LANGHORNE, Pennsylvania and OXFORD, England, Feb. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - EUSA
Pharma, a transatlantic specialty pharmaceutical company focused on
oncology, oncology supportive care and critical care, today announced
that it has acquired the exclusive worldwide development and
commercialization rights to ASPAREC® for the treatment of acute
lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) from Alizé Pharma. Under the terms of the
agreement, EUSA will pay Alizé Pharma an upfront fee, regulatory
milestone payments and royalties on future product sales.
ASPAREC is a recombinant, pegylated Erwinia chrysanthemi-derived asparaginase. It is currently in phase I development for the
treatment of ALL in patients with hypersensitivity to standard-of-care E. coli-derived asparaginase therapy, and has been granted orphan status by the
US and European regulatory authorities. Preclinical data indicate that
ASPAREC is potentially longer acting and less immunogenic than
currently available asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi.
Commenting on the news, Bryan Morton, President and Chief Executive
Officer of EUSA Pharma, said, "We are delighted to reach this agreement
with Alizé Pharma. ASPAREC fits perfectly with EUSA's specialty focus
on oncology and orphan diseases, and builds on our established
portfolio in the field of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This agreement
follows the approval last year of EUSA's first internally developed
product, and further underlines the company's strategic transition into
a fully fledged development as well as commercialization organization."
"This agreement between Alizé Pharma and EUSA Pharma, a worldwide leader
in the development and marketing of L-asparaginase products, is
excellent news for us, for our investors and for ALL patients," said
Alizé Pharma's President and founder, Thierry Abribat. "It validates
our medical approach, emphasizes our drug development capabilities, and
fits well with our business strategy, which is to establish
partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry early in the development
of our programs in order to secure both near-term and long-term revenue
About acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common form of childhood
cancer, with approximately 2,900 patients under the age of 20 diagnosed
in the USA each year . It is also one of the most curable forms of
cancer, with remission rates in treated children of over 95% and 75 -
85% surviving at least five years without recurrence of leukemia .
Treatment involves a number of stages and drugs, and typically includes
asparaginase as an essential component of current protocols.
About asparaginase and ASPAREC
Asparaginase enzymes deplete the level of asparagine in the bloodstream.
Asparagine is essential for cell growth, and its removal from the blood
inhibits the growth of cells associated with acute lymphoblastic
leukemia. Asparaginase treatments are derived from bacteria, and
approximately 15 - 20% of patients develop hypersensitivity to modern
products derived from Escherichia coli, preventing their continued treatment . ASPAREC is a proprietary
recombinant, pegylated Erwinia chrysanthemi-derived asparaginase in development for the treatment of acute
lymphoblastic leukemia in patients with hypersensitivity to E. coli-derived therapies. Preclinical data indicate ASPAREC is potentially
longer acting and less immunogenic than currently available
asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi.
About EUSA Pharma
EUSA Pharma is a rapidly growing transatlantic specialty pharmaceutical
company focused on oncology, oncology supportive care and critical care
products. The company has an established commercial infrastructure in
the US, a pan-European presence and a wider distribution network in
numerous additional territories. EUSA currently has a total of 10
specialist hospital products, which are sold in over 80 countries
globally*. These include Erwinase®/ErwinazeTM and Kidrolase® for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Caphosol® for the treatment of oral mucositis, a common and debilitating
side-effect of radiation therapy and high dose chemotherapy, Collatamp® G, a surgical implant impregnated with the antibiotic gentamicin,
ProstaScint® for imaging the extent and spread of prostate cancer and Quadramet® for the treatment of pain in patients whose cancer has spread to the
bones. The company also has a number of products in late-stage
 US National Cancer Institute. Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia
treatment (PDQ®). http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/childALL/HealthProfessional/page1
 Raetz EA, Salzer WL. J Pediatr Oncol 2010:32:554-563.
* Not all products are approved currently for use in the US
SOURCE EUSA Pharma Inc.
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