Shire announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for two investigational products for rare diseases: SHP621 (budesonide oral suspension, or BOS) for eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), and SHP625 (maralixibat) for progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 2 (PFIC2).
“Receiving Breakthrough Therapy Designation on two pipeline products this past week reflects the potential of our strong and innovative pipeline of more than 60 programs,” said Flemming Ornskov, M.D., MPH, and CEO, Shire. “Shire is committed to bringing innovation to the rare and specialty areas we focus on. We persevere to see compounds through the many stages of development through their challenges and successes, and always keep patients with unmet needs top of mind.”
EoE is a serious, chronic and rare disease that stems from an elevated number of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, that infiltrate the walls of the esophagus. EoE is characterized by an inflammation of the esophagus that may lead to difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). The diagnosed prevalence of EoE ranges from approximately 15-55 cases per 100,000 persons, with high-end estimates reported by studies in Western regions.
PFIC refers to a group of autosomal-recessive liver disorders of childhood that disrupt bile formation and present with cholestasis. The symptoms of PFIC include severe itching of the skin (pruritus), and jaundice. PFIC is estimated to affect 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000 births. PFIC2 is the most common type of PFIC, accounting for around half of cases.
According to the FDA, Breakthrough Therapy Designation is granted to a therapy that is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement on one or more clinically significant endpoints over current standard of care. Under the designation, the FDA provides intensive guidance, organizational commitment involving senior managers, and eligibility for rolling and priority review of the application; this process helps ensure patients have access to therapies as soon as possible, pending approval. Breakthrough Therapy Designation does not guarantee that FDA will ultimately approve BOS for EoE or maralixibat for PFIC2, and the timing of any such approval is uncertain.
“On behalf of patients in the United States with EoE and PFIC2, we are so pleased that the FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to BOS and maralixibat,” said Philip J. Vickers, Ph.D., Head of R&D, Shire. “We look forward to working with the agency to continue their development and, pending FDA approval, deliver these therapeutic options to the patients who need them most.”
Filed Under: Drug Discovery