On 2 February 2010, orphan designation (EU/3/09/716) was granted by the European Commission to ARIAD Pharma Ltd, United Kingdom, for benzamide, 3-(2-imidazo[1,2-b]pyridazin-3-ylethynyl)-4-methyl-N-[4-[(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)methyl]-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl] for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia.
- What is chronic myeloid leukaemia?
Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a cancer of the white blood cells (cells that fight against infections). In patients with CML, the bone marrow (the spongy tissue inside the large bones) produces large numbers of abnormal, immature white blood cells called ‘blasts’, so there are too many of them circulating in the blood. These blast cells are not fully developed and do not work properly. Over a period of time, they replace the normal white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets in the bone marrow.
CML is most common in adults and older people, but children may also be affected. The disease usually develops very slowly, which is why it is called ‘chronic’. However, when it progresses, CML is a severe and life-threatening disease that is associated with poor overall survival.
- What is the estimated number of patients affected by the condition?
At the time of designation, CML affected approximately 0.8 in 10,000 people in the European Union (EU)*. This is equivalent to a total of around 40,000 people, and is below the threshold for orphan designation, which is 5 people in 10,000. This is based on the information provided by the sponsor and knowledge of the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP).
*Disclaimer: For the purpose of the designation, the number of patients affected by the condition is estimated and assessed on the basis of data from the European Union (EU 27), Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. This represents a population of 504,800,000 (Eurostat 2009).
- What treatments are available?
Treatment for CML is complex and depends on a number of factors including the extent of the disease, whether it has been treated before, and the patient’s age, symptoms and general state of health. At the time of designation, the main treatments for CML were chemotherapy (medicines to treat cancer) and bone marrow transplantation (a complex procedure where the bone marrow of the patient is destroyed and replaced with healthy bone marrow from a matched donor).
The sponsor has provided sufficient information to show that benzamide, 3-(2-imidazo[1,2-b]pyridazin-3-ylethynyl)-4-methyl-N-[4-[(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)methyl]-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl] might be of significant benefit for patients with CML because it may represent an alternative treatment for patients with this condition, and because early studies indicate that it might be used in patients who do not respond to existing treatments. These assumptions will need to be confirmed at the time of marketing authorisation, in order to maintain the orphan status.
- How is this medicine expected to work?
Benzamide, 3-(2-imidazo[1,2-b]pyridazin-3-ylethynyl)-4-methyl-N-[4-[(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)methyl]-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl] belongs to a group of medicines called ‘protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors’. These medicines work by blocking enzymes known as protein kinases. This medicine is expected to work mainly by blocking the protein kinase called ‘BCR-ABL’ kinase. This enzyme is produced by leukaemia cells, and causes them to multiply uncontrollably. By blocking BCR-ABL kinase, as well as other kinases, the medicine is expected to help to control the spread of leukaemia cells.
- What is the stage of development of this medicine?
The effects of benzamide, 3-(2-imidazo[1,2-b]pyridazin-3-ylethynyl)-4-methyl-N-[4-[(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)methyl]-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl] have been evaluated in experimental models.
At the time of submission of the application for orphan designation, clinical trials with the designated product in patients with CML were ongoing.
At the time of submission, this medicine was not authorised anywhere in the EU for CML or designated as an orphan medicinal product elsewhere for this condition.
In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 141/2000 of 16 December 1999, the COMP adopted a positive opinion on 3 December 2009 recommending the granting of this designation.
- Opinions on orphan medicinal product designations are based on the following three criteria:
- the seriousness of the condition;
- the existence of alternative methods of diagnosis, prevention or treatment;
- either the rarity of the condition (affecting not more than 5 in 10,000 people in the Community) or insufficient returns on investment.
Designated orphan medicinal products are products that are still under investigation and are considered for orphan designation on the basis of potential activity. An orphan designation is not a marketing authorisation. As a consequence, demonstration of quality, safety and efficacy is necessary before a product can be granted a marketing authorisation.
|Name||Language||First published||Last updated|
|EU/3/09/716: Public summary of opinion on orphan designation of benzamide, 3-(2-imidazo[1,2-b]pyridazin-3-ylethynyl)-4-methyl-N-[4-[(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)methyl]-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl] for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia||(English only)||03/03/2010|
|Active substance||Benzamide, 3-(2-imidazo[1,2-b]pyridazin-3-ylethynyl)-4-methyl-N-[4-[(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)methyl]-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]|
|Disease/condition||Treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia|
|Date of decision||02/02/2010|
|Orphan decision number||EU/3/09/716|
Review of designation
Sponsor’s contact details:
ARIAD Pharma Ltd
1 Northumberland Avenue
London WC2N 5BW
Telephone: + 44 207 872 58 69
Telefax: + 44 207 872 56 11
Patient associations’ contact points:
One Birch Court
Worcestershire WR3 8SG
Telephone: +44 1905 755977 / +44 845 521 3456
Telefax: +44 1905 755166
Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer
14 Rue Corvisart
Telephone: +33 1 53 55 24 00
Telefax: +33 1 43 36 91 10
European Cancer Patient Coalition
Am Rothenanger 1b
Telephone: +49 89 628 36 807
Telefax: +49 89 628 36 808