payment to Halozyme for the application of its recombinant human enzyme, rHuPH20, to three pre-defined biologic targets exclusive to Roche. In December 2008, Roche selected a fourth biologic target followed by selection of a fifth target in June 2009 and has the option to exclusively develop and commercialize rHuPH20 with an additional eight potential targets. In February 2011, Roche began a Phase 3 registration trial of subcutaneous (SC) MabThera (rituximab), an anticancer biologic, in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Pending the successful achievement of a series of clinical, regulatory, and sales events, Roche will pay Halozyme additional milestones as well as royalties on future product sales.
Halozyme Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products targeting the extracellular matrix for the insulin, cancer, dermatology and drug delivery markets. The company's product portfolio is based primarily on intellectual property covering the family of human enzymes known as hyaluronidases and additional enzymes that affect the extracellular matrix. Halozyme's Enhanze™ technology is a novel drug delivery platform designed to increase the absorption and dispersion of biologics. The company has key partnerships with Roche, Baxter, ViroPharma and Intrexon to apply Enhanze™ technology to therapeutic biologics including Herceptin®, MabThera®, immunoglobulin, Cinryze® and recombinant human alpha 1-antitrypsin. Halozyme's Ultrafast Insulin program combines its rHuPH20 enzyme with mealtime insulins, which may produce more rapid absorption, faster action, and improved glycemic control. The product candidates in Halozyme's pipeline target multiple areas of significant unmet medical need. For more information visit www.halozyme.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
In addition to historical information, the statements set forth above include forward-looking statements (including, without limitation, statements concerning the timing, scope and outcomes of our clinical trials as well as expected activities under our collaborative partnerships) that involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are also identified through use of the words "believe," "enable," "may," "will," "could," "intends," "estimate," "anticipate," "plan," "predict," "probable," "potential," "possible," "should," "continue," and other words of similar meaning. Actual results could differ materially from the expectations contained in forward-looking statements as a result of several factors, including clinical trial enrollment and results, regulatory approval requirements and competitive conditions. These and other factors that may result in differences are discussed in greater detail in the company's reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Source: Halozyme Therapeutics
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