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OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS, INC. filed this Form S-1/A on 02/16/2007
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  expensive Phase III clinical trials. In some cases, a sponsor may decide to run what is referred to as a “Phase IIb” evaluation, which is a second, confirmatory Phase II trial that could, if positive and accepted by the FDA, serve as a pivotal trial in the approval of a product candidate.
  •      Phase III:  These are commonly referred to as pivotal studies. When Phase II evaluations demonstrate that a dose range of the product is effective and has an acceptable safety profile, Phase III trials are undertaken in large patient populations to further evaluate dosage, to provide substantial evidence of clinical efficacy and to further test for safety in an expanded and diverse patient population at multiple, geographically-dispersed clinical trial sites.
  •      Phase IV:  In some cases, FDA may condition approval of an NDA for a product candidate on the sponsor’s agreement to conduct additional clinical trials to further assess the drug’s safety and effectiveness after NDA approval. Such post approval trials are typically referred to as Phase IV studies.
Because both product candidates are fixed-combination prescription drugs, we will need to comply with the FDA’s policy that requires each component of each product to make a contribution to the claimed effects. This means that our clinical trials for both product candidates will need to evaluate the combination as compared to each component separately and to placebo. The results of product development, preclinical studies and clinical trials are submitted to the FDA as part of an NDA. NDAs must also contain extensive manufacturing information. Once the submission has been accepted for filing, by law the FDA has 180 days to review the application and respond to the applicant. In 1992, under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, the FDA agreed to specific goals for improving the drug review time and created a two-tiered system of review times — Standard Review and Priority Review. Standard Review is applied to a drug that offers at most, only minor improvement over existing marketed therapies. The 2002 amendments to PDUFA set a goal that a Standard Review of an NDA be accomplished within a ten-month timeframe. A Priority Review designation is given to drugs that offer major advances in treatment, or provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists. A Priority Review means that the time it takes the FDA to review an NDA is reduced such that the goal for completing a Priority Review initial review cycle is six months. It is likely that the product candidates will be on a ten-month initial review cycle. The review process is often significantly extended by FDA requests for additional information or clarification. The FDA may refer the application to an advisory committee for review, evaluation and recommendation as to whether the application should be approved. The FDA is not bound by the recommendation of an advisory committee, but it generally follows such recommendations. The FDA may deny approval of an NDA if the applicable regulatory criteria are not satisfied, or it may require additional clinical data and/or an additional pivotal Phase III clinical trial. Even if such data are submitted, the FDA may ultimately decide that the NDA does not satisfy the criteria for approval. Data from clinical trials are not always conclusive and FDA may interpret data differently than us. Once issued, the FDA may withdraw product approval if ongoing regulatory requirements are not met or if safety problems occur after the product reaches the market. In addition, the FDA may require testing, including Phase IV studies, and surveillance programs to monitor the effect of approved products which have been commercialized, and the FDA has the power to prevent or limit further marketing of a product based on the results of these postmarketing programs. Drugs may be marketed only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. Further, if there are any modifications to the drug, including changes in indications, labeling, or manufacturing processes or facilities, we may be required to submit and obtain FDA approval of a new or supplemental NDA, which may require us to develop additional data or conduct additional preclinical studies and clinical trials.
Section 505(b)(2) New Drug Applications
As an alternate path to FDA approval for modifications to formulations of products previously approved by the FDA, an applicant may file an NDA under Section 505(b)(2) of the FFDCA. Section 505(b)(2) was enacted as part of the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, also known as the Hatch-Waxman Act. This statutory provision permits the filing of an NDA where at least some of the information required for approval comes from studies not conducted by or for the applicant and for which the applicant has not obtained a right of reference. The Hatch-Waxman Act permits the applicant to rely upon the