Alfacell (ACEL) Confirms 316 Patient Deaths in the Confirmatory Phase IIIb Trial of ONCONASE
SOMERSET, N.J., April 2, 2008 -- Alfacell Corporation today announced that it has confirmed that 316 evaluable events (patient deaths) have occurred in the confirmatory Phase IIIb clinical trial of its lead compound, ONCONASE (ranpirnase), for the treatment of patients with unresectable malignant mesothelioma (UMM). In accordance with the statistical plan for the trial, the company has begun the process necessary to conduct the formal statistical analyses required to complete the final sections of the ONCONASE rolling New Drug Application (NDA).
The trial was designed to show a statistically significant improvement in overall survival for UMM patients who were treated with a combination of ONCONASE and doxorubicin as compared to UMM patients who were treated with doxorubicin as a single agent. Enrollment in the ONCONASE Phase IIIb clinical trial closed on Sept. 30, 2007. A total of 428 patients were enrolled in the trial.
Alfacell has licensed the U.S. commercial rights for ONCONASE to Strativa, the branded product division of Par Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Strategic marketing and distribution agreements for ONCONASE have been secured with BL&H Co. Ltd. for Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, USP Pharma Spolka Z.O.O., an affiliate of US Pharmacia, for Eastern Europe, and GENESIS Pharma, S.A. for Southeastern Europe.
ONCONASE has been granted fast track status and orphan-drug designation for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additionally, ONCONASE has been granted orphan-drug designation in the European Union and Australia.
ONCONASE is a first-in-class product candidate based on Alfacell's proprietary ribonuclease (RNase) technology. A natural protein isolated from the leopard frog, ONCONASE has been shown in the laboratory and clinic to target cancer cells while sparing normal cells. ONCONASE triggers apoptosis, the natural death of cells, via multiple molecular mechanisms of action.
About Alfacell Corporation
Alfacell Corporation is the first company to advance a biopharmaceutical product candidate that works in a manner similar to RNA interference (RNAi) through late-stage clinical trials. The product candidate, ONCONASE, is an RNase that overcomes the challenges of targeting RNA for therapeutic purposes while enabling the development of a new class of targeted therapies for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In addition to the Phase IIIb study in malignant mesothelioma, Alfacell is conducting a Phase I/II trial of ONCONASE in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other solid tumors. For more information, visit www.alfacell.com.
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