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Grifols Initiates Safety Study of Inhaled Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor (Human) Following Orphan Drug Designation for Cystic Fibrosis

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Grifols, a global healthcare company based in Barcelona, Spain, today announced plans to initiate a safety trial of a novel, inhaled formulation of alpha1-proteinase inhibitor [Human] later this year.  In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted orphan drug designation for Grifols' inhaled alpha1 formulation as a treatment for cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that can cause life-threatening lung infections. Orphan drug designation is granted to encourage the development of treatments that prevent, diagnose or treat rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people per year in the U.S.

"Grifols is committed to developing new therapies that address the debilitating symptoms of chronic lung disease," said Kim Hanna, vice president of clinical research development at Grifols. "The orphan drug designation represents another milestone in the growth of our alpha1 program, and we're excited to pursue clinical trials with an aerosol formulation of this important therapy."

Grifols currently leads the market in alpha1-proteinase inhibitors with its intravenous therapy PROLASTIN®-C (Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor [Human])(A1-PI), indicated for the treatment of alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. This rare, genetic disorder can result in the development of emphysema due to low circulating levels of the alpha1 protein in the lungs.

PROLASTIN®, the predecessor to PROLASTIN-C, was the first FDA-approved product to treat AAT deficiency and remained so for nearly 17 years. Grifols is developing its next-generation alpha­1-proteinase inhibitor as an inhaled formulation.

About Orphan Drug Designation

Orphan drug designation is granted to companies to encourage the development of treatments that prevent, diagnose or treat rare conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people per year in the U.S. The designation provides incentives such as tax credits and potentially seven years of market exclusivity to companies willing to support the costly research and development programs associated with developing specialized drugs for a small population of individuals. The goal is to provide patients who have rare diseases with access to the same quality of treatment as other patients. 

About Grifols

Grifols is a global healthcare company that produces plasma-derived therapies and manufactures hospital pharmacy products, intravenous solutions, diagnostic tools and medical devices. As the third largest global producer of plasma therapies, Grifols has a presence in more than 90 countries and is the world leader in plasma collection, with 150 plasma donation centers across the U.S. The centers collect protein-rich plasma, which is then tested and manufactured into life-saving medicines used to treat rare conditions such as bleeding disorders, immune deficiencies and genetic emphysema. The company's class A shares have been listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange (MCE:GRF) since 2006 and have been part of the Ibex-35 since 2008. In 2011, the company listed non-voting class B shares on the Mercado Continuo (MCE:GRF.P) and on the U.S. NASDAQ via ADRs (NASDAQ: GRFS). 

Important Safety Information 
PROLASTIN-C, Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor (Human) is indicated for chronic augmentation and maintenance therapy in adults with emphysema due to deficiency of alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency). The effect of augmentation therapy with any alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (alpha1-PI) on pulmonary exacerbations and on the progression of emphysema in alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency has not been demonstrated in randomized, controlled clinical trials. PROLASTIN-C is not indicated as therapy for lung disease in patients in whom severe alpha1-PI deficiency has not been established.

PROLASTIN-C may contain trace amounts of IgA. Patients with known antibodies to IgA, which can be present in patients with selective or severe IgA deficiency, have a greater risk of developing potentially severe hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions. PROLASTIN-C is contraindicated in patients with antibodies against IgA.

The most common drug related adverse reactions during clinical trials in >1% of subjects were chills, malaise, headache, rash, hot flush, and pruritus. The most serious adverse reaction observed during clinical studies with PROLASTIN-C was an abdominal and extremity rash in one subject.

PROLASTIN-C is made from human plasma. Products made from human plasma may carry a risk of transmitting infectious agents, e.g., viruses and, theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent.

Please see accompanying PROLASTIN-C full Prescribing Information for complete prescribing details.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

SOURCE Grifols
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