Antigenics Inc. announced that Oncophage (vitespen) has been granted orphan drug status for the treatment of glioma (brain cancer) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In March, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) granted a similar designation for Oncophage.
“Glioma is such an aggressive and challenging cancer that when patients are diagnosed with recurrence of this life threatening disease, they rarely live beyond six months,” said Andrew T. Parsa, MD, PhD, associate professor in the department of neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, and lead investigator of a Phase 2 trial evaluating Oncophage in glioma. “Given the poor survival rates, the medical community needs new treatment options, and I am hopeful of the potential for Oncophage to significantly improve clinical outcomes in this patient population.”
As announced in November 2008, final data from a Phase 1, investigator-sponsored trial conducted at the Brain Tumor Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco, showed that Oncophage vaccination following brain cancer surgery increased overall median survival to approximately 10.5 months, with four patients surviving beyond 12 months and one patient surviving almost 2.5 years. This is compared to a historical median survival of only 6.5 months postsurgery. Phase 2 results are expected to be presented later this year.
Date: April 29, 2009
Source: Antigenics www.antigenics.com