BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq:BMRN) today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) for drisapersen for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) amenable to exon 51 skipping, and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date for a decision is December 27, 2015. The FDA has granted drisapersen Priority Review status, which is designated to drugs that offer major advances in treatment, or provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists.
In the FDA's filing communication, the Agency informed the company that it is currently planning to hold an advisory committee meeting to discuss the application. No date has been set for this meeting. Drisapersen previously has been granted Orphan and Fast Track status, as well as Breakthrough Therapy designations by the FDA. The U.S. filing is based on three randomized placebo-controlled trials and two long-term open-label studies of more than 300 patients in which some boys have been treated for more than three years.
"We are dedicated to bringing a meaningful therapy specifically for patients with a particular form of Duchenne to patients all over the world. We are thrilled that BioMarin has reached this important step in the United States, which comes on the heels of the recent validation of our European filing for drisapersen," said Camilla V. Simpson, Global Head of Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacovigilance at BioMarin. "Obtaining Priority Review status is validation of BioMarin's commitment to urgently move treatment beyond supportive care and to address the underlying cause of the disease. We are thankful to the boys and their families who participated in our clinical trials, which have allowed us to achieve this important milestone for Duchenne patients."
Drisapersen is an investigational antisense oligonucleotide drug candidate for the treatment of the largest subset of DMD amenable to single exon skipping. Drisapersen induces the skipping of dystrophin exon 51, potentially providing a therapeutic benefit to DMD patients for whom skipping of exon 51 restores the proper dystrophin reading frame, corresponding to approximately 13% of DMD patients. In the U.S., it is estimated there are approximately 2,000 patients who would be candidates for drisapersen.
"Since PPMD's founding more than two decades ago, we have been focused on improving the treatment, quality of life and long-term outlook for boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy," said Pat Furlong, President and Founder of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. "The completion of this regulatory milestone brings the community one step closer to what could be the first specific drug therapy to treat Duchenne in the United States. We are hopeful that this is the beginning of a new era of many medical advancements that will change the course of this devastating disease."
About Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
DMD is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in every 3,500 live male births. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a severely debilitating childhood neuromuscular disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. This results in the absence or defect of the dystrophin protein, which is important in connecting the cytoskeleton of muscle fibers to the extracellular matrix. As a result, patients suffer from progressive loss of muscle function, often rendering them wheelchair-bound before the age of 12 years. Respiratory and cardiac muscle can also be affected by the disease and most patients die in early adulthood due to respiratory and cardiac failure. Because the dystrophin gene is located on the X-chromosome, DMD primarily affects boys.
About Drisapersen and Exon Skipping
In Duchenne muscular dystrophy, mutations in the dystrophin gene lead to the absence of dystrophin protein, resulting in the most severe form of dystrophin deficient muscular dystrophy. Drisapersen is an antisense oligonucleotide that induces exon skipping to provide a molecular patch for dystrophin transcripts produced by certain mutated dystrophin genes. Exons are the parts of a gene that contain the instructions for generating a protein. In applicable cases, skipping an exon near the mutation allows for the production of a truncated but functional dystrophin protein.
BioMarin develops and commercializes innovative biopharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. The company's product portfolio comprises five approved products and multiple clinical and pre-clinical product candidates. Approved products include Vimizim® (elosulfase alfa) for MPS IVA, a product wholly developed and commercialized by BioMarin; Naglazyme® (galsulfase) for MPS VI, a product wholly developed and commercialized by BioMarin; Aldurazyme® (laronidase) for MPS I, a product which BioMarin developed through a 50/50 joint venture with Genzyme Corporation; Kuvan® (sapropterin dihydrochloride) Powder for Oral Solution and Tablets, for phenylketonuria (PKU), developed in partnership with Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany and Firdapse® (amifampridine), which has been approved by the European Commission for the treatment of Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS). Product candidates include drisapersen, an exon skipping oligonucleotide, for which a marketing application has been submitted to FDA and EMA for the treatment of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) with mutations in the dystrophin gene that are amenable to treatment with exon 51 skipping, pegvaliase (formerly referred to as BMN 165 or PEG PAL), PEGylated recombinant phenylalanine ammonia lyase, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of PKU, talazoparib (formerly referred to as BMN 673), a poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of germline BRCA breast cancer, reveglucosidase alfa (formerly referred to as BMN 701), a novel fusion protein of insulin-like growth factor 2 and acid alpha glucosidase (IGF2-GAA), which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of Pompe disease, vosoritide (formerly referred to as BMN 111), a modified C-natriuretic peptide, which is currently in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of achondroplasia, BMN 044, BMN 045 and BMN 053, exon skipping oligonucleotides, which are currently in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (exons 44, 45 and 53), cerliponase alfa (formerly referred to as BMN 190), a recombinant human tripeptidyl peptidase-1 (rhTPP1) for the treatment of CLN2 disease, a form of Batten disease, which is currently in Phase 1, BMN 270, an AAV-factor VIII vector, for the treatment of hemophilia A and BMN 250, a novel fusion of alpha-N-acetyglucosaminidase (NAGLU) with a peptide derived from insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), for the treatment of MPS IIIB.
For additional information, please visit www.BMRN.com. Information on BioMarin's website is not incorporated by reference into this press release.
This press release contains forward-looking statements about the business prospects of BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., including, without limitation, statements about: expectations regarding the FDA's review of the drisapersen NDA, the potential accelerated review, outcomes of the review of such filings; and the possible approval of drisapersen. These forward-looking statements are predictions and involve risks and uncertainties such that actual results may differ materially from these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: results and timing of current and planned clinical trials of drisapersen; the content and timing of decisions by the FDA, and other regulatory authorities concerning drisapersen; and those factors detailed in BioMarin's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the factors contained under the caption "Risk Factors" in BioMarin's 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended, and the factors contained in BioMarin's reports on Form 8-K. Stockholders are urged not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. BioMarin is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
BioMarin®, Naglazyme®, Kuvan®, Firdapse® and VIMIZIM® are registered trademarks of BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.
Aldurazyme® is a registered trademark of BioMarin/Genzyme LLC.