SAN DIEGO & LEIDEN, Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Santarus, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNTS) and Pharming Group NV (NYSE Euronext: PHARM) today announced the submission of a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain marketing approval for RUCONEST® (recombinant human C1 esterase inhibitor) 50 U/kg, an investigational drug for the treatment of acute angioedema attacks in patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE).
The safety and efficacy of RUCONEST for the treatment of HAE attacks were evaluated in a clinical program that included a Phase III randomized placebo-controlled study conducted under a Special Protocol Assessment agreement with the FDA. The pivotal Phase III clinical study showed statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in the primary endpoint of time to beginning of relief of symptoms for RUCONEST compared with placebo. The RUCONEST clinical program also included two additional randomized placebo-controlled studies and four open label treatment studies. In total, the BLA dossier includes ten clinical studies covering 940 administrations in 236 subjects.
Santarus licensed certain exclusive rights from Pharming to commercialize RUCONEST in North America for the treatment of acute attacks of HAE as well as other potential future indications. Under the terms of the license agreement, a $5 million milestone is payable to Pharming upon FDA acceptance for review of the BLA for RUCONEST.
About RUCONEST and Hereditary Angioedema
RUCONEST (INN conestat alfa) is a recombinant version of the human protein C1 esterase inhibitor, and is produced with Pharming's proprietary transgenic technology. RUCONEST is approved in Europe for the treatment of acute angioedema attacks in patients with HAE, a genetic disorder in which the patient is deficient in or lacks a functional plasma protein C1 esterase inhibitor, resulting in unpredictable and debilitating episodes of intense swelling. The swelling may occur in one or more anatomical areas, including the extremities, face, trunk, genitals, abdomen and upper airway. The frequency and severity of HAE attacks vary and are most serious when they involve laryngeal edema, which can close the upper airway and cause death by asphyxiation. According to the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association, epidemiological estimates for HAE range from one in 10,000 to one in 50,000 individuals. RUCONEST is an investigational drug in the U.S. and has been granted orphan drug designation by the FDA both for the treatment of acute attacks of HAE and for prophylactic treatment of HAE.