DOR BioPharma Receives EMEA Agreement on the Design of its Confirmatory Phase 3 Clinical Trial of orBec(R) in GI GVHD
PRINCETON, N.J., June 9 -- DOR BioPharma, Inc. (DOR or the Company) (OTCBulletinBoard: DORB) , a late-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it has received Protocol Assistance feedback from the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) on the design of its confirmatory, pivotal, Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating its lead product orBec(R) for the treatment of acute gastrointestinal Graft-versus-Host Disease (GI GVHD).
The EMEA agreed that should the new confirmatory Phase 3 study produce positive results, the data would be sufficient to support a marketing authorization approval in all 27 European Union (EU) member states. In so doing, the EMEA agreed to the primary endpoint and the other principal design features of the new study. The EMEA's response is consistent with feedback previously received from United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), paving the way for potential approval in the US and EU.
DOR and the FDA reached agreement on the design of the upcoming Phase 3 study via the Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) procedure. An agreement via the SPA procedure is an agreement with the FDA that a Phase 3 clinical trial's design (e.g., endpoints, sample size, control group and statistical analyses) is acceptable to support a regulatory submission seeking new drug approval.
Based on data from the prior Phase 3 study of orBec(R), the upcoming confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial will be a highly powered, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial and will seek to enroll an estimated 166 patients. The primary endpoint is the treatment failure rate at Study Day 80. This endpoint was successfully measured as a secondary endpoint (p-value = 0.005) in the previous Phase 3 study as a key measure of durability following a 50-day course of treatment with orBec(R) (i.e., 30 days following cessation of treatment). The confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial will be conducted at major transplant centers throughout the US and Canada.
"We are very pleased to obtain a positive response from the EMEA regarding the design of our upcoming confirmatory, pivotal Phase 3 study," stated Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of DOR. "The depth and strength of our available Phase 3 data have allowed us to design and power a pivotal trial that we believe maximizes orBec(R)'s chances for success. With our primary endpoint of the 'treatment failure rate at Study Day 80,' we expect to replicate statistical significance in this clinically meaningful endpoint with orBec(R)."
Dr. Schaber continued, "This feedback, in conjunction with the SPA agreement, clearly validates the direction of the orBec(R) clinical development path that has the potential to lead to regulatory approval of orBec(R) in both the US and the European Union. We are excited to move forward with this trial in an effort to address the significant unmet medical need of acute GI GVHD. We anticipate patient enrollment to commence in the second half of 2009."
Two prior randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials support orBec(R)'s ability to provide clinically meaningful outcomes when compared with the current standard of care, including a lowered exposure to systemic corticosteroids following allogeneic transplantation. Currently, there are no approved products to treat GI GVHD. The first trial was a 60-patient Phase 2 single-center clinical trial conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The second trial was a 129-patient pivotal Phase 3 multi-center clinical trial of orBec(R) conducted at 16 leading bone marrow/stem cell transplantation centers in the US and France. Although orBec(R) did not achieve statistical significance in the primary endpoint of its pivotal trial, namely median time-to-treatment failure through Day 50 (p-value 0.1177), orBec(R) did achieve statistical significance in other key secondary endpoints such as the proportion of patients free of GVHD at Day 50 (p-value 0.05) and Day 80 (p-value 0.005) and the median time to treatment failure through Day 80 (p-value 0.0226), as well as a 66% reduction in mortality among patients randomized to orBec(R) at 200 days post-transplant with only 5 patient (8%) deaths in the orBec(R) group compared to 16 patient (24%) deaths in the placebo group (p-value 0.0139). At one year post randomization in the pivotal Phase 3 trial, 18 patients (29%) in the orBec(R) group and 28 patients (42%) in the placebo group died within one year of randomization (46% reduction in mortality, hazard ratio 0.54, 95% CI: 0.30, 0.99, p=0.04, stratified log-rank test).
In the Phase 2 study, the primary endpoint was the clinically relevant determination of whether GI GVHD patients at Day 30 (the end of treatment) had a durable GVHD treatment response as measured by whether or not they were able to consume at least 70% of their estimated caloric requirement. The GVHD treatment response at Day 30 was 22 of 31 (71%) vs. 12 of 29 (41%) in the orBec(R) and placebo groups, respectively (p-value 0.02). Additionally, the GVHD treatment response at Day 40 (10 days post cessation of therapy) was 16 of 31 (52%) vs. 5 of 29 (17%) in the orBec(R) and placebo groups, respectively (p-value 0.007).
orBec(R) represents a first-of-its-kind oral, locally acting therapy tailored to treat the gastrointestinal manifestation of GVHD, the organ system where GVHD is most frequently encountered and highly problematic. orBec(R) is intended to reduce the need for systemic immunosuppressive drugs to treat GI GVHD. Beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) is a highly potent, topically active corticosteroid that has a local effect on inflamed tissue. BDP has been marketed in the US and worldwide since the early 1970s as the active pharmaceutical ingredient in a nasal spray and in a metered-dose inhaler for the treatment of patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma. orBec(R) is formulated for oral administration as a single product consisting of two tablets; one tablet is intended to release BDP in the proximal portions of the GI tract, and the other tablet is intended to release BDP in the distal portions of the GI tract.
In addition to issued patents and pending worldwide patent applications held by or exclusively licensed to DOR, orBec(R) also benefits from orphan drug designations in the US and in Europe for the treatment of GI GVHD, which provide for seven and 10 years of post-approval market exclusivity, respectively.
About Acute GI GVHD
Acute GI GVHD is a debilitating and painful disease and constitutes an unmet medical need. It is a common disorder among immunocompromised cancer patients after receiving hematopoietic cell transplantation. Unlike organ transplants where the patient's body may reject the organ, in GVHD it is the donor cells that begin to attack the patient's (host's) body -- most frequently the gastrointestinal tract, liver and skin. Patients with mild-to-moderate GI GVHD typically develop symptoms of anorexia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If left untreated, GI GVHD can progress to ulcerations in the lining of the GI tract, and in its most severe form, can be fatal.
About DOR BioPharma, Inc.
DOR BioPharma, Inc. (DOR) is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products to treat life-threatening side effects of cancer treatments and serious gastrointestinal diseases, and vaccines for certain bioterrorism agents. DOR's lead product, orBec(R) (oral beclomethasone dipropionate or BDP), is a potent, locally acting corticosteroid being developed for the treatment of GI GVHD, a common and potentially life-threatening complication of hematopoietic cell transplantation. DOR expects to begin a confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial of orBec(R) for the treatment of acute GI GVHD and a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of DOR201 in radiation enteritis in the second half of 2009. orBec(R) is also currently the subject of an NIH-supported, Phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in the prevention of acute GVHD. Oral BDP may also have application in treating other gastrointestinal disorders characterized by severe inflammation. Additionally, DOR has a Lipid Polymer Micelle (LPM(TM)) drug delivery technology for the oral delivery of leuprolide for the treatment of prostate cancer and endometriosis.
Through its Biodefense Division, DOR is developing biomedical countermeasures pursuant to the Project BioShield Act of 2004. DOR's biodefense products in development are recombinant subunit vaccines designed to protect against the lethal effects of exposure to ricin toxin, botulinum toxin and anthrax. DOR's ricin toxin vaccine, RiVax(TM), has been shown to be well tolerated and immunogenic in a Phase 1 clinical trial in normal volunteers.
For further information regarding DOR BioPharma, Inc., please visit the Company's website at www.dorbiopharma.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect DOR BioPharma, Inc.'s current expectations about its future results, performance, prospects and opportunities. Statements that are not historical facts, such as "anticipates," "believes," "intends," or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results in future periods to differ materially from what is expressed in, or implied by, these statements. DOR cannot assure you that it will be able to successfully develop or commercialize products based on its technology, including orBec(R), particularly in light of the significant uncertainty inherent in developing vaccines against bioterror threats, manufacturing and conducting preclinical and clinical trials of vaccines, and obtaining regulatory approvals, that its cash expenditures will not exceed projected levels, that product development and commercialization efforts will not be reduced or discontinued due to difficulties or delays in clinical trials or due to lack of progress or positive results from research and development efforts, that it will be able to successfully obtain any further grants and awards, maintain its existing grants which are subject to performance, enter into any biodefense procurement contracts with the US Government or other countries, that the US Congress may not pass any legislation that would provide additional funding for the Project BioShield program, that it will be able to patent, register or protect its technology from challenge and products from competition or maintain or expand its license agreements with its current licensors, or that its business strategy will be successful. Important factors which may affect the future use of orBec(R) for gastrointestinal GVHD include the risks that: the FDA's requirement that DOR conduct additional clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of orBec(R) will take a significant amount of time and money to complete and positive results leading to regulatory approval cannot be assumed; DOR is dependent on the expertise, effort, priorities and contractual obligations of third parties in the clinical trials, manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of its products; orBec(R) may not gain market acceptance if it is eventually approved by the FDA; and others may develop technologies or products superior to orBec(R). These and other factors are described from time to time in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, DOR's most recent reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K. Unless required by law, DOR assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events.