BEERSE, Belgium, July 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Janssen-Cilag International NV announced today that the Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has granted a positive opinion recommending approval of ZYTIGA(R) (abiraterone acetate) under an accelerated regulatory review procedure. ZYTIGA is a novel, once-daily, oral, androgen biosynthesis inhibitor developed for the treatment of prostate cancer. The proposed indication is the treatment - with prednisone or prednisolone - of metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer in adult men whose disease has progressed on or after a docetaxel-based chemotherapy regimen.[1]

The CHMP is the committee responsible for the scientific assessment of products seeking centralised marketing authorisation throughout the European Union. The CHMP's positive opinion is now referred for approval to the European Commission. Janssen anticipates receiving the regulatory decision from the Commission in the third quarter of 2011.

The CHMP positive opinion is based on data from a large, pivotal phase 3 randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial (study COU-AA-301) (please see notes to editors for further details). The study demonstrated that abiraterone acetate, in combination with prednisone or prednisolone, improved overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer whose disease had progressed following chemotherapy.[2] In August 2010 the Independent Data Monitoring Committee recommended un-blinding the study after a pre-specified interim analysis demonstrated a significant improvement in overall survival. In December 2010 the marketing authorisation application was submitted to the European Medicines Agency, with the procedure starting in January 2011. Key results from study COU-AA-301 were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2011.[2]

In April 2011 abiraterone acetate was approved in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in combination with prednisone for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) who have received prior chemotherapy containing docetaxel.

"We will continue to work closely with the authorities to ensure abiraterone acetate becomes available as quickly as possible to patients who suffer from metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer that has become resistant to conventional hormone therapies and for whom today there are very few treatment options left,"commented Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman, Janssen Europe, Middle-East, Africa.