Danish biotech company TopoTarget has announced in a press release that a patent related to valproic acid, the active ingredient of TopoTarget's drug candidate Savicol, has been allowed in Europe for the treatment of the inherited condition FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis). Untreated FAP can lead to the development of colon cancer.
The patent covers Savicol's novel tablet formulation of valproic acid, which allows some of the drug to be released quickly and some slowly in order to give high and constant therapeutic drug levels over a long time period.
Business.dk reports that Savicol is now being tested in Phase II clinical studies, and that TopoTarget hopes that if the results are successful, Savicol could gain an indication for colon cancer - the third most common type of cancer worldwide.
Savicol was granted Orphan Drug status* for FAP in Europe in 2004 and in the US in 2005. TopoTarget's CEO Peter Buhl Jensen says in the press release that the patent is part of the company's strategy 'to vigorously protect our product portfolio with a robust patent estate'.
Headquartered in Copenhagen, TopoTarget has subsidiaries in the US, Switzerland, Germany and the UK, working on developing improved cancer therapies. TopoTarget has nine drugs in clinical development, including both novel anti-cancer therapeutics and new cancer indications for existing drugs.
* status given to products developed for rare, serious diseases, which gives the manufacturer tax reductions and market exclusivity for a period of at least 7 years post-approval in order to make such product development financially worthwhile – Ed.