ALS ‘Urgency’, US FDA Regulatory Environment Justify Filing NurOwn, BrainStorm Says
BrainStorm discovered a statistical error while preparing the stem cell therapy's BLA, and corrected data show a statistically significant treatment difference for a key secondary endpoint in less advanced ALS. However, the Phase III trial still failed its primary clinical efficacy endpoint.
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Sponsor’s assertion of a ‘floor effect’ cannot explain the lack of difference versus placebo on clinical endpoints, and there is no evidence that assessed biomarkers are reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit, agency says. Although advisory committee will focus primarily on efficacy, FDA also cites concerns about ‘grossly deficient’ product quality information.
A November 2022 refuse-to-file letter cited clinical and statistical issues for the stem cell therapy, which failed its Phase III clinical efficacy endpoint. However, BrainStorm has consistently asserted that NurOwn demonstrated benefit in patients with less advanced disease at baseline, and it is encouraged by regulatory flexibility FDA recently has shown for the neurodegenerative disease.
BrainStorm, which has a history of antagonizing FDA with direct appeals to patients for NurOwn, tells investors that public elements of an adcomm could be ‘persuasive,’ but first step will be formal meeting request to try to overcome the RTF. Firm sees Relyvrio as template for success.