PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 01, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADXS), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies, announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) granted Orphan Drug Designation for ADXS-HER2 for the treatment of osteosarcoma.
“Receiving Orphan Drug Designation from the EMA is another significant step forward for Advaxis as we continue to advance ADXS-HER2,” said Daniel J. O'Connor, CEO of Advaxis. “We recently initiated our first-in-human study of our lead Lm Technology™ immunotherapy product for HER2 expressing solid tumors and we hope to expand that trial into four HER2 expressing tumor types, including breast, gastric, esophageal and osteosarcoma.”
Orphan Drug Designation in the EU is granted to drugs or biologics that treat a life-threatening or chronically debilitating rare disease affecting fewer than five in 10,000 individuals in the European Union. Products receiving orphan drug designation are eligible to receive market exclusivity for a period of up to ten years, as well as development incentives such as regulatory and protocol assistance and scientific advice.
About HER2 Expressing Solid Tumor Cancers
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is overexpressed in a percentage of solid tumors such as breast, gastric, bladder, brain, pancreatic, ovarian and pediatric bone cancer (osteosarcoma). The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015 in the United States alone there will be 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer; 24,590 new cases of gastric cancer; 74,000 new cases of bladder cancer; 22,850 new cases of brain/spinal cancer; 48,960 new cases of pancreatic cancer; 21,290 new cases of ovarian cancer; and 207 new cases of pediatric osteosarcoma. HER2 expression is associated with more aggressive disease, increased risk of relapse and decreased overall survival, and is an important target for immunotherapy.
ADXS-HER2 is an Lm Technology™ immunotherapy product candidate being developed by Advaxis to target HER2 expressing cancers. ADXS-HER2 has received orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of osteosarcoma. Advaxis is developing ADXS-HER2 for both human and animal health, and has seen encouraging data in canine osteosarcoma, which is considered a model for human osteosarcoma. Advaxis has licensed ADXS-HER2 and three other immunotherapy constructs to Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. for the development of pet therapeutics.
About Advaxis, Inc.
Located in Princeton, N.J., Advaxis, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing multiple cancer immunotherapies based on its proprietary Lm Technology™. The Lm Technology™, using bioengineered live attenuated Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) bacteria, is the only known cancer immunotherapy agent shown in preclinical studies to both generate cancer fighting T-cells directed against a cancer antigen and neutralize Tregs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that protect the tumor microenvironment from immunologic attack and contribute to tumor growth. Advaxis's lead Lm Technology™ immunotherapy, axalimogene filolisbac, targets human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers and is in clinical trials for three potential indications: Phase 2 in invasive cervical cancer, Phase 1/2 in head and neck cancer, and Phase 1/2 in anal cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted axalimogene filolisbac orphan drug designation for each of these three clinical settings. Advaxis has two additional immunotherapy products: ADXS-PSA in prostate cancer and ADXS-HER2 in HER2 expressing solid tumors, in human clinical development.
Clinical trials of axalimogene filolisbac, ADXS-PSA and ADXS-HER2 have been placed on clinical hold by the FDA. Advaxis is working closely with the FDA and expects this clinical hold will be resolved expeditiously and without significant interruption to the Company’s clinical development programs.
This media statement contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: statements regarding Advaxis’s ability to develop the next generation of cancer immunotherapies; and the safety and efficacy of Advaxis’s proprietary immunotherapies. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, including the risk factors set forth from time to time in Advaxis’s SEC filings, including but not limited to its report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2014, which is available at http://www.sec.gov. Advaxis undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revision to these forward-looking statements, which may be made to reflect the events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements.
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