EPICEPT CORPORATION ENGAGES SUNTRUST ROBINSON HUMPHREY TO ADVISE ON STRATEGY TO MAXIMIZE AMIKET™ POTENTIAL
Jan 09, 2012
OTC Disclosure News Service
Tarrytown, NY –
EpiCept Corporation Engages SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to Advise on Strategy to Maximize AmiKet™ Potential
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (January 9, 2012) – EpiCept Corporation (Nasdaq OMX Stockholm Exchange and OTCQX: EPCT) today announced that it has engaged SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to assist in exploring strategic alternatives to maximize the commercial opportunity of AmiKet™, the Company’s prescription topical cream intended for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) following taxane-based therapy. The engagement will focus on the identification and implementation of a strategy designed to optimize AmiKet’s value for the Company’s shareholders.
Jack Talley, EpiCept’s President and CEO, stated, “EpiCept is committed to optimizing the value of our assets. We are initiating a formal process with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to assist us in this effort, and specifically to maximize the value of AmiKet™. We believe that the engagement will result in a greater level of market appreciation for the consistently positive clinical results we have achieved in a variety of neuropathic pain indications including recent positive data in CIPN, the significant market potential we have identified in an indication that is woefully underserved, and the recent favorable End-of-Phase II meeting with the FDA. A successful outcome of this engagement will enable the product to move forward quickly through its final stage of clinical and regulatory development and we have instructed SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to explore all possible avenues to help us achieve this goal.”
In December 2011, EpiCept announced that at a recent meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the Company was given permission to commence Phase III clinical development of AmiKet™ for the treatment of CIPN, and that a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) would be available upon formal submission and agreement as to the Phase III trial protocol.
During the fourth quarter of 2011, a U.S. market evaluation of the CIPN opportunity was completed by an independent market assessment firm engaged by EpiCept. Among the study’s conclusions was that peak annual revenue for AmiKet™ treating CIPN in the U.S. alone could exceed $400 million through a specialty pharmaceutical sales force of less than 150 targeting the top six deciles of prescribing oncologists, pain specialists and neurologists. The study determined that the number of cases of malignant cancer diagnoses of breast, prostate, lung and ovarian cancers currently exceeds 3.5 million, and estimated that 90% of all prostate and ovarian cancer patients, 75% of all breast cancer patients and more than 60% of all lung cancer patients are treated with taxanes, either alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic drugs. Based on physician interviews, expert opinions and a review of the medical literature, the study concluded that a significant percentage of this group develops some form of CIPN.
AmiKet™ is a prescription, topical analgesic cream containing 4% amitriptyline and 2% ketamine designed to provide relief from neuropathic pain, which affects more than 15 million people in the U.S. alone. In the first half of 2011, EpiCept announced positive results from a National Cancer Institute-sponsored study evaluating the efficacy and safety of AmiKet™ in CIPN, a painful condition that frequently occurs following systemic chemotherapy and that may interrupt, delay or even prevent completion of potentially curative chemotherapy regimens. A safe and effective therapeutic option for neuropathic pain associated with CIPN would address a significant unmet medical need.
About EpiCept Corporation
EpiCept is focused on the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of cancer and pain. The Company’s pain portfolio includes AmiKet™, a prescription topical analgesic cream in late-stage clinical development designed to provide effective long-term relief of pain associated with peripheral neuropathies. The Company’s lead oncology product is Ceplene®, which has been granted full marketing authorization by the European Commission for the remission maintenance and prevention of relapse in adult patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in first remission. The Company has other oncology drug candidates currently in clinical development that were discovered using in-house technology and have been shown to act as vascular disruption agents in a variety of solid tumors.
This news release and any oral statements made with respect to the information contained in this news release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include statements which express plans, anticipation, intent, contingency, goals, targets, future development and are otherwise not statements of historical fact. These statements are based on our current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or developments to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results or developments to differ materially include: the risk that Ceplene® will not receive regulatory approval or marketing authorization in the United States or Canada, the risk that Ceplene® will not achieve significant commercial success, the risk that any required post-approval clinical study for Ceplene® will not be successful, the risk that we will not be able to maintain our final regulatory approval or marketing authorization for Ceplene®, the risks associated with the adequacy of our existing cash resources and our ability to continue as a going concern, the risks associated with our ability to continue to meet our obligations under our existing debt agreements, the risk that Azixa™ will not receive regulatory approval or achieve significant commercial success, the risk that we will not receive any significant payments under our agreement with Myrexis, the risk that the development of our other apoptosis product candidates will not be successful, the risk that clinical trials for AmiKet™ or crolibulinTM will not be successful, the risk that AmiKet™ or crolibulinTM will not receive regulatory approval or achieve significant commercial success, the risk that we will not be able to find a partner to help conduct the Phase III trials for AmiKet™ on attractive terms, a timely basis or at all, the risk that our other product candidates that appeared promising in early research and clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in larger-scale or later-stage clinical trials, the risk that we will not obtain approval to market any of our product candidates, the risks associated with dependence upon key personnel, the risks associated with reliance on collaborative partners and others for further clinical trials, development, manufacturing and commercialization of our product candidates; the cost, delays and uncertainties associated with our scientific research, product development, clinical trials and regulatory approval process; our history of operating losses since our inception; the highly competitive nature of our business; risks associated with litigation; the risk that our securities may be delisted from Nasdaq OMX Stockholm; and risks associated with our ability to protect our intellectual property. These factors and other material risks are more fully discussed in our periodic reports, including our reports on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You are urged to carefully review and consider the disclosures found in our filings which are available at www.sec.gov or at www.epicept.com. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, any of which could turn out to be wrong due to inaccurate assumptions, unknown risks or uncertainties or other risk factors.
*Azixa is a registered trademark of Myrexis, Inc.
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