FDA Calendar Updates: Rigel Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline, Eisai, SuperGen

by: Mike Havrilla

Below is a summary of updates to the BioMedReports.com FDA Calendar, which includes a database of 250 entries as of 7/9/09. I originally created the calendar to track companies with pending new drug, biological agent, or medical device new product decisions at the FDA. With the launch of BioMedReports.com, the FDA Calendar has expanded to include the following categories: pending new submissions to the FDA (e.g. NDA, BLA, 510k, PMA, sNDA, sBLA filings), pending complete response letter (CRL) re-submissions to the FDA, and pending late-stage clinical trial results.

On 7/8/09, Spectrum Pharma (NASDAQ:SPPI) submitted a formal response to the Complete Response Letter (CRL) it received from the FDA 7/2/09 regarding its supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Zevalin (ibritumomab tiuxetan) in the first-line consolidation setting for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) patients. Zevalin is currently FDA approved and marketed by SPPI for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory, low-grade or follicular B-cell NHL, including patients who have rituximab-refractory follicular NHL.
The FDA requested the Company to submit data files from the FIT study to support and verify a subset of the data that are currently under review to support the proposed labeling. CRL resubmissions are classified as either Class 1 (60-day) or Class 2 (6-month) reviews by the FDA once they are officially accepted by the Agency. My expectation is for the FDA to formally accept Spectrum's resubmission within 1-2 weeks and classify it as a Class 1 review. The new 60-day review deadline would be 9/8/09 if the Agency agrees with my assessment.
On 7/9/09, Rigel Pharma (NASDAQ:RIGL) announced that R788 (fostamatinib disodium) produced significant clinical improvement in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in the recently completed TASKi2 Phase 2b clinical trial of 457 patients treated for up to 6 months. Consistent with the previous Phase 2a clinical trial (TASKi1), the onset of effect of R788 occurred within one week after the initiation of therapy and was maintained. The most frequent adverse events were expected based on TASKi1 and appear to be manageable. The significant, early and sustained efficacy, combined with a good safety profile, supports Rigel's plans to conduct corporate partnership discussions with respect to R788 and initiate a Phase 3 clinical program with R788 in RA in the first half of 2010 with a corporate partner.
On 7/9/09, GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved its cervical cancer vaccine, Cervarix, which allows U.N. agencies to purchase the vaccine for poor countries worldwide. Cervarix represents the second cervical cancer vaccine approved by the WHO, adding to Merck's (NYSE:MRK) Gardasil.
On 3/30/09, GSK submitted final data from its Phase 3 pivotal efficacy study, HPV-008, to the FDA. HPV-008 is a Phase 3 clinical study of more than 18,600 women between 15-25 years of age, from 14 countries across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. The BLA for the vaccine includes safety, efficacy and immune response data from clinical trials in nearly 30,000 females and reflects an ethnically diverse population. To date, GSK's vaccine has been approved in more than 90 countries around the world including the 27 member countries of the European Union, Mexico, Australia, Singapore and the Philippines.
On 7/8/09, Eisai (OTCPK:ESALY) [TYO:4523] announced that the FDA has accepted for review the company's supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for an alternative five-day dosing regimen for Dacogen (decitabine for injection) to treat patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). MDS is a potentially life-threatening group of bone marrow diseases that limit the production of functional blood cells. Currently, Dacogen is approved for use as a three-day regimen, administered at a dose of 15 mg/m2 via continuous IV infusion over three hours repeated every eight hours for three consecutive days per cycle. The cycle is repeated every six weeks. The alternative five-day dosing regimen of Dacogen submitted to the FDA is a single daily dose with a significantly reduced administration time.
SuperGen (NASDAQ:SUPG) receives royalties on Dacogen sales based on a 2004 license agreement entered into with MGI Pharma (which was acquired by Eisai in January 2008) for the exclusive rights to the development, manufacture, commercialization, and distribution of Dacogen. The PDUFA action date for the sNDA is 3/8/10 for a possible FDA decision as part of a 10-month, standard review.
Disclosure: No positions.