Galena Biopharma Announces Orexo's Filing of a Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Actavis Concerning Abstral(R) (fentanyl) Sublingual Tablets in the U.S.

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galena Biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:GALE), a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing innovative, targeted oncology treatments that address major medical needs across the full spectrum of cancer care, today announced that its partner, Orexo AB, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, against Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc., Andrx Corporation, Actavis, Inc. and Actavis Pharma, Inc. (collectively "Actavis").

The lawsuit was filed in response to the Abbreviated New Drug Application ("ANDA") filed by Actavis. In its application, Actavis seeks to market and sell generic versions of Abstral® (fentanyl) sublingual tablets in the U.S. prior to the expiration of Orexo's U.S. patents for Abstral listed in the FDA's Orange Book. The listed patents are U.S. patents 6,759,059, 6,761,910 and 7,910,132 with expiration dates in September 2019. Galena currently markets Abstral and is the owner of the New Drug Application in the United States.

Because Orexo initiated a lawsuit against Actavis in a timely manner, the FDA is statutorily precluded from approving Actavis' ANDA for 30 months, or until a district court decision finding the patents invalid or not infringed, whichever occurs earlier. The 30-month stay period began as of the date Orexo received the Notice Letter from Actavis that notified Orexo of the ANDA filing.

Mark W. Schwartz, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Galena Biopharma, commented, "We are confident in the patents listed in the FDA's Orange Book and fully support our partner, Orexo, as they vigorously enforce the intellectual property rights around Abstral. Given the significant sales growth and future market potential for Abstral, ANDA filings of generic versions are not entirely unexpected. Our overall strategy and revenue projections for Abstral are unchanged, and we look forward to continued growth and increased market penetration during 2015."

About Abstral® (fentanyl) Sublingual Tablets

Abstral® (fentanyl) Sublingual Tablets are an important treatment option for inadequately controlled breakthrough cancer pain which impacts 40%-80% of cancer patients. Abstral is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is a sublingual (under the tongue) fentanyl tablet indicated only for the management of breakthrough pain in patients with cancer, 18 years of age and older, who are already receiving, and who are tolerant to, opioid therapy for their persistent baseline cancer pain. The innovative Abstral formulation delivers the analgesic power and increased bioavailability of micronized fentanyl in a more convenient sublingual tablet which rapidly dissolves under the tongue in seconds, provides rapid relief of breakthrough pain in minutes, and matches the duration of the entire pain episode. See full prescribing information at

Important Safety Information

ABSTRAL is an opioid agonist indicated for the management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients 18 years of age and older who are already receiving and who are tolerant to opioid therapy for their underlying persistent cancer pain.



Fatal respiratory depression has occurred in patients treated with immediate-release transmucosal fentanyl, including following use in opioid non-tolerant patients and improper dosing. The substitution of ABSTRAL for any other fentanyl product may result in fatal overdose. Due to the risk of respiratory depression, ABSTRAL is contraindicated in the management of acute or postoperative pain including headache/migraine and in opioid non-tolerant patients

ABSTRAL must be kept out of reach of children.

The concomitant use of ABSTRAL with CYP3A4 inhibitors may result in an increase in fentanyl plasma concentrations, and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression.


Substantial differences exist in the pharmacokinetic profile of ABSTRAL compared to other fentanyl products that result in clinically important differences in the extent of absorption of fentanyl that could result in fatal overdose.

  • When prescribing, do not convert patients on a mcg per mcg basis from any other fentanyl products to ABSTRAL.
  • When dispensing, do not substitute an ABSTRAL prescription for other fentanyl products.


ABSTRAL contains fentanyl, an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance, with an abuse liability similar to other opioid analgesics. ABSTRAL can be abused in a manner similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing ABSTRAL in situations where the physician or pharmacist is concerned about an increased risk of misuse, abuse or diversion.

Because of the risk for misuse, abuse, addiction, and overdose, ABSTRAL is available only through a restricted program, required by the Food and Drug Administration, called a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). Under the TIRF (Transmucosal Immediate Release Fentanyl) REMS Access program, outpatients, healthcare professionals who prescribe to outpatients, pharmacies, and distributors must enroll in the program. Further information is available at or by calling 1-866-822-1483.

For additional important safety information, see the full Prescribing Information for ABSTRAL available at

About Galena Biopharma

Galena Biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:GALE) is a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing innovative, targeted oncology therapeutics that address major medical needs across the full spectrum of cancer care. Galena's development portfolio ranges from mid- to late-stage clinical assets, including a robust immunotherapy program led by NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) currently in an international, Phase 3 clinical trial. The Company's commercial drugs include Abstral® (fentanyl) Sublingual Tablets and Zuplenz® (ondansetron) Oral Soluble Film. Collectively, Galena's clinical and commercial strategy focuses on identifying and advancing therapeutic opportunities to improve cancer care, from direct treatment of the disease to the reduction of its debilitating side-effects. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the progress of the commercialization of Abstral®, beliefs and intentions related to litigation with Actavis, and development of Galena's product candidates, including patient enrollment in our clinical trials, as well as statements about our expectations, plans and prospects. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those identified under "Risk Factors" in Galena's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements. Galena does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this press release.

Abstral and NeuVax are trademarks of Galena Biopharma, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Remy Bernarda Senior VP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications (503) 405-8258

Source:Galena Biopharma