SOURCE: DOR BioPharma, Inc.

March 26, 2007 08:18 ET

DOR BioPharma Announces FDA Clearance to Conduct Phase 2 Clinical Trial of orBec® for the Prevention of GVHD

DOR Expands orBec® Pipeline into Other Indications

MIAMI, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 26, 2007 -- DOR BioPharma, Inc. (OTCBB: DORB) ("DOR" or the "Company") announced that it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") to conduct a Phase 2 clinical trial of orBec® for the prevention of Graft-versus-Host disease ("GVHD").

The Phase 2 clinical trial is supported in part by a National Institute of Health ("NIH") grant awarded to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center ("FHCRC"). The protocol, entitled "A Phase 2 study to evaluate the efficacy of oral beclomethasone diproprionate for prevention of acute GVHD after hematopoietic cell transplantation with myeloablative conditioning regimens," is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. The study, which is being reviewed by the Institutional Review Board of FHCRC, will enroll a total of 138 patients with 92 subjects in the orBec® arm and 46 subjects in the placebo arm. The Principal Investigator of the trial is Paul Martin, MD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a Professor of Medicine at Washington University. Patients will be treated with orBec® or placebo at the start of their conditioning regimen and will continue to be treated for 75 days after transplant. The objectives of the trial are to test the hypotheses that prophylactic administration of orBec® can prevent the incidence and/or reduce the severity of acute GVHD, therefore, decreasing the need for use of high dose systemic steroid treatment after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation ("HCST"). The trial is expected to begin enrolling patients in the second quarter of 2007.

"The onset of acute GVHD after HCST with the use of a myeloablative conditioning regimen almost always occurs within the first 90 days after transplant," said Dr. Martin. "In about 60% of cases, administration of high-dose systemic immunosuppressive treatment such as prednisone is required, and this significantly increases the risk of infections and other life-threatening complications in these severely immunocompromised patients."

"Given the positive outcomes of orBec® for the treatment of gastrointestinal GVHD, we believe we will be able to demonstrate that orBec®, when administered as a preventative therapy, will have a meaningful impact on acute GVHD," stated Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of DOR. "DOR is committed to expanding the clinical application of orBec® in the context of HCST such as in the prevention of GVHD as well as in the treatment of chronic GVHD. DOR will continue to work closely with the medical community to explore the many potential uses for orBec® to benefit patients undergoing transplant as well as those afflicted with other inflammatory GI conditions."

orBec® Submitted for Regulatory Approval

orBec®'s New Drug Application ("NDA") for the treatment of GI GVHD was filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Application ("FDA"), and the Marketing Authorization Application ("MAA") was filed with the European Medicines Evaluation Agency ("EMEA"). Both health authorities have accepted the filings for review and the FDA has said it will respond to DOR's NDA by July 21, 2007 under PDUFA guidelines. In addition, the FDA's Oncology Drug Advisory Committee ("ODAC") currently will review the NDA for orBec® on May 9, 2007.

About orBec®

orBec® represents a first-of-its-kind oral, locally acting therapy tailored to treat the gastrointestinal manifestation of GVHD, the organ system where GVHD is most frequently encountered and highly problematic. orBec®, if approved by the EMEA and the FDA, would be the first oral formulation of beclomethasone dipropionate ("BDP") available in the European Union and the United States, respectively. orBec® is intended to reduce the need for systemic immunosuppressive drugs to treat GI GVHD. BDP is a highly potent, topically active corticosteroid that has a local effect on inflamed tissue. BDP has been marketed in the U.S. and worldwide since the early 1970's as the active pharmaceutical ingredient in a nasal spray and in a metered dose inhaler for the treatment of patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma. orBec® is formulated for oral administration as a single product consisting of two tablets; one tablet is intended to release BDP in the proximal portions of the GI tract and the other tablet is intended to release BDP in the distal portions of the GI tract.

In addition to issued patents and pending worldwide patent applications held by or exclusively licensed to DOR, orBec® also benefits from orphan drug designations in the U.S. and in Europe for the treatment of GI GVHD, which provide for 7 and 10 years of post-approval market exclusivity, respectively.


GI GVHD is a debilitating and painful disease. It is a common disorder among immuno-compromised cancer patients after receiving allogeneic stem cell or bone marrow transplants. Unlike organ transplants where the patient's body may reject the organ, in GVHD it is the donor cells that begin to attack the patient's body -- most frequently the gastrointestinal tract, liver and skin. Patients with mild-to-moderate GI GVHD typically develop symptoms of anorexia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If left untreated, GI GVHD can progress to ulcerations in the lining of the GI tract, and in its most severe form, can be fatal.

About Allogeneic Bone Marrow/Stem Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT)

HSCT is considered a potentially curative option for many leukemias as well as other forms of blood cancer. In an allogeneic HSCT procedure, hematopoietic stem cells are harvested from a closely matched relative or unrelated person, and are transplanted into the patient following either high-dose chemotherapy or intense immunosuppressive conditioning therapy. The curative potential of allogeneic HSCT is now partly attributed to the so-called graft-versus-leukemia ("GVL") or graft-versus-tumor ("GVT") effects of the newly transplanted donor cells to recognize and destroy malignant cells in the recipient patient.

The use of allogeneic HSCT has grown substantially over the last decade due to advances in human immunogenetics, the establishment of unrelated donor programs, the use of cord blood as a source of hematopoietic stem cells and the advent of non-myeloablative conditioning regimens ("mini-transplants") that avoid the side effects of high-dose chemotherapy. Based on the latest statistics available, it is estimated that there are more than 12,000 HSCT procedures annually in the U.S. and a comparable number in Europe. Estimates as to the current annual rate of increase in these procedures are as high as 20%. High rates of morbidity and mortality occur in this patient population. Clinical trials are also underway testing allogeneic HSCT for treatment of some metastatic solid tumors such as breast cancer, renal cell carcinoma, melanoma and ovarian cancer. Allogeneic transplants have also been used as curative therapy for several genetic disorders, including immunodeficiency syndromes, inborn errors of metabolism, thalassemia and sickle cell disease. The primary toxicity of allogeneic HSCT, however, is GVHD. In GVHD, the newly transplanted donor cells damage cells in the recipient's gastrointestinal tract, liver and skin.

About DOR BioPharma, Inc.

DOR BioPharma, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing products to treat life-threatening side effects of cancer treatments and serious gastrointestinal diseases, and vaccines for certain bioterrorism agents. DOR's lead product, orBec® (oral beclomethasone dipropionate), is a potent, locally-acting corticosteroid being developed for the treatment of GI GVHD, a common and potentially life-threatening complication of bone marrow transplantation. DOR has filed an NDA with the FDA for the treatment of GI GVHD, and has received a PDUFA date of July 21, 2007. In addition, the FDA's Oncology Drug Advisory Committee ("ODAC") will review the NDA for orBec® on May 9, 2007. An MAA with the EMEA for orBec® has also been filed and validated. orBec® may also have application in treating other gastrointestinal disorders characterized by severe inflammation.

Through its Biodefense Division, DOR is developing biomedical countermeasures pursuant to the recently enacted Project BioShield Act of 2004. DOR's biodefense products in development are recombinant subunit vaccines designed to protect against the lethal effects of exposure to ricin toxin and botulinum toxin. DOR's ricin toxin vaccine, RiVax™, has been shown to be safely tolerated and immunogenic in a Phase 1 clinical trial in normal volunteers.

For further information regarding DOR BioPharma, please visit the Company's website located at

This press release contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that reflect DOR BioPharma, Inc.'s current expectations about its future results, performance, prospects and opportunities, including statements regarding the potential use of orBec® for the treatment of gastrointestinal GVHD and the prospects for regulatory filings for orBec®. Where possible, DOR has tried to identify these forward-looking statements by using words such as "anticipates," "believes," "intends," or similar expressions. These statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results in future periods to differ materially from what is expressed in, or implied by, these statements. DOR also cannot assure you that it will be able to successfully develop or commercialize products based on its technology, including orBec®, particularly in light of the significant uncertainty inherent in developing vaccines against bioterror threats, manufacturing and conducting preclinical and clinical trials of vaccines, and obtaining regulatory approvals, that its technologies will prove to be safe and effective, that its cash expenditures will not exceed projected levels, that it will be able to obtain future financing or funds when needed, that product development and commercialization efforts will not be reduced or discontinued due to difficulties or delays in clinical trials or due to lack of progress or positive results from research and development efforts, that it will be able to successfully obtain any further grants and awards, maintain its existing grants which are subject to performance, enter into any biodefense procurement contracts with the U.S. Government or other countries, that the U.S. Congress may not pass any legislation that would provide additional funding for the Project BioShield program, that it will be able to patent, register or protect its technology from challenge and products from competition or maintain or expand its license agreements with its current licensors, or that its business strategy will be successful. Important factors which may affect the future use of orBec® for gastrointestinal GVHD include the risks that: because orBec® did not achieve statistical significance in its primary endpoint in the pivotal Phase III clinical study (i.e. a p-value of less than or equal to 0.05), the FDA may not consider orBec® approvable based upon existing studies, orBec® may not show therapeutic effect or an acceptable safety profile in future clinical trials, if required, or could take a significantly longer time to gain regulatory approval than DOR expects or may never gain approval; DOR is dependent on the expertise, effort, priorities and contractual obligations of third parties in the clinical trials, manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of its products; or orBec® may not gain market acceptance; and others may develop technologies or products superior to orBec®. These and other factors are described from time to time in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, DOR's most recent reports on Form 10-QSB and Form 10-KSB. DOR assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, and changes in circumstances or for any other reason.

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