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Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. Announces NDA Submission for Abiraterone Acetate for the Treatment of Metastatic Advanced Prostate Cancer

HORSHAM, Pa., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the investigational drug abiraterone acetate administered with prednisone for the treatment of metastatic advanced prostate cancer in patients who have received prior chemotherapy containing a taxane.  Janssen-Cilag International NV also filed a marketing authorization application (MAA) with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for abiraterone acetate.

Abiraterone acetate was developed by Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, Unit of Cougar Biotechnology, Inc.

Abiraterone acetate is an investigational oral androgen biosynthesis inhibitor being developed for the treatment of metastatic advanced prostate cancer that has developed resistance to conventional hormonal therapies.  This is also known as castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).  It is believed that abiraterone acetate inhibits a key enzyme, CYP17, needed for androgen biosynthesis in the testes, adrenals and tumor.  

Both applications follow completion of a Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study (COU-AA-301), which evaluated overall survival and tolerability in patients with metastatic advanced prostate cancer treated with abiraterone acetate plus prednisone compared to treatment with placebo plus prednisone.  In September 2010, the company announced that the study was unblinded on the recommendation of an Independent Data Monitoring Committee.  

Data from this 1,195 patient study conducted in 147 centers in 13 countries were presented at the 35th Annual European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in October 2010.  Additional ongoing studies are currently underway for abiraterone acetate.

"These regulatory file submissions are an important milestone for men with metastatic advanced prostate cancer and for our company," said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Therapeutic Head, Oncology, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, LLC.  "We believe that we can develop important therapies to treat devastating diseases by focusing on the tumor microenvironment.  Abiraterone acetate is a key part of this strategy, and we look forward to working with health authorities to provide a new therapeutic option for metastatic advanced prostate cancer patients."

If approved, abiraterone acetate will be commercialized and distributed by Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. in the U.S. and by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies in all other countries around the world.

About Metastatic Advanced Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is considered to be advanced when metastases beyond the prostate occur and when resistance emerges to conventional hormonal therapies.  Metastatic advanced prostate cancer is also referred to as castration-resistant prostate cancer, or CRPC, when disease progresses despite conventional hormone therapies or appearance of new metastases.

Prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the tissues of the prostate.  The prostate is a gland located around the urethra (under the bladder) in men that produces part of the seminal fluid.  In some cases, cancer of the prostate can grow slowly compared with other cancers.  However, depending on factors including characteristics specific to the patient and the tumor, prostate cancer can also grow very quickly and spread widely.

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in American men.  One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and in the United States in 2009, nearly 200,000 men were diagnosed with the disease. In 2010, an estimated 217,000 new cases of prostate cancer and 32,000 related deaths are expected to be reported in the United States.

About Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.

Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. redefines the standard of care in immunology, nephrology and oncology.  The company was formed when Centocor, Inc. and Ortho Biotech Inc. were consolidated in late 2008, and was renamed Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.  Built upon a pioneering history, Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. harnesses innovations in large-molecule and small-molecule research to create important new therapeutic options.  Beyond its innovative medicines, Centocor Ortho Biotech is at the forefront of developing education and public policy initiatives to ensure patients and their families, caregivers, advocates and healthcare professionals have access to the latest treatment information, support services and quality care.  For more information about Centocor Ortho Biotech, visit

About Janssen

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson are dedicated to addressing and solving the most important unmet medical needs of our time, including oncology (e.g., multiple myeloma and prostate cancer), immunology (e.g., psoriasis), neuroscience (e.g., schizophrenia, dementia and pain), infectious disease (e.g., HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and tuberculosis), and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes).

Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop sustainable, integrated healthcare solutions by working side-by-side with healthcare stakeholders, based on partnerships of trust and transparency.

More information can be found at

About Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. (J&JPRD) is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, the world's most broadly based producer of health care products. J&JPRD is headquartered in Raritan, N.J., and has facilities throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. J&JPRD is focusing its drug discovery and drug development efforts to address unmet medical needs worldwide in a variety of therapeutic areas including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, oncology, immunology, central nervous system disorders and virology. More information can be found at

About Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, Unit of Cougar Biotechnology, Inc.

Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, unit of Cougar Biotechnology, Inc., partners with affiliated units and companies in the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, such as Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. and J&JPRD, in the research and development of oncology and supportive care treatments. 

(This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc., J&JPRD, Janssen-Cilag International NV and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include general industry conditions and competition; economic conditions, such as interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approvals; domestic and foreign health care reforms and governmental laws and regulations; and trends toward health care cost containment.  A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Exhibit 99 of Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 3, 2010.  Copies of this Form 10-K, as well as subsequent filings, are available online at, or on request from Johnson & Johnson.  None of Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc., J&JPRD, Janssen-Cilag International or Johnson & Johnson undertake to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.)

*Editor's Note: J&JPRD has initiated an early access program (EAP) for abiraterone acetate in metastatic advanced prostate cancer patients who have exhausted currently approved treatment options including docetaxel and are likely to benefit from the therapy.  For information about early access to abiraterone acetate, please call 1-800-457-6399.

SOURCE Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.
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