Independent Data Monitoring Committee Recommends Marshall Edwards, Inc.'s Ovature Trial Continues
Jun 9, 2008
New Canaan, CT, June 9, 2008 - The Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) constituted to oversee the conduct of the Phase III OVArian TUmor REsponse (OVATURE) Trial, has recommended continuation of the study.
The OVATURE trial is a major multi-center international Phase III clinical trial of orally-administered investigational drug phenoxodiol in combination with carboplatin in women with advanced ovarian cancer resistant or refractory to platinum-based drugs, to determine its safety and effectiveness when used in combination with carboplatin.
IDMC, which met in Chicago at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), is responsible to ensure that patients recruited to the study are not exposed to unnecessary safety risks, that the study continues to meet its clinical objectives, and that it is run according to the required standards of Good Clinical Practice. Following a scheduled review of safety and efficacy data, the Committee has recommended that the study remains open and continue as planned towards its accrual target of 340 patients.
The OVATURE trial is recruiting ovarian cancer patients whose cancer initially responded to chemotherapy, but has since become resistant or refractory to traditional platinum treatments. Patients are being recruited at clinical sites across USA, UK, Europe and Australia. Currently, more than 25 sites in the U.S., 20 sites in Europe/UK, and six sites in Australia are participating in this clinical study.
The OVATURE trial has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) program, indicating that the study's design, clinical endpoints, and statistical analyses are acceptable to FDA. The protocol provides for an interim analysis of the data, which, if statistically significant, can be used to support a request for accelerated marketing approval. An analysis of interim results will be possible after the targeted patient recruitment to this study is completed and 95 patients have disease progression. The OVATURE trial is sponsored by Marshall Edwards, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSHL), the developer of phenoxodiol.
Patients and caregivers who are interested in learning more about the OVATURE trial should visit a website for this study at www.OVATUREtrial.com.
Phenoxodiol is being developed as a chemosensitizing agent in combination with platinum drugs for late stage, chemoresistant ovarian cancer and as a monotherapy for prostate and cervical cancers. It has a unique mechanism of action, binding to cancer cells via a cell membrane oxidase, causing major downstream disturbances in expression of proteins necessary for cancer cell survival and responsible for the development of drug resistance.
In cancer cells, phenoxodiol appears to selectively inhibit the regulator known as S-1-P (sphingosine-1-phosphate) that is overexpressed in cancer cells. In response to phenoxodiol, the S-1-P content in cancer cells is decreased, with a consequent decrease in expression of the pro-survival proteins XIAP and FLIP, rendering those cells more sensitive to chemotherapy. Indeed, in laboratory studies, it has been demonstrated that drug-resistant ovarian cancer cells pre-treated with phenoxodiol were killed with lower doses of chemotherapy drugs.
Importantly, phenoxodiol has been shown not to adversely affect normal cells in animal and laboratory testing.
Phenoxodiol is being investigated as a therapy for late-stage, chemoresistant ovarian, prostate and cervical cancers. Phenoxodiol has received Fast Track status from the FDA to facilitate its development as a therapy for recurrent ovarian and prostate cancers.
Phenoxodiol is an investigational drug and, as such, is not commercially available. Under U.S. law, a new drug cannot be marketed until it has been investigated in clinical trials and approved by FDA as being safe and effective for the intended use.
Phenoxodiol is the first of a family of compounds in the Marshall Edwards, Inc. drug pipeline of flavonoid derivatives.
About Marshall Edwards, Inc.
Marshall Edwards, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSHL) is a specialist oncology company focused on the clinical development of novel anti-cancer therapeutics. These derive from a flavonoid technology platform, which has generated a number of novel compounds characterized by broad ranging activity against a range of cancer cell types with few side effects. The combination of anti-tumor cell activity and low toxicity is believed to be a result of the ability of these compounds to target an enzyme present in the cell membrane of cancer cells, thereby inhibiting the production of pro-survival proteins within the cell. Marshall Edwards, Inc. has licensed rights from Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT, NASDAQ: NVGN) to bring three oncology drugs - phenoxodiol, triphendiol and NV-143 - to market globally. The Company's lead investigational drug, phenoxodiol, is in a Phase III multinational multi-centered clinical trial for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. More information on the trial can be found at http://www.OVATUREtrial.com.
Marshall Edwards, Inc. is majority owned by Novogen Limited (ASX: NRT, NASDAQ: NVGN), an Australian biotechnology company that is specializing in the development of therapeutics based on a flavonoid technology platform. Novogen is developing a range of therapeutics across the fields of oncology, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory diseases. More information on phenoxodiol and on the Novogen group of companies can be found at www.marshalledwardsinc.com and www.novogen.com.
Under U.S. law, a new drug cannot be marketed until it has been investigated in clinical trials and approved by the FDA as being safe and effective for the intended use. Statements included in this press release that are not historical in nature are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You should be aware that our actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, our failure to successfully commercialize our product candidates; costs and delays in the development and/or FDA approval, or the failure to obtain such approval, of our product candidates; uncertainties in clinical trial results; our inability to maintain or enter into, and the risks resulting from our dependence upon, collaboration or contractual arrangements necessary for the development, manufacture, commercialization, marketing, sales and distribution of any products; competitive factors; our inability to protect our patents or proprietary rights and obtain necessary rights to third party patents and intellectual property to operate our business; our inability to operate our business without infringing the patents and proprietary rights of others; general economic conditions; the failure of any products to gain market acceptance; our inability to obtain any additional required financing; technological changes; government regulation; changes in industry practice; and one-time events. We do not intend to update any of these factors or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements.