-Orphan Drug Designation Program offers potentially up to seven years of marketing exclusivity-
-NDA Submission Planned for Fourth Quarter of 2019-
SAN DIEGO, July 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (LJPC), a leader in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies intended to significantly improve outcomes in patients suffering from life-threatening diseases, today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an Orphan Drug Designation for the Investigational Drug Product, LJPC-0118 (artesunate), for the treatment of malaria.
“The granting of orphan drug status is a significant milestone for the LJPC-0118 program and highlights the significant unmet medical need for the treatment of malaria,” said George Tidmarsh, M.D., Ph.D., La Jolla’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “There are currently no approved treatments in the U.S. for patients with severe malaria. We are preparing to file a new drug application later this year and, upon approval, to making this front-line treatment for severe malaria available to the public.”
The FDA Orphan Drug Designation Program provides orphan status to drugs and biologics which are defined as those intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases/disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Orphan Drug Designation conveys up to seven years of marketing exclusivity if the sponsor is the first to obtain regulatory approval from the FDA and offers various development incentives, including tax credits related to clinical trial expenses, an exemption from the FDA-user fee and FDA assistance in clinical trial design. The Orphan Drug Designation does not change the standards for approval.
La Jolla plans to file a New Drug Application (NDA) with the FDA in the fourth quarter of 2019 for LJPC-0118. The active pharmaceutical ingredient in LJPC-0118, artesunate, was demonstrated to be superior to quinine in reducing mortality in patients with severe falciparum malaria infection in two randomized, controlled, clinical studies.
About Artesunate (LJPC-0118)
LJPC-0118 is La Jolla’s investigational product for the treatment of severe malaria. The active pharmaceutical ingredient in LJPC-0118, artesunate, was demonstrated to be superior to quinine in reducing mortality in patients with severe falciparum malaria infection in two randomized, controlled, clinical studies. La Jolla plans to file a New Drug Application (NDA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the fourth quarter of 2019 for LJPC-0118. Severe malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito, which feeds on humans. Symptoms include but are not limited to: fever, chills, sweating, hypoglycemia and shock. Severe malaria is often complicated by central nervous system infections that may lead to delirium, which may progress to coma. Infections usually occur a few weeks after being bitten. In 2017, an estimated 219 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide, with an estimated 200 million of these cases occurring in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region, and, in 2013, the global annual incidence of severe malaria was estimated to be 2 million cases. In 2017, an estimated 435,000 people died from malaria worldwide.
About La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company
La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies intended to significantly improve outcomes in patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. GIAPREZA™ (angiotensin II), formerly known as LJPC-501, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 21, 2017 as a vasoconstrictor indicated to increase blood pressure in adults with septic or other distributive shock. LJPC-0118 is La Jolla’s investigational product for the treatment of severe malaria. LJPC‑401 (synthetic human hepcidin), a clinical-stage investigational product, is being developed for the potential treatment of conditions characterized by iron overload, such as hereditary hemochromatosis, beta thalassemia, sickle cell disease, myelodysplastic syndrome and polycythemia vera. For more information, please visit www.ljpc.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to expectations regarding future events or La Jolla’s future results of operations. These statements are only predictions or statements of current expectations and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements. La Jolla cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they were made. Certain of these risks, uncertainties and other factors are described in greater detail in La Jolla’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), all of which are available free of charge on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These risks include, but are not limited to, risks relating to: the success of development activities for LJPC-0118 and other product candidates; the anticipated timing for regulatory filings and regulatory actions; the timing and designation status of LJPC-0118 at time of FDA approval; potential indications for which La Jolla’s product candidates may be developed; the timing, costs, conduct and outcome of clinical studies; risks relating to the development of drug candidates; the anticipated treatment of future clinical data by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), EMA and other regulatory authorities, including whether such data will be sufficient for approval; the expected duration over which La Jolla’s cash balances will fund its operations; and other risks and uncertainties identified in our filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements are presented as of the date of this press release, and La Jolla expressly disclaims any intent to update any forward‑looking statements to reflect the outcome of subsequent events.
Senior Director, Investor Relations & Human Resources
La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company
Phone: (858) 207-4264 Ext: 1135
Dennis M. Mulroy
Chief Financial Officer
La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company
Phone: (858) 207-4264 Ext: 1040