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Cystic Fibrosis - Liposomal Tobramycin Receives Second Orphan Drug Designation Within Weeks
Date:7/16/2009

ZURICH, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- An innovative treatment for infections of the respiratory tract in cystic fibrosis patients has received a second orphan drug designation in the US only weeks after a first designation was granted. The recent designation relates to Burkholderia cepacia pathogens that can cause lethal infections in cystic fibrosis patients. For Axentis Pharma AG of Zurich, Switzerland, both designations affirm the therapeutic potential of its product candidate Fluidosomes(TM)-tobramycin, whose unique microbiological profile sets it apart from other antibiotic formulations (including free tobramycin).

Axentis Pharma (Switzerland) announced today that the Office of Orphan Products Development of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a second orphan drug designation to its lead product candidate Fluidosomes(TM)-tobramycin. This drug is a liposomal formulation of tobramycin and an innovative treatment for infections of the respiratory tract in patients with cystic fibrosis. Only three months ago, the FDA granted Fluidosomes(TM)-tobramycin orphan drug designation for the treatment of pulmonary infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The newly granted second designation relates to pulmonary infections caused by Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia) pathogens.

Despite stringent infection control practices, B. cepacia infections still occur in cystic fibrosis patients and can lead to fatal sepsis. The cell envelopes of these especially virulent bacteria are impermeable to most antibiotics, which makes them particularly difficult to treat. Due to its unique mode of action, which allows the antibiotics to penetrate into the bacteria, Fluidosomes(TM)-tobramycin could become a particularly effective treatment for B. cepacia infections.

Prof. Dr. Miguel A Valvano, MD, Medical Advisor to Axentis Pharma, comments on the development: "Burkholderia cepacia is almost always mu
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SOURCE Axentis Pharma AG
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