MacroGenics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGNX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) to margetuximab, an investigational, Fc-engineered monoclonal antibody targeting HER2 for the treatment of gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer.
Margetuximab is currently being evaluated in the Phase 2/3 MAHOGANY  clinical trial in combination with checkpoint inhibition, with or without chemotherapy, as a potential first-line treatment for patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer (GC) or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. The MAHOGANY study is based on results from an ongoing Phase 2 study of margetuximab plus pembrolizumab, an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, for patients with advanced HER2-positive GC or GEJ cancer who have previously been treated with chemotherapy and trastuzumab in the metastatic setting. Data were presented  at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Annual Congress in September 2019.
"We are pleased that the FDA has granted orphan status to margetuximab," said Scott Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of MacroGenics. "We believe that our immune-enhancing antibody targeting HER2 has the potential to improve upon the clinical activity of existing standard of care for patients with gastric or gastroesophageal cancer."
The FDA grants ODD to medicines intended for the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases of disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. The designation provides certain incentives, which may include seven years of marketing exclusivity for the orphan indication, certain federal grants, tax credits and waiver of certain FDA fees.
About Gastric and Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer
Cancer of the stomach (gastric cancer) or the gastroesophageal junction (where the esophagus joins the stomach) is collectively known as gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 27,600 new cases of gastric cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S in 2020 and more than 11,000 people will die from the disease. Both GC and GEJ cancer are often diagnosed at an advanced stage and therefore have very poor prognosis, with a 5-year survival of 5-20%. Chemotherapy is the standard of care for first-line therapy and may be combined with trastuzumab for the approximately 20% of patients whose tumors are HER2-positive.
Margetuximab is an Fc-engineered, monoclonal antibody that targets the HER2 oncoprotein. HER2 is expressed by tumor cells in breast, gastroesophageal and other solid tumors. Margetuximab was designed to provide HER2 blockade and has similar HER2 binding and antiproliferative effects as trastuzumab. In addition, margetuximab has been engineered to enhance the engagement of the immune system through MacroGenics' Fc Optimization technology. A Biologics License Application (BLA) for margetuximab for the treatment of patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer in combination with chemotherapy is under review by the FDA, with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date of December 18, 2020. Margetuximab is also being evaluated in combination with checkpoint blockade. The Phase 2/3 MAHOGANY trial for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive gastroesophageal cancer is ongoing (NCT04082364). For more information please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov .
About MacroGenics, Inc.
MacroGenics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. The Company generates its pipeline of product candidates primarily from its proprietary suite of next-generation antibody-based technology platforms, which have applicability across broad therapeutic domains. The combination of MacroGenics' technology platforms and protein engineering expertise has allowed the Company to generate promising product candidates and enter into several strategic collaborations with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. For more information, please see the Company's website at www.macrogenics.com . MacroGenics, the MacroGenics logo and DART are trademarks or registered trademarks of MacroGenics, Inc.
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