SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Portola Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:PTLA) today announced that it has executed a supply agreement with Lonza for the commercial manufacturing of andexanet alfa. An FDA-designated breakthrough therapy, andexanet alfa is the only recombinant Factor Xa molecule designed to specifically reverse the effects of oral and injectable Factor Xa inhibitors. It is being developed as an antidote for patients receiving one of these anticoagulants who either suffer from a major bleed or require emergency surgery.
With this global agreement, Portola has secured two commercial manufacturing contracts in order to supply the global market. CMC Biologics will manufacture andexanet alfa for the expected U.S. launch in 2016. To meet anticipated global demand, Lonza will provide large-scale supply approximately 18-24 months following launch.
Lonza is a worldwide leader in global pharmaceutical manufacturing with more than 40 facilities and 10,000 employees worldwide.
About Andexanet Alfa
Andexanet alfa, an FDA-designated breakthrough therapy, is being developed as a universal antidote for patients receiving a Factor Xa inhibitor who suffer a major bleeding episode or who may require emergency surgery. Andexanet alfa acts as a Factor Xa decoy that targets and sequesters with high specificity both direct and indirect Factor Xa inhibitors in the blood. Once bound, the Factor Xa inhibitors are unable to bind to and inhibit native Factor Xa, thus allowing for the restoration of normal hemostatic processes. Andexanet alfa has the potential to address numerous clinical scenarios by allowing for flexible and controlled reversal, which can be short-acting through the administration of an IV bolus or longer-acting with the addition of an extended infusion.
About the Andexanet Alfa Clinical Development Program
Portola is evaluating andexanet alfa in randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 3 ANNEXA™ (Andexanet Alfa a Novel Antidote to the Anticoagulant Effects of fXA Inhibitors) registration studies using pharmacodynamic endpoints agreed to with the FDA, such as anti-Factor Xa inhibitor units, to demonstrate efficacy.
Portola reported statistically significant results from the Phase 3 ANNEXA-A study with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) and Pfizer Inc.'s direct Factor Xa inhibitor Eliquis (apixaban) administered as an intravenous bolus dose. Another ANNEXA-A study evaluating a longer duration infusion is ongoing. Data from the Phase 3 ANNEXA-R study with Bayer HealthCare and Janssen's direct Factor Xa inhibitor XARELTO® (rivaroxaban) is expected to be available later this year. ANNEXA-E, the Phase 3 study with Daiichi Sankyo's direct Factor Xa inhibitor edoxaban, is expected to begin in 2015. These studies are designed to support the Company's BLA filing for Accelerated Approval. As part of the Accelerated Approval process, a Phase 3b/4 confirmatory patient study evaluating clinical outcomes with andexanet alfa is planned.
Results from three separate Phase 2 proof-of concept studies with Eliquis, XARELTO® and enoxaparin, a low molecular weight heparin and indirect Factor Xa inhibitor, in healthy volunteers demonstrated that andexanet alfa immediately reversed the anticoagulation activity of each Factor Xa inhibitor and that the reversal could be sustained. Andexanet alfa has been shown to be well tolerated in Phase 1 and 2 clinical studies, which have included more than 100 healthy volunteers, with no thrombotic events or antibodies to Factor Xa or Factor X observed.
A Phase 2 proof-of-concept study with edoxaban is ongoing, and a Phase 2 proof-of-concept study with Portola's Factor Xa inhibitor betrixaban is planned.
About Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Portola Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company developing product candidates that could significantly advance the fields of thrombosis and other hematologic diseases. The Company is advancing its three wholly-owned programs using novel biomarker and genetic approaches that may increase the likelihood of clinical, regulatory and commercial success of its potentially life-saving therapies. Portola's partnered programs are focused on developing selective Syk inhibitors for inflammatory conditions.
Portola's wholly-owned, oral, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor betrixaban is being evaluated in the only biomarker-based Phase 3 study for hospital-to-home prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in acute medically ill patients. Betrixaban's distinct properties may have the potential to allow the agent to demonstrate efficacy without the significant increase in the rate of major bleeding that was seen in this patient population with other Factor Xa inhibitors. If approved, betrixaban could be the first anticoagulant for both hospital and post-discharge VTE prophylaxis and the standard of care in this large market of more than 20 million patients in the G7 countries alone.
Andexanet alfa, a recombinant modified Factor Xa molecule, has the potential to be a first-in-class antidote to reverse the effects of Factor Xa inhibitors in patients who suffer a major bleeding episode or who require emergency surgery. Andexanet alfa has been designated as a breakthrough therapy by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Portola has entered into Phase 3 clinical collaboration agreements with all of the manufacturers of direct Factor Xa inhibitors – Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer (Eliquis [apixaban]), Bayer HealthCare and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (XARELTO® [rivaroxaban]), and Daiichi Sankyo (edoxaban) – while retaining all commercial rights to andexanet alfa. The Company is currently evaluating andexanet alfa in the Phase 3 ANNEXA™ (Andexanet Alfa a Novel Antidote to the Anticoagulant Effects of fXA Inhibitors) registration studies.
Portola's product candidate in the area of hematologic cancer, cerdulatinib, is an orally available molecule that uniquely inhibits two validated tumor proliferation pathways – spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and janus kinase (JAK). It is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 proof-of-concept study in patients with B cell leukemias or lymphomas with a focus on genetically-defined subtypes, as well as in patients who have failed therapy due to relapse or acquired mutations.
For more information, visit www.portola.com and follow the Company on Twitter @Portola_Pharma.
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: Anticipated timing of manufacturing at the Lonza facility and anticipated timing and manufacturing capacity at the Lonza facility, Portola's dual source strategy for manufacture of andexanet alfa, Portola's plans for future clinical studies and pursuit of an Accelerated Approval process for andexanet alfa, anticipated growth in the market for anticoagulants, clinical trial cost, design and timing, and the potential efficacy, safety and activity of andexanet alfa. Risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include: the accuracy of Portola's estimates regarding its ability to initiate and/or complete its clinical trials; the success of Portola's clinical trials and the demonstrated efficacy of Portola's product candidates thereunder; the accuracy of Portola's estimates regarding its expenses and capital requirements; our ability to manufacture andexanet alfa; regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries; Portola's ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for its product candidates; and the loss of key scientific or management personnel. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in our most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Portola undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.
*Cerdulatinib is a proposed International Nonproprietary Name (pINN).