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ODD for temozolomide in the treatment of neuroblastoma

10 December 2019

ORPHELIA Pharma announces Orphan Drug Designation granted by FDA for temozolomide in the treatment of neuroblastoma

Paris and Lyon, December 10th, 2019 – ORPHELIA Pharma, a French biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development and marketing of pediatric drugs in the fields of oncology and neurology, announces today that the Office for Orphan Products of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a positive opinion for the Orphan Drug Designation of temozolomide in the treatment of neuroblastoma.

« We are particularly pleased with the grant of this Orphan Designation », comments Jérémy Bastid, Chief Development Officer of ORPHELIA Pharma. « Temozolomide is an important part of the treatment armamentarium for high-risk neuroblastoma patients who relapse or face disease recurrence, albeit used off‑label. Existing formulations of temozolomide-containing products are not adapted to young children. Our formulation Kimozo® aims at providing these young patients with a pharmaceutical form adapted to their age », he concludes.

Kimozo® is the first presentation of the anticancer drug temozolomide developed for the treatment of relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma, a pediatric disease affecting young patients with dismal prognosis. Kimozo® is being developed as a taste-masked oral suspension and will be the first pediatric formulation of temozolomide.

« Temozolomide has become an integral component of established regimens for relapsed and refractory neuroblastoma. Patients with neuroblastoma are usually younger than 5 years of age and unable to tolerate the currently available temozolomide tablet formulations, presenting barriers to administration. The liquid formulation of Kimozo® is therefore a welcome and needed resource for treating patients with neuroblastoma », highlights Dr. Julie Park, Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children’s Hospital and University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

« The Office for Orphan Products of the FDA has acknowledged the benefit of temozolomide in the treatment of neuroblastoma patients with relapsed of refractory disease. The pediatric formulation that we are developing addresses significant unmet medical needs for young children with neuroblastoma », comments  Hugues Bienaymé, Founder and General Manager of ORPHELIA Pharma. « We expect to file Kimozo® Marketing Authorization Application with the FDA as soon as the dossier is complete ».

About temozolomide in neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is the most frequent extra-cranial solid tumor in children. It is a rare disease with an incidence of 1.3/100,000. Prognosis is extremely variable, from spontaneously regressing tumors in low-risk neuroblastomas to highly aggressive disease with dismal prognosis in high-risk patients. Half of neuroblastomas are classified as high-risk, among which half being refractory to treatment or relapsing thereafter. Temozolomide has become the mainstay of rescue treatment of relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma, without being authorized in this condition.

About ORPHELIA Pharma

ORPHELIA Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company based in Paris and Lyon (France) that develops and markets drugs for the treatment of rare and serious pediatric diseases. Its mission is to provide patients with essential hospital products in the fields of epilepsy and oncology with formulations adapted to the pediatric population. Its first product, Kigabeq®, obtained its Marketing Authorization in Europe in October 2018 and has been launched in Europe. Its second product, Ivozall®, has recently been granted approval by the EMA for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. ORPHELIA Pharma also conducts research projects through academic and industrial collaborations. The main investors are initiative OCTALFA and Pierre Fabre Medicament.