First patient enrolled into ATryn (R) Phase II study in DIC indication
- Category: Proteins and Peptides
- Published on Tuesday, 07 August 2007 04:00
- Hits: 2267
FRAMINGHAM, MA, USA | August 6, 2007 | GTC Biotherapeutics, Inc. ("GTC", Nasdaq: GTCB) announced today that its partner for ATryn® in Europe, Canada and the Middle East, LEO Pharma A/S, has enrolled the first patient in a Phase II study of the recombinant antithrombin product in the treatment of disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC, in association with severe sepsis. Full enrollment of about 200 patients into the Phase II study is planned to take approximately 12 months with results expected to be available in the second half of 2008.
Estimates from the scientific literature are that there are over 1.5 million cases of severe sepsis in the U.S. and Europe and over 500,000 of these patients develop DIC, with a mortality rate of up to 50%. A number of preclinical animal sepsis studies, as well as a human endotoxemia study, suggest that ATryn® may have potential in the treatment of DIC associated with severe sepsis if provided without heparin, a critical care anticoagulant. A number of countries in Europe and Japan include the treatment of DIC associated with severe sepsis in the approved uses of plasma-derived antithrombin products.
In evaluating the clinical and commercial opportunities, GTC has determined that applying the cost of existing treatment options for severe sepsis to the estimated annual incidence of DIC indicates a total potential U.S. market of $2-3 billion per year. The objective of the Phase II study is to establish safety and to determine the optimum dose to be used in a subsequent Phase III safety and efficacy study. LEO obtained Scientific Advice from the European Medicines Agency, or EMEA, on the design of the Phase II study. GTC plans to use the Phase II results as the basis of a discussion with the Food and Drug Administration on further clinical development of ATryn® for the DIC indication in the U.S. GTC retains full commercial rights in the US, Japan, and the rest of the world outside the LEO territories.
ATryn® is GTC's recombinant form of human antithrombin. Antithrombin, produced in the liver and circulated in blood plasma, has both anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties. The recombinant form is able to be produced using GTC's transgenic production platform, enabling large volume supply. ATryn® has been approved for use in Europe for the prophylactic treatment of deep vein thrombosis in hereditary antithrombin deficient (HD) patients undergoing surgical procedures.
GTC is also nearing completion of the clinical studies necessary to support the filing of a Biologics License Application for ATryn® in the HD indication planned for the first quarter of 2008. These studies include an evaluation of the incidence of deep vein thrombosis and thromboembolisms in 17 additional hereditary antithrombin deficient patients treated with ATryn® during surgical and pregnancy procedures. A comparative historical study of approximately 35 patients treated with plasma derived antithrombin, and undergoing similar high risk procedures, is also nearing completion. GTC plans on releasing top line data from these studies in the fourth quarter of 2007. GTC is in discussions for potential commercial partnering for ATryn® in the U.S. market.
About GTC Biotherapeutics
GTC Biotherapeutics develops, produces, and commercializes therapeutic proteins through transgenic animal technology. In August 2006, ATryn®, GTC's recombinant form of human antithrombin, was approved by the European Commission for use in patients with hereditary antithrombin deficiency undergoing surgical procedures. This was the first approval anywhere in the world of a therapeutic protein produced from a transgenic animal. GTC has developed goats that have the human antithrombin gene linked to a milk-protein promoting gene so that they express this protein in their milk. This transgenic approach provides the opportunity to produce recombinant forms of proteins, such as antithrombin, that are difficult to express in economically viable quantities in conventional production systems. In addition, GTC has established a strategic collaboration with LFB Biotechnologies of France to jointly develop recombinant forms of human plasma proteins and monoclonal antibodies. The collaboration includes development of a recombinant human factor VIIa protein and an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody.
In 2006, GTC was granted a patent in the United States through 2021 for the production of any therapeutic protein in the milk of any transgenic mammal. GTC's transgenic production platform is particularly well suited to enabling cost effective development of proteins that are difficult to express in traditional recombinant production systems as well as those that are required in large volumes. Additional information is available on the GTC web site, http://www.gtc-bio.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including without limitation statements regarding prospects for clinical development of ATryn® for the DIC indication, the ultimate potential market size in the U.S. for that indication, the prospects for conclusion of additional studies of ATryn® in HD and filing of a BLA for the HD indication and the prospects for commercial partnering of ATryn® in the U.S. market. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such statements. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to, the risks and uncertainties discussed in GTC's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and its other periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the uncertainties associated with conducting clinical studies, and the risks and uncertainties associated with dependence upon the actions of collaboration partners and regulatory agencies. GTC cautions investors not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. These statements speak only as of the date of this document, and GTC undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements, except as may be required by law.
SOURCE: GTC Biotherapeutics, Inc.