Halozyme Therapeutics receives FDA clearance for Cumulase

Halozyme Therapeutics has announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Cumulase for the treatment of oocytes to facilitate certain in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. The active pharmaceutical ingredient in Cumulase is the first and only recombinant human hyaluronidase approved in the United States for cumulus removal in the IVF process.

"We are thrilled to receive FDA 510(k) clearance to market our first product in the U.S.," said Jonathan Lim, MD, Halozyme's Chairman and CEO. "This achievement is a key milestone for our company and provides validation of our technology and our team's ability to develop and commercialize products based on recombinant human hyaluronidase."

Cumulase is an ex vivo formulation of rHuPH20 (recombinant human PH20 hyaluronidase) to replace bovine and ovine extracts currently used for the preparation of oocytes prior to IVF during the process of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in which the enzyme is an essential component. The enzyme strips away the hyaluronic acid that surrounds the oocyte, allowing the clinician to then perform ICSI, injecting the sperm into the oocyte. Cumulase provides the IVF specialist with a safer, purer and more reliable alternative to slaughterhouse-derived extracts.

The total Cumulase market consists of an estimated 500,000 ICSI cycles worldwide in 2005, with nearly 90,000 of those performed in the U.S. Halozyme received CE Mark approval of Cumulase in late 2004 to market the product throughout the EU. The company has signed agreements with Cook Ob/Gyn Incorporated, MediCult A/S, and MidAtlantic Diagnostics, Inc., to distribute Cumulase worldwide. In February, Halozyme signed a commercial manufacturing supply agreement with Avid Bioservices to manufacture the recombinant human enzyme under current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs).

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