You are here

FDA Approves New Drug Application for Levoleucovorin

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NasdaqGM: SPPI) today announced that it has received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Levoleucovorin for Injection. It is indicated after high-dose methotrexate therapy in patients with osteosarcoma, and to diminish the toxicity and counteract the effects of impaired methotrexate elimination or inadvertent overdose of folic acid antagonists. LEVOleucovorin is the only commercially available formulation comprised only of the pharmacologically active enantiomer of leucovorin (Levoleucovorin or (6S)-leucovorin). The Company currently expects its commercial launch by June 2008.

LEVOleucovorin was reviewed under a full NDA, and included an Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee (ODAC) review. Spectrum anticipates that the drug will be listed without any therapeutically equivalent product in the FDA Orange Book. Drugs without therapeutic equivalents are considered 'single source drugs' which under section 1847A of the Social Security Act generally qualify for a separate reimbursement code with CMS.

"LEVOleucovorin is the first new oncology drug approved by the FDA in 2008, and is the first of what we hope will be many approvals from our pipeline," said Rajesh C. Shrotriya, M.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. "Only four of the 17 drugs approved by the FDA in 2007 were new oncology drugs. This approval is the result of dedicated efforts by our experienced team and serves as a validation of our business model. We are focused on building a diversified portfolio of promising late stage drugs, and advancing them through clinical development, regulatory process and commercialization."

In preparation for the commercial launch, last year the Company appointed George Uy, an experienced oncology marketing veteran, as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing. George brings more than 20 years of hands on experience, including the launches of ABRAXANE(R) at Abraxis Bioscience, Inc., and XELODA(R) at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. In addition, the Company recently appointed Lynne Murphy as Executive Director of Sales. Ms. Murphy has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience, which include many sales leadership positions with responsibility for the launch of more than 10 products during her tenure at Bayer Healthcare. Ms. Murphy also led a specialty sales force for Amgen, Inc., and launched Aranesp(R) Singleject. Ms. Murphy will be responsible for building and assembling a launch team of experienced oncology sales specialists.

"LEVOleucovorin provides physicians and patients with an important treatment alternative to leucovorin," said Richard A. Bender, M.D., F.A.C.P., Chief Medical Officer of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. "With this drug, patients undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy are spared the administration of the pharmacologically inactive dextro-isomer. Preclinical studies have shown that the dextro-isomer may compete with the active levo-isomer for transport into cells."

The Company plans to file for a supplemental New Drug Application with the FDA for use in colorectal cancer in 5-fluorouracil containing regimens and an NDA amendment for an oral tablet formulation by mid-year 2008.

Levoleucovorin for Injection is currently listed as a replacement for calcium leucovorin in the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. The NCCN Drugs and Biologics Compendium is an important reference that has been recognized by United HealthCare as a formal guidance for approval of coverage policy. Visit for more information.

Source: Spectrum Pharmaceuticals

Recent Headlines

Despite older, sicker patients, mortality rate fell by a third in 10 years
Study finds fewer than half of trials followed the law
WHO to meet tomorrow to decide on international public heath emergency declaration
Study of posted prices finds wild variations and missing data
Potential contamination could lead to supply chain disruptions
Kinase inhibitor targets tumors with a PDGFRA exon 18 mutation
Delayed surgery reduces benefits; premature surgery raises risks
Mortality nearly doubled when patients stopped using their drugs
Acasti reports disappointing results for a second Omega-3-based drug