Antigenics Announces a Negative Vote From the CHMP on Oncophage® Marketing Application in Europe
London, UK - October 21, 2009 - Antigenics Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN) today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), has verbally informed the Company at an oral meeting to anticipate a negative opinion on the marketing authorization application (MAA) for Oncophage (vitespen) in early-stage, localized renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer).
Antigenics will evaluate its options, including an appeal of this decision, after the CHMP has formally adopted an opinion at the November 2009 plenary meeting. The patient population for which approval is being sought represents a major unmet medical need. There are no approved drugs in Europe or the United States for the post-surgical treatment of adjuvant kidney cancer, a disease characterized by a high risk of recurrence. Antigenics believes clinically relevant benefits were demonstrated with Oncophage in both recurrence-free survival and overall survival endpoints and that this benefit has persisted for nearly five years.
"With the considerable support of the urology and oncology communities, we will continue to evaluate our options for making Oncophage available to kidney cancer patients in the EU," said Garo Armen, Chairman and CEO of Antigenics.
About Renal Cell Carcinoma
Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer, accounting for almost 90 percent of all kidney tumors. According to a report in the Annals of Oncology, there were more than 63,000 new cases of RCC diagnosed in 2006 along with 26,000 deaths related to the disease.1 Despite earlier detection, patients with locally advanced disease face a poor prognosis, with a 5-year survival rate of approximately 50 percent due to recurrence of disease. Currently, no approved therapies exist in the EU for use in localized disease.
Antigenics is a biotechnology company working to develop treatments for cancers and infectious diseases. For more information, please visit www.antigenics.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Antigenics' business and plans, including statements regarding anticipated regulatory authority decisions and Antigenics' regulatory strategies. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties, include without limitation, decisions of regulatory authorities, the availability of resources, and the risk and uncertainties described in Antigenics' SEC reports filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of Antigenics' Quarterly Report on Form 10Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2009. Antigenics cautions investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. These statements speak only as of the date of this document, and Antigenics undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Antigenics' business is subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, including those identified above. When evaluating Antigenics' business and securities, investors should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.