Italian Company Granted Patent for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment
In February 2011, MolMed S.p.A., an Italian biotechnology company focused on research, development and clinical validation of novel antitumor therapies, announced the expansion of its Phase III clinical trial of its investigational anticancer drug NGR-hTNF for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Yesterday, MolMed announced it has received official notification from the European Patent Office of the decision to grant a patent covering the therapeutic use of NGR-hTNF for the treatment of mesothelioma.
According to the press release, the grant will take effect July 4, when it will be published in the European Patent Bulletin. NGR-hTNF is the only drug in Phase III trial for “relapsed mesothelioma, as well as in a randomized Phase II trial as first line maintenance therapy for mesothelioma patients who completed the standard chemotherapy.”
Mesothelioma is an aggressive, rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Oncologists struggle to find the most effective treatment for the cancer that is resistant to many treatments. Currently, Alimta (pemetrexed), a chemotherapy drug used in combination with cisplatin, is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifically for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma.
The patent for NGR-hTNF will afford protection until 2029 with the possibility of term extension, and will give right to market exclusivity in 38 European countries, including the European Union member states, Eastern Europe countries, Switzerland and Turkey.
MolMed reports the patent portfolio relevant to NGR-hTNF covers product, targeting technology, synergistic combinations with other anticancer drugs, effective compositions, therapeutic uses and the specific treatment of mesothelioma.
“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 tumour,” Claudio Bordignon, MolMed’s Chairman and CEO, said of the patent.
The clinical trials for NGR-hTNF are still ongoing. For further information see ClinicalTrials.gov.