New Drug Encourages BioMarin Investors

After some positive test results, San Rafael-based pharmaceutical company hopes to push forward with the marketing of its new drug GALNS in 2013.

San Rafael's BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. told investors earlier in November that the company expected to show revenues between $475 million to $510 million in 2012.

The company, which develops bio-pharmaceuticals for diseases and medical conditions, expects some big things in 2013 with the development of its product GALNS, a treatment for a rare birth defect, known as Morquio A Syndrome, that can cause developmental problems. BioMarin plans to submit a marketing application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the drug in the first quarter of 2013.

“The GALNS clinical program is currently the highest development priority at BioMarin, and this positive phase three study serves as a potentially transformative milestone for the company,” said Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, CEO of BioMarin. “We are applying our track record of success in developing novel treatments for orphan diseases and our existing commercial infrastructure for Naglazyme to bring GALNS to patients as rapidly as we can.”

According to the company's test results, patients dosed with the drug at 2 mg/kg every week showed an improvement in six-minute walk distance in 12 weeks and showed continued improvement in 24 weeks. Results also suggested an improvement in pulmonary functions.

The most common negative side effects included vomiting, pyrexia, headache, nausea and coughing.

“The positive results from this pivotal study will help support GALNS as the first therapy available to help the approximate 3,000 people worldwide suffering from MPS IVA — a rare, degenerative, life-threatening genetic condition with no available therapy,” said Hank Fuchs, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at BioMarin.

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