BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPAX) today announced the receipt of Orphan Drug designation for its Melanoma Cancer Vaccine in the treatment of stage IIb to IV melanoma, from the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. Orphan drug designation, as granted by the U.S. Orphan Drug Act, is for a product to treat a rare disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Orphan drug designation qualifies the sponsor of the product for tax credits and seven years of marketing exclusivity, among other benefits.
“Clinical trials of our cancer vaccines are being conducted to treat leukemia, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer, among other cancer types. In addition, we expect to report on pancreatic cancer study results in the near future.”
The orphan drug designation for the Melanoma Cancer Vaccine is BioSante’s fourth orphan drug designation for BioSante’s portfolio of cancer vaccines; the company also has received orphan drug designations for its vaccines to treat pancreatic cancer, acute myeloid leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia.
“We continue to develop our vaccine portfolio in cooperation with the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center,” said Stephen M. Simes, president and chief executive officer of BioSante. “Clinical trials of our cancer vaccines are being conducted to treat leukemia, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer, among other cancer types. In addition, we expect to report on pancreatic cancer study results in the near future.”
It is estimated that, in the U.S., over 68,000 people were diagnosed with and 8,700 died of melanoma in 2010. While it is more common in Caucasian populations living in sunny climates, it can be found in almost any groups, including those who use tanning salons. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, however, if it is recognized and treated early, it is nearly 100 percent curable. But if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes difficult to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths.
BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc.