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VESTAR, INC. REPORTS DAUNOXOME NOW AVAILABLE ON NAMED-PATIENT BASIS IN EUROPE

 VESTAR, INC. REPORTS DAUNOXOME NOW AVAILABLE
 ON NAMED-PATIENT BASIS IN EUROPE
 NEW YORK, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Vestar, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTR), a rapidly growing California-based pharmaceutical company, today announced recent advances in the development if its product portfolio, including:
 -- DaunoXome(R), for the treatment of advanced Kaposi's sarcoma
 (KS), is being supplied in three European countries on a
 named-patient basis prior to full regulatory approval.
 -- Human clinical trials will soon be initiated of the company's
 proprietary liposomal formulation of the antibiotic amikacin, for
 the treatment of Pseudomonas infections in immunocompromised
 patients, and Mycobacterium avium infections associated with
 AIDS.
 -- Preclinical studies will begin for Vestar's proprietary liposomal
 formulation of the anticancer agent vincristine, to test its
 efficacy against solid tumors.
 The announcements were made by members of Vestar's management team at a special meeting for the financial community at which they described the company's current business operations and R&D activities. DaunoXome Available on Named-Patient Basis
 "We have been seeing spontaneous physician demand for DaunoXome from physicians who have learned of its performance in Phase II clinical trials," said Richard Vogel, vice president, commercial operations. "As a result, we have begun to make the product available on a named-patient basis in Sweden, the United Kingdom and Germany, with regulatory consent."
 DaunoXome is Vestar's proprietary liposomal formulation of the anticancer agent daunorubicin, and the company's second product to be commercialized. In clinical trials reported to date, more than 75 patients with advanced KS have been treated with DaunoXome, and over 95 percent had their disease arrested.
 Vogel said that Vestar's goal in 1993 will be to finalize its regulatory submissions in Europe for full marketing approval of DaunoXome, and to begin to build a U.S. marketing organization in anticipation of commercialization. "In the interim, we plan to continue to provide the product pre-approval on a named-patient basis, and to continue with our PHASE III clinical trials to substantiate a role for the drug earlier in the KS treatment cycle before patients fail on other therapies," he added. Vogel noted that this marketing strategy was modeled on the company's successful introduction of AmBisome(R) in Europe, in which named-patient sales have preceded full market launch by up to two years in some countries.
 The company also announced that its Phase II programs for other types of cancer have commenced in three U.S. centers. Third Vestar Product to Enter Clinical Trials
 The company also announced a new liposomal formulation of the antibiotic amikacin as the third product in Vestar's portfolio, scheduled to enter human clinical trials in the first half of 1993. According to Dr. Schmidt, amikacin is a highly potent drug whose usefulness in the past was limited primarily by its toxic side effects, including kidney damage and hearing loss.
 "By applying our liposomal technology to this antibiotic, the way we transformed conventional amphotericin B into AmBisome, we believe we can selectively target a highly potent agent directly into infected cells, where it can destroy the bacteria without harming healthy tissue," Dr. Schmidt said. Dr. Schmidt provided preliminary data demonstrating that liposomal amikacin is significantly more potent against Mycobacterium avium infections, and at least as potent against Pseudomonas, as the unencapsulated drug. Moreover, the liposomal formulation showed 50 percent less toxicity than the free drug. Anticancer Product Enters Preclinical Development
 Vestar scientists have also developed a liposomal formulation of the anticancer agent vincristine. This new product has demonstrated the ability to shrink tumors in an animal model more effectively than the conventional drug, and simultaneously reduce toxicity of the conventional drug by 50 percent.
 "We are very pleased by the profile of this product to date, and we are therefore planning to initiate a full preclinical program to develop it," said Paul Schmidt, Ph.D., Vestar's executive vice president of research and development. Discovery Programs for Cancer and Serious Infections
 Dr. Schmidt also described discovery research programs being conducted by its research partner Amplimed, designed to address cancer and viral infections, such as HIV, Cytomegalovirus and Hepatitis. He reported that a new series of chemical agents has been synthesized that can overcome the drug resistance of leukemia and myeloma cell lines in preliminary in vitro tests. He noted that Vestar is also formulating anti-viral agents that would be delivered directly inside the infected cells, including lymphocytes where the human immunodeficiency virus locates. Continued Growth of AmBisome
 Sales of AmBisome, Vestar's first commercialized product, are now running at an annual rate of $28 million in Europe, and the company is conducting Phase III and IV trials, eventually involving more than 1,000 patients, in order to broaden the medical indications beyond the treatment of serious fungal infections. Usage of the drug earlier in the treatment cycle for patients at risk of developing such life- threatening infections could significantly expand Vestar's market for the product.
 "In those countries where we have full marketing approval for AmBisome, we have already come to dominate the market for serious systemic fungal infections. Furthermore, we have accomplished this with only 11 sales representatives," said Vogel. "In country after country, we have gained physician acceptance in our initial medical niche by demonstrating efficacy without serious side effects, and that profile will make any other product to enter this field essentially a 'me-too' late-comer," he added.
 The company also announced that construction of its new plant is underway, to expand annual production capacity for its first two products. By the end of 1993, Vestar anticipates that the first phase of construction will be completed, after which it will have lyophilization capability of approximately 1 million vials per year and liquid product capacity of several million vials.
 In summarizing the presentation, Dr. Roger Crossley, Vestar president and CEO, stated: "Vestar's increasing revenues, which have been climbing steadily for the past 11 quarters, are the best evidence that our corporate strategy is working successfully. We intend to continue to provide unique life-saving products to treat patients with cancer and serious infections, by sustaining our intensive R&D programs, to which we now commit more than a third of every revenue dollar."
 Vestar, Inc., headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products to treat patients with cancer and serious infections, including AIDS. For the first nine months of 1992, the company reported sales of $21.8 million, and net income of $3.0 million.
 ----
 NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information contact Lori Martin, FPI (in NY) 212-838-8000, ext. 1135.
 -0- 11/10/92
 /CONTACT: Michael E. Hart, CFO of Vestar, 714-394-4000; or Marcia A. Kean, executive VP of Feinstein Partners Inc., 617-577-8110 for Vestar/
 (VSTR) CO: Vestar, Inc. ST: New York, California IN: MTC SU: PDT


DD -- NE011 -- 9151 11/10/92 09:52 EST
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