FOSTER CITY, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 12/15/10 -- SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCLN) today announced topline results from the Company's phase 2b clinical trial of SCV-07 for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV). The study evaluated the safety and immunomodulatory effects of SCV-07 as a monotherapy and in combination with ribavirin in relapsed HCV patients. Study data demonstrated SCV-07 to be safe and well-tolerated at both administered doses. Topline results showed a clear biological signal from SCV-07 but did not meet the study's primary efficacy endpoint of a 2 log reduction in viral load from baseline level. A secondary measure of efficacy, defined as a reduction in viral load of greater than 0.5 log from baseline level, was seen in 38.5% of the low-dose patients (5/13) and in 44.4% of the high-dose patients (8/18). Additionally, while no patients in the low-dose group achieved greater than a 1 log reduction, 3 of the high-dose patients achieved greater than a 1 log reduction in viral load. This proof of concept study was designed to provide an estimate of SCV-07's treatment effect in relapsed HCV patients and guide further studies of SCV-07 in addressing this chronic infection.
"Although the data showed an interesting biological signal, due to the rapidly changing landscape of effective treatments which increase the complexity and risks of developing drugs in chronic HCV, we have decided not to continue development in this indication. On another front, we continue to be excited about the potential for SCV-07 in the prevention of oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer and the initiation of our phase 2b study, which should begin by early 2011," stated Friedhelm Blobel, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of SciClone. "Our primary focus remains on rapidly growing our commercially successful specialty pharmaceutical business in China and other key emerging markets to increase profitability and generate cash for our shareholders."
The phase 2b multicenter, multi-dose, open-label study was designed to evaluate the safety and immunomodulatory effects of SCV-07 as a monotherapy or in combination with ribavirin in non-cirrhotic patients with genotype 1 chronic HCV who have relapsed after at least 44 weeks of treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. The study, which also monitored biomarkers of immune activation and HCV viral load dynamics, included two treatment cohorts of 20 patients each who received SCV-07 at a dose of either 0.1 mg/kg or 1.0 mg/kg. The eight week treatment period included four weeks of SCV-07 monotherapy followed by four weeks of SCV-07 in combination with ribavirin. The trial also included three follow-up visits within seven weeks after the completion of treatment.
SCV-07 (gamma-D-glutamyl-L-tryptophan) is a small molecule which appears to stimulate the immune system through inhibition of STAT3 signaling and the resulting effects on T-helper 1 cells. SCV-07 has been shown to be efficacious in animal models of immune-sensitive diseases, including prevention of oral mucositis, treatment of cancer, viral infections, and enhancement of response to vaccines.
Additionally, SciClone is currently planning to initiate a phase 2b study of SCV-07 for the prevention of oral mucositis by early 2011. As compared to the company's recently completed phase 2a trial, the phase 2b study design is expected to include higher doses of SCV-07 and be adequately powered to demonstrate statistical significance. Additionally, researchers expect to continue to investigate the role of specific genetic profiles on patient response to SCV-07, as well as the potential link between cytokine activity and SCV-07's sub-cellular mechanism of action.
SCV-07 is protected by composition of matter patents as well as multiple method of treatment patents. SciClone has exclusive worldwide rights to SCV-07 outside of Russia, where the molecule has recently been approved for stimulation of depressed immune systems.
SciClone Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SCLN) is a revenue-generating, China-centric, specialty pharmaceutical company with a substantial international business and a product portfolio of novel therapies for cancer and infectious diseases. The Company is focused on continuing sales growth and executing a clinical development strategy with prudently managed costs. ZADAXIN® (thymalfasin) is approved in over 30 countries for the treatment of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV), certain cancers, and as a vaccine adjuvant. In addition to further studying thymalfasin's use as a vaccine enhancer, SciClone is planning to evaluate SCV-07 in a phase 2b trial to modify the course of oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer; and recently completed a phase 2b trial of SCV-07 for the treatment of HCV. The Company also has exclusive commercialization and distribution rights in China to a novel treatment for advanced liver cancer, DC Bead®, currently under review by regulatory agencies in that country. Additionally, SciClone owns exclusive commercialization and distribution rights to the anti-nausea drug ondansetron RapidFilm® in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, and Vietnam. The Company intends to seek regulatory approval for the product, commonly used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery, in these markets. For additional information, please visit www.sciclone.com.