Sesen Bio Announces Successful Pre-Submission Meeting with the European Medicines Agency for Vicineum
Sesen Bio (Nasdaq: SESN), a late-stage clinical company developing targeted fusion protein therapeutics for the treatment of patients with cancer, today announced that it has completed a successful pre-submission meeting with the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) for Vicineum1 for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (“NMIBC”) in Europe.
During the meeting, the EMA addressed product-specific, legal, regulatory and scientific topics related to Vicineum. The information and insights gained from the meeting will help to facilitate the validation of the Marketing Authorization Application (“MAA”) and support a smooth evaluation. The agency also provided guidance on various administrative topics which helps to clarify the regulatory path forward.
“We are very pleased to be managing the regulatory process with the EMA efficiently and effectively despite the pandemic. We have conducted productive virtual interactions allowing us to stay on track for regulatory filings in Europe,” said Dr. Thomas Cannell, president and chief executive officer of Sesen Bio. “Europe represents one of the largest regions in terms of unmet need for patients with NMIBC, and we appreciate the agency’s guidance and confidence in Sesen Bio to pursue an MAA submission for approval of Vicineum.”
This successful pre-submission meeting with the EMA follows the critical milestone of written notice from the EMA that Vicineum has received confirmation of eligibility to file an MAA under the agency’s centralized procedure. Confirmation of eligibility was given in response to the submission of a letter of intent, which notified the EMA that Sesen intended to file an MAA.
The success of the pre-submission meeting, in addition to the receipt of centralized procedure eligibility confirmation from the EMA, are significant milestones toward the Company’s regulatory path forward in Europe and reaffirms the Company’s intent to complete all necessary pre-submission activities with the EMA by the end of 2020.
1The proprietary brand name, Vicineum is a corporate trademark which has been conditionally approved by the FDA. Final approval of the Vicineum brand name is conditional on FDA approval of the Company’s product candidate, oportuzumab monatox. Sesen Bio is currently going through the tradename approval process in Europe for oportuzumab monatox.
Vicineum, a locally administered fusion protein, is Sesen Bio’s lead product candidate currently in the follow-up stage of a Phase 3 registration trial for the treatment of high-risk, BCG-unresponsive NMIBC. In December 2019, the Company initiated the Biologics License Applictation (“BLA”) submission for Vicineum to the FDA under Rolling Review. Vicineum is comprised of a recombinant fusion protein that targets epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) antigens on the surface of tumor cells to deliver a potent protein payload, Pseudomonas Exotoxin A. Vicineum is constructed with a stable, genetically engineered peptide tether to ensure the payload remains attached until it is internalized by the cancer cell, which is believed to decrease the risk of toxicity to healthy tissues, thereby improving its safety. In prior clinical trials conducted by Sesen Bio, EpCAM has been shown to be overexpressed in NMIBC cells with minimal to no EpCAM expression observed on normal bladder cells. Sesen Bio is currently conducting the Phase 3 VISTA trial, designed to support the registration of Vicineum for the treatment of high-risk NMIBC in patients who have previously received a minimum of two courses of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (“BCG”) and whose disease is now BCG-unresponsive. Additionally, Sesen Bio believes that cancer cell-killing properties of Vicineum promote an anti-tumor immune response that may potentially combine well with immuno-oncology drugs, such as checkpoint inhibitors. The activity of Vicineum in BCG-unresponsive NMIBC is also being explored at the US National Cancer Institute in combination with AstraZeneca’s immune checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab.