TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Nov. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:PGNX) today announced that it is resuming a phase 2b clinical study of safety and efficacy of a novel targeted radiotherapy, Azedra ™, in patients suffering from pheochromocytomas. Existing options for these rare endocrine tumors that form in the adrenal glands can fail to result in effective disease treatment.
Daniel Pryma, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine/Molecular Imaging Modality Chief of the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and lead investigator in the trial, said, "I have seen in my own research evidence that Azedra is a promising agent for the treatment of metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma – two orphan oncology indications with tragically unmet needs. There currently are no medications approved specifically to treat pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas."
Azedra originally was developed by Progenics' Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (MIP) subsidiary, which commenced the phase 2b study under a 2009 Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The compound also has Orphan Drug and Fast Track designations, which are intended to get important new therapies to patients sooner by expediting the review of drugs for serious conditions filling unmet medical needs. In late 2010 MIP suspended the trial, with enrollment two-thirds complete, to seek additional funding. Progenics, which acquired MIP in early 2013, plans for patient recruitment to continue after making drug supply manufacturing arrangements for the trial.Following a successful completion of this phase 2b study, Progenics intends to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) and request priority review to receive FDA action on the application within six months instead of the standard ten. Hagop Youssoufian, M.Sc., M.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development for Progenics, said, "Azedra has the potential to be the first approved treatment for pheochromocytomas. Our team is energized by this opportunity to potentially bring a treatment option with improved dosing, safety and efficacy to patients suffering with these devastating conditions."