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Sirion Therapeutics Announces FDA Approval of Zirgan(TM) (Ganciclovir Ophthalmic Gel) 0.15% for Herpetic Keratitis
Date:9/21/2009

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Sirion Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held ophthalmic-focused biopharmaceutical company, announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its New Drug Application for Zirgan(TM) (ganciclovir ophthalmic gel) 0.15% as a treatment for acute herpetic keratitis (dendritic ulcers). The FDA granted orphan drug designation to Zirgan for this indication in April 2007.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080220/CLW064LOGO )

Herpetic keratitis, an ocular disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), is a significant cause of corneal blindness and a leading indication for corneal transplantation in the US, with approximately 50,000 new and recurrent cases each year. After the initial outbreak, HSV becomes a latent infection in the trigeminal ganglion or cornea, with repeated recurrences that frequently lead to corneal scarring and ocular inflammation, increasing the risk of blindness.

The FDA approval was based on the results of clinical trials conducted by Laboratoires Thea of France in Europe, Asia, and Africa that compared the efficacy and tolerability of Zirgan to acyclovir ophthalmic ointment 3% in patients with herpetic keratitis. Both ganciclovir gel and acyclovir ointment are standard-of-care therapies outside of the US, and selectively target the replication of HSV DNA, unlike older antivirals which affect both healthy and infected cells.

In one open-label, randomized, controlled, multicenter clinical trial which enrolled 164 patients with herpetic keratitis, Zirgan was non-inferior to acyclovir in patients with dendritic ulcers. Clinical resolution (defined as percentage of healed ulcers) at Day 7 was achieved in 77% (55/71) for Zirgan versus 72% (48/67) for acyclovir
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SOURCE Sirion Therapeutics, Inc.
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