Panitumumab gets fast track designation for metastatic colorectal cancer
Aug 1, 2005 - 11:26:38 PM

Amgen and Abgenix, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted fast track designation for panitumumab, an experimental fully human monoclonal antibody directed against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr), for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have failed standard chemotherapy treatment.

"We are advancing the development of panitumumab with the hope of offering patients a new treatment option in their fight against metastatic colorectal cancer," said Willard Dere, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president of global development at Amgen.

Under the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, fast track designation allows the FDA to accept, on a rolling basis, portions of a marketing application for review prior to the completion of the final registrational package. Fast track designation may potentially expedite the review of a drug that is intended for the treatment of a serious life- threatening condition and demonstrates the potential to address an unmet medical need for such a condition.

In light of this fast track designation, Amgen and Abgenix are working toward initiating the submission of the Biologics License Application (BLA) for panitumumab in patients who have failed prior standard chemotherapy, including irinotecan and oxaliplatin, by the end of 2005. The completed submission of the BLA could extend into the first quarter of 2006, depending on timing and outcome of clinical data. FDA has previously indicated that data from one pivotal trial, once completed, could be acceptable with additional data from other pending studies to support a submission for marketing approval in the United States.

"Panitumumab is the first fully human monoclonal antibody to inhibit EGFr, and fast track designation represents an important milestone in its development," said Bill Ringo, chief executive officer at Abgenix. "We are one step closer to bringing this promising new treatment to patients with advanced colorectal cancer."

Patients and physicians can access for more information about ongoing panitumumab clinical trials.

About Panitumumab

Co-developed by Amgen and Abgenix, panitumumab is an investigational product in a novel class of targeted cancer treatments called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) inhibitors. Panitumumab (formerly ABX-EGF) is the first fully human monoclonal antibody directed against EGFr and is being evaluated as both a monotherapy and in combination with other agents for the treatment of various types of cancer, including colorectal, lung and kidney. Panitumumab was generated with Abgenix's XenoMouse(R)(1) technology, which creates a fully human monoclonal antibody that contains no murine (mouse) protein. The fully human nature of panitumumab may result in a safety profile with a low incidence of infusion reactions, antigenicity and allergic response. These are attributes currently being investigated in clinical trials. Pivotal clinical studies evaluating panitumumab as a third-line monotherapy in colorectal cancer patients are ongoing with an every-other-week dosing regimen.

About the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFr)

Although EGFr normally helps regulate the growth of many different cells in the body, EGFr can also stimulate cancer cells to grow. In fact, many cancer cells actually require signals mediated by EGFr for their survival. Residing on the surface of these tumor cells, EGFr is activated when naturally occurring proteins in the body, epidermal growth factor (EGF) or transforming growth factor alpha (TGFa), bind to it. This binding changes the shape of EGFr, which, in turn, triggers internal cellular signals that stimulate tumor cell growth.

Panitumumab binds to EGFr, preventing EGF and TGFa from binding to the receptor and interfering with the signals that would otherwise stimulate growth of the cancer cell and allow it to survive.

All rights reserved by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited ( )