I-Mab, a global biotechnology company focused on bringing highly differentiated medicines to patients around the world through the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel immunotherapies and biologics, and HI-Bio, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing targeted therapies for patients with severe immune-mediated diseases (IMDs), announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) for felzartamab, an investigational CD38 antibody, for the treatment of primary membranous nephropathy (PMN).
“The FDA’s decision to grant felzartamab Breakthrough Therapy designation is recognition of the promising data we have collected to date, as well as an acknowledgement of the need for major advances over available therapies in the treatment of patients with PMN,” said Dr. Uptal Patel, Chief Medical Officer of HI-Bio. “We believe that the cellular depletion strategy with felzartamab in PMN is applicable to many more immune-mediated diseases driven by antibodies produced in CD38+ plasma cells. For that reason, we are currently developing felzartamab in multiple diseases including PMN, IgA nephropathy, antibody-mediated rejection and lupus nephritis.”
The FDA selectively grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to expedite the development and review of drugs that are intended to treat a serious or life-threatening condition, and preliminary clinical evidence indicates the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy on a clinically significant endpoint(s).
The designation for felzartamab was based on clinical data submitted to the FDA, including results from M-PLACE, a Phase 1b/2a proof-of-concept, open-label study. The final analysis of the M-PLACE study has been accepted as an oral presentation at the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week 2023 Annual Meeting (Abstract TH-OR27), taking place November 1–5, 2023, by Brad Rovin, M.D., Director of the Division of Nephrology at Ohio State University.
I-Mab has the full rights to develop and commercialize felzartamab for all indications in Greater China which encompasses Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. I-Mab is evaluating felzartamab in oncology and autoimmune diseases. I-Mab is currently conducting a Phase 3 registrational study of felzartamab in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone as a second-line treatment for multiple myeloma (MM) in China with progression-free survival (PFS) as the primary endpoint, with a projected read-out in 2024, followed by a planned BLA submission.
“We are excited about the potential therapeutic benefit of felzartamab through this Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA, following the Orphan Drug Designation received in May,” said Dr. Andrew Zhu, President of I-Mab. “This designation represents an important milestone for I-Mab, our partner HI-Bio, and the PMN community as we continue to evaluate felzartamab as an innovative immunotherapy for multiple indications, including cancers and autoimmune diseases.”