BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPAX), today announced additional positive safety data in its ongoing LibiGel Phase III clinical development program. For the second time, unblinded data have been reviewed by the independent DMC of the LibiGel Cardiovascular and Breast Cancer Safety Study. Based on this review, the DMC once again unanimously recommended continuation of the study as described in the FDA-agreed LibiGel safety study protocol, with no modifications. BioSante reported that the DMC reviewed all unblinded adverse events in the safety study including all “serious adverse events” and all “adverse cardiovascular and breast cancer events” in almost 1,200 women-years of exposure. To date, there have been no deaths, only six adjudicated cardiovascular events and only four breast cancers reported. Therefore, in view of the DMC recommendation, the BioSante LibiGel Phase III development program will continue as planned. BioSante targets mid-2011 for submission to the FDA of a new drug application (NDA). “Based on this second unblinded positive review by the DMC, we believe that our safety study ultimately will provide the safety data needed for our NDA submission and FDA approval of LibiGel,” said Michael Snabes, M.D., Ph.D., BioSante’s vice president of clinical development. “We have known, based on blinded data, and BioSante remains blinded, that the rates of cardiovascular and breast cancer events in the study continue to be significantly lower than expected in those women enrolled in the safety study, all of whom are at the higher end of cardiovascular risk for the intended population. If there was a negative effect of testosterone, the cardiovascular rates would be higher. This recommendation by the DMC supports our belief that LibiGel will be safe for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) in post-menopausal women, our target patient population. This outcome represents another significant positive advance for our LibiGel clinical development program,” Dr. Snabes continued.
“The DMC, which for the second time, reviewed the LibiGel safety data on an unblinded basis, confirms what we have learned from the blinded data, that LibiGel does not pose a safety risk to the women in the study,” said Stephen M. Simes, BioSante’s president and CEO. “A DMC can recommend continuing, changing or stopping a study and their main responsibility is to ensure that subjects recruited to the study are not exposed to unnecessary safety risks. Therefore, the DMC’s recommendation to continue the LibiGel safety study unchanged is the best possible outcome of the DMC’s second unblinded review of all adverse events. This is very good news for BioSante and for women since LibiGel remains the lead pharmaceutical product in the U.S. in active development for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in surgically menopausal women. We continue to believe that LibiGel can be the first product approved by the FDA for this common and unmet medical need, also referred to as female sexual dysfunction (FSD).”The Phase III Cardiovascular and Breast Cancer Safety Study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center, cardiovascular events and breast cancer study that will enroll between 2,400 and 3,100 women, exposed to LibiGel or placebo for 12 months. An NDA can be submitted and reviewed by FDA, possibly leading to approval of LibiGel, at that time. After NDA submission and potential approval of LibiGel, BioSante will continue to follow the women enrolled in the study for an additional four years. The LibiGel safety study is tracking a predefined list of cardiovascular events, in agreement with the FDA, including cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction and stroke, in women 50 years of age or older and suffering from at least two cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension and diabetes. The objective of the safety study is to show the relative safety of testosterone compared to placebo in the number of cardiovascular events. The incidence of breast cancer also will be tracked over the course of the study.
In addition to the Phase III Cardiovascular and Breast Cancer Safety Study, BioSante is conducting two LibiGel Phase III efficacy trials. The Phase III efficacy trials of LibiGel in the treatment of FSD are double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that will enroll up to approximately 500 surgically menopausal women each for a six-month clinical trial. The efficacy trials are being conducted under an FDA approved SPA (special protocol assessment agreement).As previously announced by BioSante, treatment with LibiGel in a Phase II clinical trial significantly increased satisfying sexual events in surgically menopausal women suffering from FSD. The Phase II trial results showed LibiGel significantly increased the number of satisfying sexual events by 238 percent versus baseline (p<0.0001); this increase also was significant versus placebo (p<0.05). In this study, the effective dose of LibiGel produced testosterone blood levels within the normal range for pre-menopausal women and had a safety profile similar to that observed in the placebo group. In addition, no serious adverse events and no discontinuations due to adverse events occurred in any subject receiving LibiGel. The Phase II clinical trial was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, conducted in the United States, in surgically menopausal women distressed by their low sexual desire and activity. About BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. BioSante is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing products for female sexual health, menopause, contraception and male hypogonadism. BioSante’s lead products include LibiGel ® (transdermal testosterone gel) in Phase III clinical development by BioSante under a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) SPA (Special Protocol Assessment) for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction (FSD), and Elestrin™ (estradiol gel) developed through FDA approval by BioSante, indicated for the treatment of moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause, currently marketed in the U.S. Also in development are Bio-T-Gel™, a testosterone gel for male hypogonadism, licensed to Teva Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TEVA) and an oral contraceptive in Phase II clinical development using BioSante patented technology. The current market in the U.S. for estrogen and testosterone products is approximately $2.5 billion and for oral contraceptives approximately $3 billion. The company also is developing its calcium phosphate technology (CaP) for aesthetic medicine (BioLook™), as a vaccine adjuvant, including for an H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, and drug delivery. In addition, BioSante will seek opportunities for its GVAX cancer immunotherapies, 2A/Furin and other technologies. Additional information is available online at: www.biosantepharma.com. This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The statements regarding BioSante contained in this news release that are not historical in nature, particularly those that utilize terminology such as “will,” “potential,” “continue,” “could,” “should,” “believe,” “can,” ”intends,” “plans,” “expects” or the negative of these words or other words of similar meaning, or future dates, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. Uncertainties and risks may cause BioSante's actual results to be materially different than those expressed in or implied by BioSante's forward-looking statements. For BioSante, particular uncertainties and risks include, among others, the difficulty of developing pharmaceutical products, obtaining regulatory and other approvals and achieving market acceptance; the marketing success of BioSante's licensees or sublicensees; the success of clinical testing; BioSante's need for and ability to obtain additional financing; the effect of general business and economic conditions; and risks arising from BioSante's merger with Cell Genesys. More detailed information on these and additional factors that could affect BioSante's actual results are described in BioSante's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its registration statement on Form S-4 filed in connection with the merger with Cell Genesys and BioSante's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The information set forth in this news release speaks only as of the date hereof, and BioSante undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.