The FDA gives Fast Track status to facilitate the development of new drugs intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and which demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs, with the goal of getting important new drugs to patients earlier. According to the FDA, determining whether a condition is serious is a matter of judgment, but generally is based on whether the drug will have an impact on such factors as survival, day-to-day functioning, or the likelihood that the condition, if left untreated, will progress from a less severe condition to a more serious one.
A drug that receives Fast Track designation is eligible for some or all of the following:
- More frequent meetings with FDA to discuss the drug's development plan and ensure collection of appropriate data needed to support drug approval
- Eligibility for Priority Review, if relevant criteria are met
- Rolling Review, which means that a drug company can submit completed sections of its New Drug Application (NDA) for review by FDA, rather than waiting until every section of the application is completed before the entire application can be reviewed. NDA review usually does not begin until the drug company has submitted the entire application to the FDA
According to the FDA, once a drug receives Fast Track designation, early and frequent communication between the FDA and a drug company is encouraged throughout the entire drug development and review process. The frequency of communication assures that questions and issues are resolved quickly, often leading to earlier drug approval and access by patients.
The Fast Track designation for Pulmaquin follows the Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) designation that was granted earlier this year.
"We are very pleased to receive Fast Track designation for Pulmaquin to address an unmet medical need. In the context of the already granted QIDP designation, it provides us with an outstanding opportunity to expeditiously develop Pulmaquin in non-CF BE patients with chronic lung infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa," said Juergen Froehlich, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Aradigm. "The granting of Fast Track status is an important achievement that can facilitate accelerated review of an NDA submission based on the expected data from our current Phase 3 studies for Pulmaquin with the goal of bringing an important new treatment to these patients as quickly as possible."
Ciprofloxacin, available in oral and intravenous formulations, is a widely prescribed antibiotic. It is used to treat acute lung infections and is often preferred because of its broad-spectrum antibacterial activity against various bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pulmaquin is a dual release formulation composed of a mixture of liposome encapsulated and unencapsulated ciprofloxacin. It is being evaluated in two ongoing Phase 3 studies to determine its safety and effectiveness as a once-a-day inhaled formulation for the chronic treatment of non-CF BE.
Pulmaquin has been tested in preclinical safety studies (up to 3 months in rodents and 9 months in dogs).
Following Phase 2a development of the liposomal portion of Pulmaquin (Lipoquin®) and phase 1 development of Pulmaquin, the phase 2b study ORBIT-2 with Pulmaquin was a 24-week multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 42 adult non-CF BE subjects. This study demonstrated a significant reduction in P.aeruginosa sputum activity (p=0.002) and a decrease in time to first exacerbation in the per protocol population (p=0.046) and the mITT (p=0.057) populations in the Pulmaquin treated subjects compared to placebo. Overall, the incidence of all treatment emergent adverse events was similar between groups. The most frequently reported treatment related adverse events (reported by ≥ 3 patients in either treatment group) included product taste abnormal and nausea in the Pulmaquin group and wheezing in the placebo group. No serious adverse events were considered treatment related. There were no deaths reported during ORBIT-2.
The Phase 3 clinical program for Pulmaquin in non-CF BE consists of two worldwide, double-blind, placebo-controlled pivotal trials (ORBIT-3 and ORBIT-4) that are identical in design except for a pharmacokinetics sub-study to be conducted in one of the trials. Each trial is enrolling approximately 255 patients into a 48 week double-blind period consisting of 6 cycles of 28 days on treatment with Pulmaquin or placebo plus 28 days off treatment, followed by a 28 day open label extension in which all participants will receive Pulmaquin (total treatment duration approximately one year). The superiority of Pulmaquin vs. placebo during the double-blind period is being evaluated in terms of the time to first pulmonary exacerbation (primary endpoint), while key secondary endpoints include the reduction in the number of pulmonary exacerbations and improvements in the quality of life measures. Lung function is being monitored as a safety indicator.
Aradigm has been granted orphan drug designations for liposomal ciprofloxacin as well as for ciprofloxacin for inhalation for non-CF BE in the U.S. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated Pulmaquin as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP). The QIDP designation is granted for treatment of non-CF BE patients with chronic lung infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
In 2013, Aradigm granted an exclusive, world-wide license for the Company's inhaled liposomal ciprofloxacin product candidates for the indication of non-CF BE and other indications to Grifols S.A. More information on the terms of this license may be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 filed with the SEC on March 13, 2014.
About Non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis
Non-CF BE is a severe, chronic and rare disease characterized by abnormal dilatation of the bronchi and bronchioles, frequently associated with chronic lung infections. It is often a consequence of a vicious cycle of inflammation, recurrent lung infections, and bronchial wall damage. Non-CF BE represents an unmet medical need with high morbidity and mortality that affects more than 110,000 people in the U.S. and over 200,000 people in Europe. There is currently no drug approved for the treatment of this condition.
Aradigm is an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of drugs delivered by inhalation for the prevention and treatment of severe respiratory diseases. Aradigm has product candidates addressing the treatment of non-CF BE, cystic fibrosis and prevention of respiratory and other diseases in tobacco smokers through smoking cessation. Aradigm is also developing Pulmaquin and a liposomal ciprofloxacin formulation as potential medications for patients with chronic lung infections with non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), and for the prevention and treatment of high threat and bioterrorism infections, such as inhaled tularemia, pneumonic plague, Q fever and inhaled anthrax.
Aradigm has been granted orphan drug designations for liposomal ciprofloxacin for cystic fibrosis (CF) in the U.S. and the E.U., and liposomal ciprofloxacin and ciprofloxacin for inhalation for the management of bronchiectasis in the U.S.
More information about Aradigm can be found at www.aradigm.com.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties, including those related to the ORBIT-3 and ORBIT-4 clinical trials, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 filed with the SEC on March 13, 2014, and the Company's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
Aradigm, Pulmaquin, Lipoquin and the Aradigm Logo are registered trademarks of Aradigm Corporation.