Pfizer Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to Pfizer’s vaccine candidate, bivalent rLP2086, currently under investigation for the prevention of invasive meningococcal disease due to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B in persons 10 to 25 years of age. Disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B has been estimated at between 20,000 and 80,000 cases per year globally, and can result in death or significant long-term disabilities, including brain damage and hearing loss.
Enacted as part of the 2012 FDA Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), Breakthrough Therapy designation is intended to expedite the development and review of potential new medicines for serious and life-threatening diseases. A Breakthrough Therapy designation conveys FDA’s existing fast track development program features, as well as more intensive FDA guidance on an efficient drug development program.
“Pfizer is developing this meningococcal B vaccine candidate to help protect adolescents and young adults against a difficult to diagnose and often deadly disease,” said Dr. Emilio Emini, senior vice president of Vaccine Research and Development for Pfizer Inc. “We are encouraged by the FDA’s recognition of the need to prevent meningococcal B disease, and the Breakthrough Therapy designation highlights the urgent need for prevention of meningococcal B disease.”
Pfizer is conducting a global clinical development program for rLP2086, which includes both Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials evaluating more than 20,000 participants, about 14,000 of whom will receive the investigational vaccine. Following interactions that we have had with the FDA, Pfizer intends to submit a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the FDA for bivalent rLP2086 by mid-2014.
Invasive meningococcal disease is a rapidly progressing disease that can lead to serious disabilities and can be life-threatening for those infected.2 Of the five meningococcal serogroups (A, B, C, W-135 and Y) that historically have been responsible for the majority of meningococcal disease, serogroup B is the only one for which no broadly-protective vaccine is currently approved in the U.S.
Date: March 20, 2014
Filed Under: Drug Discovery