Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the New Drug Application (NDA) for telaprevir and granted the company's request for six-month Priority Review. Telaprevir is Vertex's lead medicine in development for people with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C. The FDA grants Priority Review to medicines that offer major advances in treatment or provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists. A target review date of May 23, 2011 is set under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) for the FDA's approval decision, which is four months earlier than the standard review time of 10 months.
“Data from Phase 3 studies showed that when compared to currently available medicines, telaprevir-based combination therapy nearly doubled viral cure rates and cut treatment time in half for the majority of patients new to treatment”
Additionally, Vertex today announced the completion of a New Drug Submission (NDS) to the Therapeutic Product Directorate (TPD) of Health Canada seeking approval for telaprevir in Canada. Telaprevir was also granted Priority Review in Canada, which allows for faster review for promising medicines that address life-threatening or severely debilitating conditions and for which there are few effective therapies already available. Standard review in Canada takes 18 months or more and Priority Review typically shortens the review time to approximately six to nine months.
In December 2010, Janssen-Cilag International NV announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepted telaprevir for accelerated assessment in Europe, which is granted to new medicines of major public health interest.
"Data from Phase 3 studies showed that when compared to currently available medicines, telaprevir-based combination therapy nearly doubled viral cure rates and cut treatment time in half for the majority of patients new to treatment," said Peter Mueller, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Research and Development at Vertex. "We look forward to working with the FDA and Health Canada to make telaprevir available as quickly as possible for people with hepatitis C."