FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Margaret van Gilse
COVINGTON, KY, Feb. 16, 2015 — Bexion Pharmaceuticals LLC announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company Orphan Drug designation for Saposin C, active ingredient in its proprietary drug BXQ-350 for the potential treatment of glioblastoma multiforme.
The FDA’s Office of Orphan Drug Products Development reviews applications for Orphan Drug status to support development of medicines for underserved patient populations, or rare disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. The successful application submitted by Bexion and the FDA granting of Orphan Drug status entitles the company to a seven-year period of marketing exclusivity in the United States for BXQ-350, if it is approved by the FDA for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme. Orphan Drug status also enables the company to apply for research grant funding for Phase I and II Clinical Trials, tax credits for certain research expenses, and a waiver from the FDA’s application user fee, as well as additional support from FDA and a potentially faster regulatory process.
Bexion was previously awarded a prestigious Phase II Bridge Award (Small Business Innovation Research Grant; SBIR) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support the manufacture and clinical testing of BXQ-350.
“Orphan Drug status for BXQ-350 is an important milestone in the development of this new treatment modality,” stated Dr. Ray Takigiku, founder and CEO of Bexion. “Few treatment options are available for patients suffering from glioblastoma multiforme and this designation recognizes the unmet need that exists with this disease, as well as the unique attributes of BXQ-350. In addition, orphan designation allows Bexion to benefit from important financial, regulatory and commercial considerations and we have seen recently that products with orphan designation have become sought after assets.”
About Orphan Drug Designation
Orphan Drug designation is a status assigned to a medicine intended for use in rare diseases. In the U.S., the Orphan Drug Designation program confers Orphan Drug status to successful applicants for medicines intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases or disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. or that are not expected to recover the costs of developing and marketing a treatment.1
The approval of an orphan designation request does not alter the standard regulatory requirements and process for obtaining marketing approval for investigational use. Sponsors must establish safety and efficacy of a compound in the treatment of a disease through adequate and well-controlled studies. However, the FDA review process may be speedier for Orphan Drugs than those which do not receive Orphan Drug designation.
In pre-clinical studies, Bexion’s first-in-class biologic, BXQ-350 has shown promising results in selectively inducing cell death in the laboratory. BXQ-350 is a proprietary nanovesicle formulation of Saposin C (sphingolipid activator protein C, or SapC) and the phospholipid dioleoylphosphatidylserine (DOPS).
About Bexion Pharmaceuticals
Bexion Pharmaceuticals is a privately held biotech company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative cures for cancer. Initial products are based on a proprietary platform technology licensed from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The technology has demonstrated potential for development as a therapeutic, diagnostic and surgical imaging reagent, and as a carrier for other pharmaceutical agents, such as oligonucleotides. For more information, visit www.bexionpharma.com or contact Margaret van Gilse at [email protected].
1 U.S. Food and Drug Administration web site. “Regulatory Information: Orphan Drug Act.”http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/federalfooddrugandcosmeticactfdcact/significantamendmentstothefdcact/orphandrugact/default.htm.