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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Aug. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:FENC; TSX: FRX), a specialty pharmaceutical company, today announced that the Pediatric Committee (PDCO) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has accepted the Company’s pediatric investigation plan (PIP) for PEDMARKTM for the condition of the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxic hearing loss. The indication targeted by the PIP is for the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxic hearing loss for standard risk hepatoblastoma (SR-HB). Additional tumor types of the proposed indication will be subject to the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) assessment at the time of the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA). The company was also advised that PEDMARKTM is eligible for submission of an application for a Pediatric Use Marketing Authorisation (PUMA).
As part of the regulatory process for registration of new medicines in Europe, pharmaceutical companies are required to provide a PIP outlining their strategy for investigation of the new medicinal product in the pediatric population. An accepted PIP is a prerequisite for filing a MAA for any new medicinal product in Europe. Therefore, this decision allows Fennec to proceed with the submission of a PUMA in the European Union (EU) with incentives of automatic access to the centralized procedure and up to 10 years of data and market protection. No deferred clinical studies were required in the positive opinion given by PDCO.
The PUMA is a dedicated marketing authorization covering the indication and appropriate formulation for medicines developed exclusively for use in the pediatric population and provides data and market protection up to 10 years for PEDMARK.
“The approval of our PIP and confirmation of PUMA eligibility represent significant regulatory milestones and steps forward in our efforts to bring PEDMARK to market in the European Union (EU),” said Rosty Raykov, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fennec, “We look forward to commencing our regulatory submissions in both the EU and U.S.”
PEDMARKTM has been granted Orphan Drug, Breakthrough Therapy, and Fast Track Designations in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
About PEDMARKTM (sodium thiosulfate/STS)
Cisplatin and other platinum compounds are essential chemotherapeutic components for many pediatric malignancies. Unfortunately, platinum-based therapies cause ototoxicity in many patients, and are particularly harmful to the survivors of pediatric cancer.
Each year in the U.S. and Europe there is estimated that over 10,000 children with solid tumors are treated with platinum agents. The vast majority of these newly diagnosed tumors are localized and classified as low to intermediate risk in nature. These localized cancers may have overall survival rates of greater than 80%, further emphasizing the importance of quality of life after treatment. The incidence of hearing loss in these children depends upon the dose and duration of chemotherapy, and many of these children require lifelong hearing aids. There is currently no established preventive agent for this hearing loss and only expensive, technically difficult and sub-optimal cochlear (inner ear) implants have been shown to provide some benefit. Infants and young children at critical stages of development lack speech language development and literacy, and older children and adolescents lack social-emotional development and educational achievement.
STS has been studied by cooperative groups in two Phase 3 clinical studies of survival and reduction of ototoxicity: COG ACCL0431 and SIOPEL 6. Both studies are closed to recruitment. COG ACCL0431 enrolled one of five childhood cancers typically treated with intensive cisplatin therapy for localized and disseminated disease, including newly diagnosed hepatoblastoma, germ cell tumor, osteosarcoma, neuroblastoma, and medulloblastoma. SIOPEL 6 enrolled only hepatoblastoma patients with localized tumors. COG ACCL0431 final results were published in the Lancet Oncology. SIOPEL 6 final results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
About Fennec Pharmaceuticals
Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc., is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of PEDMARKTM (a unique formulation of sodium thiosulfate (STS)) for the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxicity in pediatric patients. STS has received Orphan Drug Designation in the US in this setting. Further, PEDMARKTM received Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track Designation by the FDA in March 2018. Fennec has a license agreement with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) for exclusive worldwide license rights to intellectual property directed to STS and its use for chemoprotection, including the prevention of ototoxicity induced by platinum chemotherapy, in humans. For more information, please visit www.fennecpharma.com.
Forward looking statements
Except for historical information described in this press release, all other statements are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company’s business that could cause actual results to vary, including such risks that regulatory and guideline developments may change, scientific data may not be sufficient to meet regulatory standards or receipt of required regulatory clearances or approvals, clinical results may not be replicated in actual patient settings, protection offered by the Company’s patents and patent applications may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented by its competitors, the available market for the Company’s products will not be as large as expected, the Company’s products will not be able to penetrate one or more targeted markets, revenues will not be sufficient to fund further development and clinical studies, the Company may not meet its future capital requirements in different countries and municipalities, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. Fennec Pharmaceuticals, Inc. disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law.
The scientific information discussed in this news release related to PEDMARKTM is preliminary and investigative. Such product candidates are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada or other regulatory and no conclusions can or should be drawn regarding the safety or effectiveness of such product candidate.
For further information, please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc.
T: (919) 636-5144