Milan, Italy - MolMed S.p.A. of Milan, Italy announced this week that the European Patent Office had granted it a patent that would cover the therapeutic use of its investigational anti-cancer drug NGR-hTNF for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma,
According to a press release by the company, the drug is currently being tested in what they deem the only ongoing Phase III investigation for relapsed mesothelioma. In addition, the drug is also involved in Phase II trials as a first-line maintenance therapy for pleural mesothelioma patients who have already completed a standard chemotherapy regimen.
"The grant of this new European patent, covering NGR-hTNF for the specific therapeutic indication in mesothelioma, reinforces MolMed's extended market exclusivity on the drug and is of remarkable relevance to us, as it expressly covers the therapeutic indication of NGR-hTNF in a pivotal Phase III clinical trial,” said Claudio Bordignon, the company’s Chairman and CEO.
“I must underline that relapsed malignant pleural mesothelioma is a very aggressive disease for which no consolidated and efficacious therapy exists,” Bordignon added. “Due to the long-term effects of exposure to asbestos, the incidence of mesothelioma is increasing in many parts of the world and it is expected to grow further in the next 10-20 years. This is one of the fundamental reasons for us to develop novel therapeutic options against this tumor."
Currently ongoing randomized trials of NGR-hTNF include a Phase III trial in mesothelioma and four Phase II trials for non-small-cell lung cancer, soft tissue sarcomas, ovarian cancer and mesothelioma as first-line maintenance therapy. In addition, the drug has been tested in completed trials for mesothelioma, for liver cancer and for colorectal cancer, and ongoing trials for small-cell lung cancer and for ovarian cancer. In the U.S. and European Union, NGR-hTNF has abeen granted Orphan Drug designation for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma and liver cancer.