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Fennec Pharmaceuticals Initiates Rolling New Drug Application to U.s. Food and Drug Administration for PEDMARK™

  • PEDMARKTM  is proposed to be indicated for the prevention of ototoxicity induced by cisplatin chemotherapy in patients 1 month to < 18 years of age with localized, non-metastatic, solid tumors.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Dec. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:FENC; TSX: FRX), a specialty pharmaceutical company, following a pre-submission meeting with the oncology division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has initiated a rolling New Drug Application (NDA) for PEDMARKTM (a unique formulation of sodium thiosulfate (STS) to be administered by infusion) for the prevention of ototoxicity induced by cisplatin chemotherapy in patients 1 month to < 18 years of age with localized, non-metastatic, solid tumors. The Company is targeting U.S. approval of PEDMARKTM in the second half of 2019.  PEDMARKTM has been granted Orphan Drug, Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track designations from the FDA.

“We believe that PEDMARKTM has the potential to address the critical unmet need to prevent or significantly reduce cisplatin induced hearing loss of many children with localized solid tumors, where the overall survival rates are high and quality of life is paramount,” said Rosty Raykov, Chief Executive Officer of Fennec.  “The initiation of the rolling NDA submission for PEDMARKTM is a major achievement, as it marks the first ever application for regulatory approval of a drug for prevention of hearing loss.  We are honored to have collaborated over a decade with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Children Oncology Group (COG) and SIOP liver group (SIOPEL) producing practice changing results that underlie this application. Fennec will work expeditiously to complete the submission next year.”

In Europe, Fennec intends to submit its Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) via the European Medicines Agency’s Paediatric-use marketing authorisation (PUMA) pathway next year. This is supported by the Paediatric Committee (PDCO) recently approved Paediatric Investigation Plan (PIP).

About PEDMARKTM and ototoxicity

Cisplatin and other platinum compounds are essential chemotherapeutic components for many pediatric malignancies.  Unfortunately, platinum-based therapies cause ototoxicity in many patients, and are particularly harmful to the survivors of pediatric cancer.

Each year in the U.S. and Europe there is estimated that over 10,000 children with solid tumors are treated with platinum agents.  The vast majority of these newly diagnosed tumors are localized and classified as low to intermediate risk in nature. These localized cancers may have overall survival rates of greater than 80%, further emphasizing the importance of quality of life after treatment. The incidence of hearing loss in these children depends upon the dose and duration of chemotherapy, and many of these children require lifelong hearing aids. There is currently no established preventive agent for this hearing loss and only expensive, technically difficult and sub-optimal cochlear (inner ear) implants have been shown to provide some benefit. Infants and young children at critical stages of development lack speech language development and literacy, and older children and adolescents lack social-emotional development and educational achievement.

PEDMARKTM has been studied by cooperative groups in two Phase 3 clinical studies of survival and reduction of ototoxicity: COG ACCL0431 and SIOPEL 6. Both studies are complete. COG ACCL0431 enrolled one of five childhood cancers typically treated with intensive cisplatin therapy for localized and disseminated disease, including newly diagnosed hepatoblastoma, germ cell tumor, osteosarcoma, neuroblastoma, and medulloblastoma.  SIOPEL 6 enrolled only hepatoblastoma patients with localized tumors. COG ACCL0431 final results were published in the Lancet Oncology. SIOPEL 6 final results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

About Fennec Pharmaceuticals

Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc., is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of PEDMARKTM (a unique formulation of sodium thiosulfate (STS)) for the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxicity in pediatric patients. STS has received Orphan Drug Designation in the US in this setting. Further, PEDMARKTM   received Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track Designation by the FDA in March 2018.  In Europe PEDMARKTM has been accepted by the EMA for Marketing Authorization Application submission via the PUMA pathway which if approved affords Fennec ten years regulatory exclusivity for the product. Fennec has a license agreement with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) for exclusive worldwide license rights to intellectual property directed to STS and its use for chemoprotection, including the prevention of ototoxicity induced by platinum chemotherapy, in humans. For more information, please visit www.fennecpharma.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Except for historical information described in this press release, all other statements are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company’s business that could cause actual results to vary, including such risks that regulatory and guideline developments may change, scientific data may not be sufficient to meet regulatory standards or receipt of required regulatory clearances or approvals, clinical results may not be replicated in actual patient settings, protection offered by the Company’s patents and patent applications may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented by its competitors, the available market for the Company’s products will not be as large as expected, the Company’s products will not be able to penetrate one or more targeted markets, revenues will not be sufficient to fund further development and clinical studies, the Company may not meet its future capital requirements in different countries and municipalities, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. Fennec Pharmaceuticals, Inc. disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law.

The scientific information discussed in this news release related to PEDMARKTM is preliminary and investigative. Such product candidates are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada or other regulatory and no conclusions can or should be drawn regarding the safety or effectiveness of such product candidate.

For a more detailed discussion of related risk factors, please refer to our public filings available at www.sec.gov and www.sedar.com.

For further information, please contact:

Rosty Raykov
Chief Executive Officer
Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc.
T: (919) 636-5144

Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 06:00