Moleculin Biotech, Inc.,, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company with a broad portfolio of drug candidates targeting highly resistant tumors and viruses, today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) to Annamycin for treatment of soft tissue sarcomas.
Moleculin recently announced that the FDA had allowed its request for Investigational New Drug (IND) status for Annamycin, allowing Moleculin to begin a Phase 1B/2 clinical trial in the US for patients with soft tissue sarcoma (STS) that has metastasized to the lungs after first-line therapy for their disease. The rationale for this clinical trial includes recent animal data, including data presented at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting held June 22nd- 24th, 2020, and data from an independent laboratory announced on October 21, 2020, which demonstrated that Annamycin is capable of reaching 6 to 34-fold higher levels of accumulation in the lungs than that of doxorubicin, the primary first-line chemotherapy for STS. Additionally, clinical data show no cardiotoxicity associated with the use of Annamycin, as well as the ability to avoid multidrug resistance mechanisms, both of which are often treatment-limiting effects of anthracyclines (which includes doxorubicin) in this setting. Taken together, these factors suggest that Annamycin could represent an important treatment to help address a significant unmet need in patients with STS lung metastases.
"This is now the second Orphan Drug designation for Annamycin, as Annamycin previously received ODD for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia," commented Walter Klemp, Chairman and CEO of Moleculin. "We believe this continues to show how the breadth of our pipeline affords us 'multiple shots on goal' and therefore multiple opportunities to create shareholder value."
The FDA grants orphan drug designation to drugs and biologics that are intended for the treatment of rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Orphan drug status is intended to facilitate drug development for rare diseases and may provide several benefits to drug developers, including tax credits for qualified clinical trials costs, exemptions from certain FDA application fees, and seven years of market exclusivity upon regulatory product approval.