OPKO Health, Inc. (NYSE:OPK) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to OPKO's longer-acting version of clotting Factor VIIa (Factor VIIa-CTP) for the treatment of bleeding episodes in patients with hemophilia A or B with inhibitors to Factor VIII or Factor IX. These patients are currently being treated by commercially-available Factor VIIa, with estimated 2013 worldwide sales of $1.7 billion. Currently, Factor VIIa therapy is available only as an intravenous (IV) formulation, which requires multiple injections to treat a bleeding episode due to Factor VIIa’s short half-life. In addition, the requirement for multiple weekly injections can be onerous for patients interested in preventive prophylactic treatment of the disease, especially children. Preclinical data presented by OPKO at the 7th Annual Congress of the European Association for Haemophilia and Allied Disorders (EAHAD) on February 26-28, 2014 in Brussels show that OPKO’s long-acting Factor VIIa-CTP demonstrated the potential for substantial improvement of the quality of life of patients, via both IV and subcutaneous (SC) administration. The combination of a long-acting Factor VIIa coupled with SC administration using a simple injection could potentially change the Factor VIIa market segment, allowing children and adults with hemophilia to easily self-administer the drug at home on a prophylactic basis. Dr. Phillip Frost, CEO of OPKO, commented, “We are pleased with the new orphan drug designation for Factor VIIa-CTP in the U.S., as it would allow OPKO seven years of marketing exclusivity upon commercialization of the drug. We have previously presented data in animal models of hemophilia showing that Factor Vlla-CTP demonstrates superiority across key efficacy and safety parameters compared to current Factor VIIa therapy. We are enthused about the potential for SC administration due to its improved bioavailability compared to presently available Factor VIIa IV therapy. Expecting to initiate a Phase IIa trial with our IV formulation in hemophilia patients in late 2014, we believe that we are in a unique position to be first to market with a longer acting Factor VIIa product.”
FDA's Orphan Drug Act of 1983 was designed to encourage the development of products that demonstrate promise for the diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of life-threatening or very serious conditions that are rare and affect 200,000 persons or less in the U.S. The orphan drug designation provides for seven years of market exclusivity, reduction in regulatory fees, certain tax credits and additional regulatory support for R&D initiatives.ABOUT OPKO HEALTH, INC. OPKO is a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets by leveraging its discovery, development and commercialization expertise and novel and proprietary technologies. For more information, visit http://www.opko.com. SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT This press release contains "forward-looking statements," as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), regarding product development efforts and other non-historical facts about our expectations, beliefs or intentions regarding our business, technologies and products, financial condition, strategies or prospects, including statements regarding our expectations about our longer-acting version of clotting Factor VIIa (Factor VIIa-CTP) for the treatment of bleeding episodes in patients with hemophilia A or B with inhibitors to Factor VIII or Factor IX, whether Factor VIIa-CTP has the potential for substantial improvement of the quality of life of patients, via both IV and subcutaneous (SC) administration, whether Factor VIIa-CTP will be able to be administered subcutaneously using a simple injection and allow children and adults with hemophilia to easily self-administer the drug at home on a prophylactic basis, whether we will be able to initiate a Phase IIa trial with our IV formulation in hemophilia patients in late 2014, whether we will be in a position to be first to market with a longer acting Factor VIIa product, expectations about market potential for Factor VIIa-CTP, whether we will be able to successfully develop, obtain approval for and launch sales of the Factor VIIa-CTP, and the expected completion dates for our trials. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as risks inherent in funding, developing and obtaining regulatory approvals of new, commercially-viable and competitive products and treatments, including the risks that clinical trials for Factor VIIa-CTP may not be successful or achieve the expected results or effectiveness, and may not generate data that would support the approval or marketing of this product for the indications being studied, that others may develop products which are superior to Factor VIIa-CTP, and that Factor VIIa-CTP may not have advantages or prove to be superior over presently marketed products. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be adversely affected by general market factors, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and legislation, the regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, patent positions and litigation, among other factors. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA.