A.P. Pharma submits NDA for APF530 in chemo-induced nausea and vomiting

A.P. Pharma, Inc. has announced that it has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) for its lead product, APF530, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). APF530 is being developed for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and is a long-acting formulation of granisetron that utilizes the Company's proprietary Biochronomer drug delivery system.

"The submission of this NDA marks a significant milestone for the APF530 program, our Biochronomer drug delivery technology and A.P. Pharma as a company," said Ronald J. Prentki, A.P. Pharma's president and chief executive officer. "Our number-one priority has been to assemble and submit a complete and high-quality NDA. We thank our regulatory, CMC, clinical and e-filing experts for their tireless efforts and look forward to a timely review by the FDA."

"The favorable efficacy and safety demonstrated in the APF530 Phase 3 clinical program provides a strong foundation for our submission," stated Mr. Prentki. "We believe APF530, which maintains therapeutic drug levels for five days, will be a 'long acting' agent offering important advantages over anti-emetics currently used in the prevention of CINV, and would provide a particular benefit to those many patients suffering with delayed onset nausea and vomiting."

The NDA was submitted under section 505(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, whereby the Company can rely upon the FDA's prior safety and efficacy findings for APF530's active ingredient, granisetron. The FDA is expected to determine whether to accept the NDA for filing within 60 days, and to notify the Company of its determination within fourteen days thereafter. If the NDA is accepted for filing, under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act guidelines, it is expected that the FDA will complete its review and provide an action letter with respect to the NDA within 10 months following NDA submission.

A.P. Pharma's lead product candidate, APF530, is being developed for the prevention of both acute and delayed onset chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). APF530 contains the 5-HT3 antagonist, granisetron, formulated in our proprietary Biochronomer drug delivery system, which allows therapeutic drug levels to be maintained for five days with a single subcutaneous injection. Injections and oral tablets containing granisetron are approved for the prevention of acute onset CINV, but not for delayed onset CINV. Granisetron was selected because it is widely prescribed by physicians based on a well-established record of safety and efficacy. In September 2008, A.P. Pharma reported positive top-line results from its pivotal Phase 3 study. In this multi-center, randomized trial that enrolled 1,395 cancer patients, APF530 was shown to be equally as effective as (statistically non-inferior to) palonosetron (Aloxi®) in the prevention of both acute onset and delayed onset CINV. Palonosetron is the only injectable 5-HT3 antagonist FDA-approved for the prevention of delayed onset CINV. APF530 was also generally well-tolerated in this study.

Prevention and control of nausea and vomiting, or emesis, are very important in the treatment of cancer patients. The majority of patients receiving chemotherapy will experience some degree of emesis if not prevented with an anti-emetic, typically administered just prior to chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy treatments can be classified as moderately emetogenic, meaning that 30% to 90% of patients experience CINV, or highly emetogenic, meaning that more than 90% of patients experience CINV, if they do not receive an anti-emetic. Acute onset CINV occurs within the first 24 hours following chemotherapy treatment. Delayed onset CINV occurs more than 24 hours after treatment and may persist for several days. Prevention of CINV is important because the distress caused by CINV can severely disrupt patient quality of life and can lead some patients to delay or discontinue chemotherapy.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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