On December 29, 2017 Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGNX), an oncology company developing innovative medicines and imaging analytical tools for targeting and treating cancer, reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review the New Drug Application (NDA) for AZEDRA in patients with malignant, recurrent and/or unresectable pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, which are rare neuroendocrine tumors (Press release, Progenics Pharmaceuticals, DEC 29, 2017, View Source [SID1234522856]). The FDA granted Progenics’ request for Priority Review and has set an action date of April 30, 2018 under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA).
"With no FDA-approved therapies for these rare tumors, AZEDRA has the potential to address the high unmet need of patients with malignant pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma," said Mark Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Progenics. "We are pleased that the FDA has accepted our NDA with Priority Review, and look forward to working with the Agency during the review process. At the same time, we will continue to lay the groundwork for our commercial plan and prepare to launch quickly following a potential approval."
The NDA is supported by data from a pivotal phase 2b open-label, multi-center trial that was conducted under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) with the FDA. The trial met the primary endpoint evaluating the proportion of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma patients who achieved a 50% or greater reduction of all antihypertensive medication for at least six months, and showed favorable results from a key secondary endpoint evaluating the proportion of patients with overall tumor response as measured by Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST). AZEDRA was also shown to be safe and generally well tolerated.
AZEDRA (iobenguane I 131) is a high-specific-activity radiotherapeutic product candidate in development as a treatment for malignant, recurrent, or unresectable pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, which are rare neuroendocrine tumors of neural crest origin. AZEDRA is a substrate for norepinephrine reuptake transporter which is highly expressed on the cell surface of neuroendocrine tumors. AZEDRA has been granted Orphan Drug designation, Fast Track status, and Breakthrough Therapy designation in the U.S. Under a SPA agreement with the FDA, a phase 2b pivotal study has been completed in patients with malignant, recurrent, or unresectable pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. There are currently no FDA-approved therapies for the treatment of this ultra-rare disease.
About Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma
Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma are rare neuroendocrine tumors that arise from cells of the autonomic nervous system. Pheochromocytoma forms in the adrenal medulla, whereas paragangliomas form outside the adrenal gland. Standard treatment options for these tumors include surgery, palliative therapy and symptom management. Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma tumors frequently secrete high levels of hormones that can lead to life-threatening hypertension, heart failure, and stroke in these patients. Malignant and recurrent pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma may result in unresectable disease with a poor prognosis, representing a significant management challenge with very limited treatment options and no approved anti-tumor therapies.