Vertex Receives CHMP Positive Opinion for ORKAMBI(R) (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) for the Treatment of Children with Cystic Fibrosis Ages 6-11 with Two Copies of the F508del Mutation in the European Union
- Category: Small Molecules
- Published on Friday, 10 November 2017 16:45
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- In Europe, there are approximately 3,400 children ages 6-11 who have two copies of the F508del mutation -
BOSTON, MA, USA I November 10, 2017 I Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced that the European Union Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) issued a positive opinion recommending extension of the Marketing Authorization for ORKAMBI® (lumacafator/ivacaftor) to children with cystic fibrosis (CF) ages 6 through 11 who have two copies of the F508del mutation. There are approximately 3,400 patients ages 6 through 11 eligible for this medicine in Europe.
"Cystic fibrosis is a systemic, multi-organ, progressive disease present from birth," said David Gillen, M.D., Head of International Medical Affairs at Vertex. "This recommendation brings us closer to being able to help more people with CF who currently do not have a medicine to treat the underlying cause of their disease."
Positive CHMP opinions are recommendations for approval to the European Commission, which has the authority to approve medicines for the European Union. The European Commission generally follows the recommendations of the CHMP and typically extends the Marketing Authorization within three months. In some countries, we have in place existing agreements that will make ORKAMBI available to this age group immediately following Marketing Authorization. In other countries, Vertex will begin the country-by-country reimbursement process following Marketing Authorization.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a rare, life-shortening genetic disease affecting approximately 75,000 people in North America, Europe and Australia.
CF is caused by a defective or missing CFTR protein resulting from mutations in the CFTR gene. Children must inherit two defective CFTR genes — one from each parent — to have CF. There are approximately 2,000 known mutations in the CFTR gene. Some of these mutations, which can be determined by a genetic test, or genotyping test, lead to CF by creating non-working or too few CFTR protein at the cell surface. The defective function or absence of CFTR protein results in poor flow of salt and water into and out of the cell in a number of organs. In the lungs, this leads to the buildup of abnormally thick, sticky mucus that can cause chronic lung infections and progressive lung damage in many patients that eventually leads to death. The median age of death is in the mid-to-late 20s.
About ORKAMBI® (lumacaftor/ivacaftor)
In people with two copies of the F508del mutation, the CFTR protein is not processed and trafficked normally within the cell, resulting in little-to-no CFTR protein at the cell surface. Patients with two copies of the F508del mutation are easily identified by a simple genetic test.
ORKAMBI is a combination of lumacaftor, which is designed to increase the amount of mature protein at the cell surface by targeting the processing and trafficking defect of the F508del-CFTR protein, and ivacaftor, which is designed to enhance the function of the CFTR protein once it reaches the cell surface. It is an oral pill taken every 12 hours - once in the morning and once in the evening.
U.S. INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR ORKAMBI® (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) TABLETS
ORKAMBI is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients age 6 years and older who have two copies of the F508del mutation (F508del/F508del) in their CFTR gene. ORKAMBI should only be used in these patients. It is not known if ORKAMBI is safe and effective in children under 6 years of age.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. In addition to clinical development programs in CF, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs focused on the underlying mechanisms of other serious diseases.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex's headquarters is now located in Boston's Innovation District. Today, the company has research and development sites and commercial offices in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry's top places to work, including being named to Science magazine's Top Employers in the life sciences ranking for eight years in a row. For additional information and the latest updates from the company, please visit www.vrtx.com.
Collaborative History with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT)
Vertex initiated its CF research program in 2000 as part of a collaboration with CFFT, the nonprofit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. KALYDECO® (ivacaftor), ORKAMBI®(lumacaftor/ivacaftor), tezacaftor, VX-440, VX-152 and VX-659 were discovered by Vertex as part of this collaboration.
SOURCE: Vertex Pharmaceuticals