ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGSI) today announced that Novartis has withdrawn a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval to market JOULFERON® (albinterferon alfa-2b, known in the United States as ZALBIN™) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.
The decision to withdraw the application was based on feedback from European regulatory authorities in preliminary response to the EMA application, indicating that additional new data would be requested which could not reasonably be generated within the timeframe allowed in the European Centralized Procedure. Feedback included whether the therapeutic benefit offered by JOULFERON dosed once every two weeks is sufficient relative to risk.
ZALBIN (JOULFERON) is being developed by HGS and Novartis under an exclusive worldwide co-development and commercialization agreement entered into in 2006. In November 2009, HGS submitted a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the FDA in the United States for ZALBIN dosed every two weeks, which continues under review. HGS and Novartis are also developing ZALBIN dosed every four weeks, and HGS previously reported the positive interim results of a Phase 2b study of this ZALBIN regimen.
About ZALBIN (albinterferon alfa-2b)
ZALBIN (also known as JOULFERON) is a genetic fusion of human albumin and interferon alfa created using proprietary HGS albumin-fusion technology. Human albumin is the most prevalent naturally occurring blood protein in the human circulatory system, persisting in circulation in the body for approximately 19 days. Research has shown that genetic fusion of therapeutic proteins to human albumin decreases clearance and prolongs the half-life of the therapeutic proteins.
About Human Genome Sciences
The mission of HGS is to apply great science and great medicine to bring innovative drugs to patients with unmet medical needs. The HGS clinical development pipeline includes novel drugs to treat lupus, hepatitis C, inhalation anthrax and cancer.
For more information about HGS, please visit the Company’s web site at www.hgsi.com. Health professionals and patients interested in clinical trials of HGS products may inquire via e-mail to [email protected] or by calling HGS at (877) 822-8472.
HGS, Human Genome Sciences and ZALBIN are trademarks of Human Genome Sciences, Inc. Other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners.
Safe Harbor Statement
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements are based on Human Genome Sciences’ current intent, belief and expectations. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements because of Human Genome Sciences’ unproven business model, its dependence on new technologies, the uncertainty and timing of clinical trials and regulatory approvals, Human Genome Sciences’ ability to develop and commercialize products, its dependence on collaborators for services and revenue, its substantial indebtedness and lease obligations, its changing requirements and costs associated with facilities, intense competition, the uncertainty of patent and intellectual property protection, Human Genome Sciences’ dependence on key management and key suppliers, the uncertainty of regulation of products, the impact of future alliances or transactions and other risks described in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of today’s date. Human Genome Sciences undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this announcement whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.
Human Genome Sciences, Inc.
Jerry Parrott, 301-315-2777
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Peter Vozzo, 301-251-6003
Senior Director, Investor Relations
KEYWORDS: United States North America Maryland
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Health Biotechnology Clinical Trials Infectious Diseases General Health