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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced the submission of a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) via the centralized procedure for talimogene laherparepvec seeking approval for the treatment of adults with melanoma that is regionally or distantly metastatic. Talimogene laherparepvec is an investigational oncolytic immunotherapy administered as an intralesional injection that is designed to initiate a systemic anti-tumor immune response. If approved, talimogene laherparepvec will represent the first in a class of novel agents known as oncolytic immunotherapies.
The MAA for talimogene laherparepvec contains data from more than 400 patients and is based on a global, randomized, open-label Phase 3 trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of talimogene laherparepvec in patients with stage IIIB, IIIC or IV melanoma when resection was not recommended compared to granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF).
"The submission of the Marketing Authorization Application in Europe for talimogene laherparepvec brings us a step closer to helping address an unmet medical need for patients with metastatic melanoma," said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "This regulatory milestone, on the heels of our Biologics License Application submission to the U.S. FDA, represents an important step for our pipeline and we look forward to working with the European Medicines Agency as it conducts its review of talimogene laherparepvec."
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of melanocytes, which are the cells responsible for providing the pigment to skin.1 Melanoma is the most aggressive and serious form of skin cancer. Currently, 132,000 melanoma cases occur globally each year.2 The number of people with melanoma is expected to rise considerably worldwide, with more than 279,000 projected new cases by the year 2020.3 Outcomes are substantially worse for people with regional and distantly metastatic disease, with high risk of recurrence for Stage IIIB, IIIC, and IV melanoma.4
Melanoma is considered to be advanced when it has spread, or metastasized, from the origin site to deeper parts of the skin or other organs such as the lymph nodes, lungs or other parts of the body distant from the primary tumor site.5
About Talimogene Laherparepvec
Talimogene laherparepvec is an investigational oncolytic immunotherapy designed to selectively replicate in tumors (but not normal tissue) and to initiate an immune response to target cancer cells that have metastasized. Talimogene laherparepvec was designed to work in two important and complementary ways. First, it is injected directly into tumors where it replicates inside the tumor's cells causing the cell to rupture and die in a process called lysis. The rupture of the cancer cells can release tumor-derived antigens, along with GM-CSF, that can stimulate a system-wide immune response where white blood cells are able to seek out and target cancer that has spread throughout the body.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be the world's largest independent biotechnology company, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial metrics, expected legal, arbitration, political, regulatory or clinical results or practices, customer and prescriber patterns or practices, reimbursement activities and outcomes and other such estimates and results. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, including those discussed below and more fully described in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports filed by Amgen, including Amgen's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. Please refer to Amgen's most recent Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K for additional information on the uncertainties and risk factors related to our business. Unless otherwise noted, Amgen is providing this information as of Sept. 2, 2014, and expressly disclaims any duty to update information contained in this news release.
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In addition, sales of our products are affected by the reimbursement policies imposed by third-party payors, including governments, private insurance plans and managed care providers and may be affected by regulatory, clinical and guideline developments and domestic and international trends toward managed care and healthcare cost containment as well as U.S. legislation affecting pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement. Government and others' regulations and reimbursement policies may affect the development, usage and pricing of our products. In addition, we compete with other companies with respect to some of our marketed products as well as for the discovery and development of new products. We believe that some of our newer products, product candidates or new indications for existing products, may face competition when and as they are approved and marketed. Our products may compete against products that have lower prices, established reimbursement, superior performance, are easier to administer, or that are otherwise competitive with our products. In addition, while we routinely obtain patents for our products and technology, the protection offered by our patents and patent applications may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented by our competitors and there can be no guarantee of our ability to obtain or maintain patent protection for our products or product candidates. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to produce commercially successful products or maintain the commercial success of our existing products. Our stock price may be affected by actual or perceived market opportunity, competitive position, and success or failure of our products or product candidates. Further, the discovery of significant problems with a product similar to one of our products that implicate an entire class of products could have a material adverse effect on sales of the affected products and on our business and results of operations. Our efforts to integrate the operations of companies we have acquired may not be successful. Cost saving initiatives may result in us incurring impairment or other related charges on our assets. We may experience difficulties, delays or unexpected costs and not achieve anticipated benefits and savings from our recently announced restructuring plans. Our business performance could affect or limit the ability of our Board of Directors to declare a dividend or their ability to pay a dividend or repurchase our common stock.
The scientific information discussed in this news release related to our product candidates is preliminary and investigative. Such product candidates are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or other similar regulatory authorities, and no conclusions can or should be drawn regarding the safety or effectiveness of the product candidates.
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Arvind Sood: 805-447-1060 (investors)
1 National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. What You Need to Know About Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers. June 2010. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/skin. Accessed April 29, 2014.
2 World Health Organization. Ultraviolet radiation and the INTERSUN Programme. http://www.who.int/uv/intersunprogramme/en/. Accessed April 29, 2014.
3GLOBOCAN 2012 (IARC) - 13.5.2014
4 Balch, J Clin Oncol. 2009.
5 American Cancer Society. Melanoma Skin Cancer. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003120-pdf.pdf. Accessed April 29, 2014.
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