US-based Celsion Corporation has received official approval from the China State Food and Drug Administration for its ThermoDox Clinical Trial Application. This permits Celsion to include Chinese clinical trial sites in its phase III ThermoDox HEAT trial for the treatment of primary liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Celsion s global phase III clinical trial is evaluating the efficacy and safety of ThermoDox in combination with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) when compared to RFA alone. The trial will enroll up to six hundred patients and is currently being conducted in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Italy, the United States and Canada. In addition to China, Celsion expects to receive CTA acceptance in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines during the fourth quarter of 2009 and will have up to sixty sites activated by the end of the year. Completion of patient enrollment is expected to occur in the first half of 2010.
\"Acceptance of our CTA in China is an important milestone for Celsion because China represents a significant market opportunity for ThermoDox,â€ť said Mr Michael H Tardugno, Celsionâ€™s President. â€śThe incidence of HCC in China is growing faster than any other country at over 350,000 patients per year (55% of worldâ€™s total incidence) and the use of RFA is becoming the standard of care for the treatment of early-stage HCC. Concurrent with sFDAâ€™s review of our application, we have identified and qualified rapid start-up sites in China which should enable patient enrollment to commence in the near-term. The expansion of the trial to China not only accelerates patient enrollment, but builds on our global strategy to conduct our phase III trial in regions where the incidence of HCC is significant. Our goal is to enroll patients in key markets outside of the United States to facilitate regulatory approval in multiple countries, mainly East Asia, where the incidence is among the highest in the world.â€ť