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Galena Biopharma Receives Fast Track Designation for NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) PRESENT Clinical Trial

SAN RAMON, Calif., June 01, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galena Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:GALE), a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of targeted oncology therapeutics that address major unmet medical needs, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S), combined with recombinant granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), as a Fast Track development program for the treatment of patients with early stage, node positive breast cancer with low to intermediate HER2 expression, otherwise known as HER2 1+ or 2+, following standard of care. Galena’s PRESENT (Prevention of Recurrence in Early-Stage, Node-Positive Breast Cancer with Low to Intermediate HER2 Expression with NeuVax Treatment) clinical trial is an international, Phase 3 study to evaluate NeuVax plus GM-CSF versus placebo plus GM-CSF to prevent cancer recurrence.

“This Fast Track designation by the FDA reflects the importance of NeuVax as a potential treatment option addressing an unmet medical need in a serious medical condition,” said Mark W. Schwartz, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. “With the number of cancer survivors in the United States projected to increase by 31% to almost 19 million by 20241, there is a clear need to prevent recurrence in women with breast cancer who have completed their standard of care, but have limited therapies to maintain their disease free status. As we approach our interim safety and futility analysis for PRESENT, and initiate our efforts towards the filing of a Biologics License Application (BLA), this Fast Track designation will be extremely valuable to us as we seek marketing authorization for NeuVax.”

“Fast Track designation provides us with opportunities for frequent interactions with the FDA review team for our NeuVax development program in breast cancer, including the PRESENT trial, as we prepare our BLA for filing. As such, assuming a successful clinical readout in the PRESENT trial, we may be eligible for a rolling review. We look forward to collaborating closely with the FDA at this critical stage for NeuVax development,” added Bijan Nejadnik, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.

The Fast Track designation provides for the designation of a drug as a fast track product if it is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, and it demonstrates the potential to address unmet medical needs for such a disease or condition.2 This designation is intended to facilitate development and expedite review of drugs to treat serious and life-threatening conditions so that an approved product can reach the market expeditiously.3 Designation as a Fast Track product means that the FDA will take such actions as are appropriate to expedite the development and review of the application for approval of such product. If FDA determines, after preliminary evaluation of clinical data submitted by a sponsor, that a fast track product may be effective, the Agency may consider reviewing portions of a marketing application before the sponsor submits the complete application (rolling review).4 In addition, such a product could be eligible for priority review if supported by clinical data at the time of BLA submission.5

Sources:
1ASCO Connection, October 28, 2014: From Patient to Survivor: ASCO Programs and Resources for Cancer Survivorship Continue to Grow
2-5FDA Guidance for Industry on Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions – Drugs and Biologics

About NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S)

NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) is a first-in-class, HER2-directed cancer immunotherapy under evaluation to prevent breast cancer recurrence after standard of care treatment in the adjuvant setting. It is the immunodominant peptide derived from the extracellular domain of the HER2 protein, a well-established target for therapeutic intervention in breast carcinoma. The nelipepimut-S sequence stimulates specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) following binding to specific HLA molecules on antigen presenting cells (APC). These activated specific CTLs recognize, neutralize and destroy, through cell lysis, HER2 expressing cancer cells, including occult cancer cells and micrometastatic foci. The nelipepimut-S immune response can also generate CTLs to other immunogenic peptides through inter- and intra-antigenic epitope spreading. In clinical studies, NeuVax is combined with recombinant granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF).

NeuVax is currently in an international, Phase 3 PRESENT (Prevention of Recurrence in Early-Stage, Node-Positive Breast Cancer with Low to Intermediate HER2 Expression with NeuVax Treatment) study under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). PRESENT is targeting node positive HER2 IHC 1+/2+ patients (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01479244). Galena has two additional breast cancer studies ongoing with NeuVax in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin®; Genentech/Roche): a Phase 2b trial in node positive and triple negative HER2 IHC 1+/2+ (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01570036); and, a Phase 2 trial in high risk, node positive or negative HER2 IHC 3+ patients (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02297698). Phase 2 clinical trials with NeuVax are also planned in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and in patients with gastric cancer.

About PRESENT

PRESENT (Prevention of Recurrence in Early-Stage, Node-Positive Breast Cancer with Low to Intermediate HER2 Expression with NeuVax Treatment) is an international, Phase 3 study to evaluate NeuVax plus GM-CSF versus placebo plus GM-CSF to prevent cancer recurrence. The trial is being run under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). PRESENT is targeting patients who are node positive, HER2 IHC 1+/2+, and HLA A2+ and/or A3+. The study is double blind, randomized 1:1, and is stratified by stage, type of surgery, hormone receptor status, and menopausal status. Galena enrolled a total of 758 patients who constitute the Intention to Treat (ITT) population, and the primary endpoint for the trial is disease free survival (DFS) upon reaching 141 events with 3 years minimum follow-up. Additional information on the trial can be found here and at clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01479244.

About HER2 1+/2+ Breast Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, over 230,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. Of these women, only about 25% are HER2 positive (IHC 3+). NeuVax targets approximately 50%-60% of these women who are HER2 low to intermediate (IHC 1+/2+ or FISH < 2.0) and achieve remission with current standard of care, but have no available HER2-targeted adjuvant treatment options to maintain their disease-free status.

About Galena Biopharma

Galena Biopharma, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of targeted oncology therapeutics that address major unmet medical needs. Galena’s development portfolio is focused primarily on addressing the rapidly growing patient populations of cancer survivors by harnessing the power of the immune system to prevent cancer recurrence. The Company’s pipeline consists of multiple mid- to late-stage clinical assets, including novel cancer immunotherapy programs led by NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) and GALE-301. NeuVax is currently in a pivotal, Phase 3 breast cancer clinical trial with several concurrent Phase 2 trials ongoing both as a single agent and in combination with other therapies. GALE-301 is in a Phase 2a clinical trial in ovarian and endometrial cancers and in a Phase 1b given sequentially with GALE-302. For more information, visit www.galenabiopharma.com.

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 development of Galena’s product candidates, patient enrollment in our clinical trials, as well as other statements related to the progress and timing of our development activities, present or future licensing, collaborative or financing arrangements, expected outcomes with regulatory agencies, and projected market opportunities for product candidates or that otherwise relate to future periods. 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, 2015 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.

NeuVax is a trademark of Galena Biopharma, Inc.

Contact: Remy Bernarda SVP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications (925) 498-7709 ir@galenabiopharma.com

Source:Galena Biopharma, Inc.