Buffalo, NY and Hong Kong- Athenex, Inc. announced today that it has received United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) allowance to proceed in the clinic with its proprietary oral form of Docetaxel. This allowance to proceed represents Athenex's sixth successful oncology investigational new drug (IND) application by the US FDA (5 oral anticancer drugs, one ointment) and the third such clinical drug candidate in Athenex's oral absorption platform. Docetaxel is an established and effective high potency anti-cancer drug. Athenex has developed an oral form, called Oradoxel. The Athenex oncology oral absorption technology is based on a proprietary P-glycoprotein (Pgp) pump inhibitor ("Orascovery" platform) licensed exclusively from our business partner, Hanmi Pharmaceuticals, in 2011 for all major worldwide territories except Korea and Japan that were retained by Hanmi Pharmaceuticals. Athenex currently has the oral forms of paclitaxel and irinotecan in later stage clinical studies, which showed promising profiles in earlier clinical evaluations.
Douglas Kramer, MD, Athenex Vice President of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs stated "Our team submitted to the FDA a comprehensive IND package for Oradoxel of over 35,000 pages, including information on our oral absorption platform. Our Pgp pump inhibitor has been demonstrated to enhance the oral absorption of well-known oncology drugs that today are only available to patients as intravenous medicines. We are excited for the possibilities to make a difference in helping more cancer patients."
Gerald Fetterly, PhD, Athenex Vice President of Clinical Pharmacology added "We have learned in the clinic that converting existing intravenous high potency oncology drugs into oral forms opens the door to optimizing a wide array of patient dosing regimens which cannot be achieved with IV. Oral forms of dosing allow the patients to be exposed over a longer period of time to the potent active pharmaceutical ingredients and clinical studies have shown expected pharmacokinetic blood levels of exposure; leading to good clinical efficacy with less adverse side effects compared with the intravenous counterparts."
Athenex Chairman and CEO Johnson YN Lau, MBBS, MD, FRCP, commented, "I want to congratulate both our Athenex Hong Kong team and the Athenex US team, and thank our collaborators on this project on achieving this important successful regulatory milestone. The Oradoxel project was initially developed by the Athenex Hong Kong team in the Henry Cheng Research Laboratory for Drug Development, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology (ABCT), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and this project was also partially supported by a SERAP matching grant from the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission. Hong Kong should be congratulated as an innovator of important drug development science for cancer patients globally. This accomplishment also reinforces the successful execution of our business strategy creating a medical technology bridge between China and the United States."
In addition to its primary territories, Athenex is also developing Oraxol and Oratecan with Hanmi Pharmaceuticals, the originator of the Orascovery platform, in Korea and Japan, with PharmaEssentia in Taiwan and Singapore, and with ZenRx in New Zealand and Australia.
About Athenex, Inc.
Founded in 2003, Athenex is a global specialty oncology pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of next generation therapies for cancer diseases and supportive therapies. The company is dedicated to delivering innovative drugs that can have a life-changing impact on cancer patients. Our business includes 10 innovative proprietary products under development, medical technology innovation centers, product development teams and a unique emerging manufacturing supply chain across both China and North America. Our employees include several hundred dedicated professionals to the mission of improving the lives of cancer patients throughout the world. With our connected innovation, development and manufacturing presence concentrated in China and the US, we can identify, develop, and deliver proprietary medical technology across continents and multiple regulatory environments. We have offices in: Buffalo and Clarence New York, Cranford New Jersey, Hong Kong, Taipei Taiwan, and multiple locations in Chongqing, China. In addition to our offices, we have regional development partners in Dunedin New Zealand, Hong Kong, Guangzhou China, Seoul South Korea, Taipei Taiwan, Guatemala City, Guatemala, and Buenos Aires Argentina.