Abraxis BioScience Completes Enrollment of Pivotal Phase III Advanced Lung Cancer Study Evaluating ABRAXANE Vs. Taxol

- Study Compares ABRAXANE and Taxol in Combination with Carboplatin, in the First-Line Treatment of 1,050 Patients with Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer -

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 14, 2009 - Abraxis BioScience, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABII), a fully integrated biotechnology company, announced today that the company has completed patient enrollment of a pivotal, phase III clinical study comparing the company's chemotherapy agent ABRAXANE® for Injectable Suspension (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) (albumin bound) with Taxol® (paclitaxel) injection, both in combination with carboplatin, in the first-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The study, which is being conducted at 111 sites globally, includes 1,050 patients and is being led by principal investigator Dr. Mark Socinski at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is one of the largest NSCLC clinical studies to complete enrollment.

“The completion of enrollment of this phase III study marks a significant milestone in our efforts to evaluate ABRAXANE for the treatment of patients with metastatic lung cancer,” said Lonnie Moulder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Abraxis BioScience, Inc. “We anticipate filing a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) with the FDA in the first half of 2010 for what will be the second indication for ABRAXANE.”

ABRAXANE is currently approved for the treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within six months of adjuvant chemotherapy. Prior therapy should have included an anthracycline unless clinically contraindicated.

NSCLC comprises 85 to 90 percent of lung cancers. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, and treatment options for patients are limited.i

Study Design

The phase III study involves 1,050 patients randomized in a one-to-one ratio to two treatment arms: patients in Arm A (n=525) receive ABRAXANE 100 mg/m2 weekly plus carboplatin AUC 6 on Day 1 of a three-week treatment cycle; and patients in Arm B (n=525) receive Taxol 200 mg/m2 plus carboplatin AUC 6 on Day 1 of a three-week treatment cycle. The primary study endpoint is disease response, measured as complete and partial responses as defined by RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors). Secondary study endpoints include: safety and tolerability; disease control rate and duration of response; progression-free survival (PFS); patient survival; and assessments of ABRAXANE efficacy correlated with specific tumor biomarkers, including secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC).

About ABRAXANE®

ABRAXANE is a solvent-free chemotherapy treatment option for metastatic breast cancer which was developed using Abraxis BioScience's proprietary nab® technology platform. This protein-bound chemotherapy agent combines paclitaxel with albumin, a naturally-occurring human protein. By wrapping the albumin around the active drug, ABRAXANE can be administered to patients at higher doses, delivering higher concentrations of paclitaxel to the tumor site than solvent-based paclitaxel. ABRAXANE is currently in various stages of investigation for the treatment of the following cancers: expanded applications for metastatic breast, non-small cell lung, malignant melanoma, pancreatic and gastric.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved ABRAXANE for Injectable Suspension (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) (albumin-bound) in January 2005 for the treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within six months of adjuvant chemotherapy. Prior therapy should have included an anthracycline unless clinically contraindicated. For the full prescribing information for ABRAXANE please visit www.abraxane.com.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

The use of ABRAXANE has not been studied in patients with hepatic or renal dysfunction. In the randomized controlled trial, patients were excluded for baseline serum bilirubin >1.5 mg/dL or baseline serum creatinine >2 mg/dL.

ABRAXANE can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while receiving treatment with ABRAXANE.

Men should be advised to not father a child while receiving treatment with ABRAXANE. It is recommended that nursing be discontinued when receiving ABRAXANE therapy. ABRAXANE contains albumin (human), a derivative of human blood.

Caution should be exercised when administering ABRAXANE concomitantly with known substrates or inhibitors of CYP2C8 and CYP3A4.

ABRAXANE therapy should not be administered to patients with metastatic breast cancer who have baseline neutrophil counts of less than 1,500 cells/mm3. It is recommended that frequent peripheral blood cell counts be performed on all patients receiving ABRAXANE. Patients should not be retreated with subsequent cycles of ABRAXANE until neutrophils recover to a level >1,500 cells/mm3 and platelets recover to a level >100,000 cells/mm3. In the case of severe neutropenia (<500 cells>

If grade 3 sensory neuropathy develops, treatment should be withheld until resolution to grade 1 or 2 followed by a dose reduction for all subsequent courses of ABRAXANE. Severe cardiovascular events possibly related to single-agent ABRAXANE occurred in approximately 3% of patients in the randomized trial. These events included chest pain, cardiac arrest, supraventricular tachycardia, edema, thrombosis, pulmonary thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism, and hypertension.

In the randomized metastatic breast cancer study, the most important adverse events included alopecia (90%), neutropenia (all cases 80%; severe 9%), sensory neuropathy (any symptoms 71%; severe 10%), asthenia (any 47%; severe 8%), myalgia/arthralgia (any 44%; severe 8%), anemia (all 33%; severe 1%), infections (24%), nausea (any 30%; severe 3%), vomiting (any 18%; severe 4%), diarrhea (any 27%; severe <1%), and mucositis (any 7%; severe <1%).

Other adverse reactions have included ocular/visual disturbances (any 13%; severe 1%), fluid retention (any 10%; severe 0%), hepatic dysfunction (elevations in bilirubin 7%, alkaline phosphatase 36%, AST [SGOT] 39%), renal dysfunction (any 11%; severe 1%), thrombocytopenia (any 2%; severe <1%), hypersensitivity reactions (any 4%; severe 0%), cardiovascular reactions (severe 3%), and injection site reactions (<1%). During postmarketing surveillance, rare occurrences of severe hypersensitivity reactions have been reported with ABRAXANE.

About Abraxis BioScience, Inc.

Abraxis BioScience is a fully integrated global biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery, development and delivery of next-generation therapeutics and core technologies that offer patients safer and more effective treatments for cancer and other critical illnesses. The company's portfolio includes the world's first and only protein-bound nanoparticle chemotherapeutic compound (ABRAXANE®), which is based on the company's proprietary tumor targeting technology known as the nab® platform. The first FDA approved product to use this nab platform, ABRAXANE, was launched in 2005 for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and is now approved in 36 countries. The company continues to expand the nab platform through a robust clinical program and deep product pipeline. Abraxis trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol ABII. For more information about the company and its products, please visit www.abraxisbio.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

The statements contained in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding our expectations, beliefs, hopes, goals, intentions, initiatives or strategies, including statements regarding the clinical development plan, and the timing and scope of clinical studies and trials, for ABRAXANE and the global commercialization of ABRAXANE. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, without limitation, the fact that results from pre-clinical studies may not be predictive of results to be obtained in other pre-clinical studies or future clinical trials; delays in commencement and completion of clinical studies or trials, including slower than anticipated patient enrollment and adverse events occurring during the clinical trials; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding whether and when to approve ABRAXANE or product candidates for various indications as well as their decisions regarding labeling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of ABRAXANE and other products and product candidates; unexpected safety, efficacy or manufacturing issues with respect to ABRAXANE or product candidates; the need for additional data or clinical studies for ABRAXANE or product candidates; regulatory developments (domestic or foreign) involving the company's manufacturing facilities; the market adoption and demand of ABRAXANE and other products, the costs associated with the ongoing launch of ABRAXANE; research and development associated with the nab® technology platform; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the availability and pricing of ingredients used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products; the ability to successfully manufacture products in a time-sensitive and cost effective manner; the acceptance and demand of new pharmaceutical products; and the impact of patents and other proprietary rights held by competitors and other third parties. Additional relevant information concerning risks can be found in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and in other documents it has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The information contained in this press release is as of the date of this release. Abraxis assumes no obligations to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as the result of new information or future events or developments.

TAXOL® is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

i Detailed Guide: Lung Cancer - Non-Small Cell. American Cancer Society Web site. 2009. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/CRI_2_3x.asp?rnav=cridg&dt=15. Accesses July 9, 2009.

 

Contact: Investors and Media Inquiries
Abraxis BioScience, Inc.
Maili Bergman, 310-883-1300
investorrelations@abraxisbio.com
or
Media Inquiries
Zeno Group
Victoria Fort, 202-361-0445
Victoria.Fort@zenogroup.com

 

 

Posted: July 2009

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