Alexion Receives CHMP Positive Opinion for New Advanced Formulation of ULTOMIRIS® (ravulizumab) with Significantly Reduced Infusion Time
- Category: Antibodies
- Published on Monday, 21 September 2020 10:10
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– If approved, the new 100 mg/mL formulation will reduce infusion time by approximately 60%, lessening the burden on patients and health systems –
– ULTOMIRIS is approved for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) –
– European Commission decision anticipated in November 2020 –
BOSTON, MA, USA I September 21, 2020 IAlexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a positive opinion, recommending marketing authorization in the European Union for a new 100 mg/mL intravenous (IV) advanced formulation of ULTOMIRIS® (ravulizumab). ULTOMIRIS is the first and only long-acting C5 inhibitor administered every eight weeks for the treatment of two ultra-rare diseases—paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). ULTOMIRIS 100 mg/mL would constitute an advancement in the treatment experience for patients with aHUS and PNH by reducing average annual infusion times by approximately 60 percent compared to ULTOMIRIS 10 mg/mL while delivering comparable safety and efficacy. With ULTOMIRIS 100 mg/mL, most patients will spend six hours or less a year receiving treatment.
“ULTOMIRIS is anticipated to be the new standard of care for people with PNH and aHUS and the advanced formulation would reduce the time they spend receiving their infusion. Lessening the overall burden on healthcare systems, especially at a time when many are already under strain due to the pandemic, is an important advance,” said Professor Röth, Department of Hematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.
PNH is a blood disorder characterized by complement-mediated destruction of the red blood cells that can cause a wide range of debilitating symptoms and complications, including thrombosis, which can occur throughout the body, and result in organ damage and premature death. Atypical HUS can cause progressive injury to vital organs, primarily the kidneys, via damage to the walls of blood vessels and blood clots. Affecting both adults and children, aHUS patients can present in critical condition, often requiring supportive care, including dialysis, in an intensive care unit. The prognosis of both aHUS and PNH can be poor in many cases, so a timely and accurate diagnosis—in addition to appropriate treatment—is critical to improving patient outcomes.
“The advanced formulation of ULTOMIRIS marks continued progress in Alexion’s ongoing efforts to innovate for patients, and we expect it will represent yet another step in refining the treatment schedule for patients,” said John Orloff, M.D., Executive Vice President and Head of Research & Development at Alexion. “Importantly, it would mean that most patients would spend only six hours or less a year receiving treatment, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their lives.”
The CHMP positive opinion is based on a comprehensive chemistry, manufacturing and control (CMC) submission and a supplementary clinical data set showing that the safety, pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity following administration of ULTOMIRIS 10 mg/mL and ULTOMIRIS 100mg/mL were comparable. Similarly, the data set showed no notable effect in the efficacy measure of mean lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels across the two formulations. The new proposed formulation requires an infusion time of 0.4 to 1.3 hours (25 to 75 minutes) depending on body weight, reducing the infusion time by more than half compared with the currently available 10mg/mL IV formulation, which ranges from 1.3 to 3.3 hours (77 to 194 minutes) depending on body weight.
The European Commission typically reaches a decision on approval in approximately two months of the CHMP recommendation.
Alexion continues to innovate with ULTOMIRIS, with the goal of improving the patient experience. We plan to submit regulatory filings in the U.S. and EU in the third quarter of 2021 for an ULTOMIRIS subcutaneous formulation and device combination for PNH and aHUS that can be self-administered at home, pending completion of the ongoing Phase 3 study and collection of 12-month safety data. In addition, the collective ULTOMIRIS clinical development programs present an opportunity to expand the treated patient populations across hematology, nephrology, neurology and for the treatment of severe COVID-19, with seven Phase 3 programs that are ongoing or have planned clinical trial initiations in 2020.
About Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
PNH is a serious ultra-rare blood disorder with devastating consequences. It is characterized by the destruction of red blood cells, which is also referred to as hemolysis. PNH occurs when the complement system—a part of the body’s immune system—over-responds, leading the body to attack its own red blood cells. PNH often goes unrecognized, with delays in diagnosis from one to more than five years. Patients with PNH may experience a range of symptoms, such as fatigue, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, erectile dysfunction, dark-colored urine and anemia. The most devastating consequence of chronic hemolysis is the formation of blood clots, which can occur in blood vessels throughout the body, damage vital organs, and potentially lead to premature death. PNH can strike men and women of all races, backgrounds and ages without warning, with an average age of onset in the early 30s.
About Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS)
aHUS is an ultra-rare disease that can cause progressive injury to vital organs, primarily the kidneys, via damage to the walls of blood vessels and blood clots. aHUS occurs when the complement system—a part of the body’s immune system—over-responds, leading the body to attack its own healthy cells. aHUS can cause sudden organ failure or a slow loss of function over time—potentially resulting in the need for a transplant, and in some cases, death. aHUS affects both adults and children, and many patients present in critical condition, often requiring supportive care, including dialysis, in an intensive care unit. The prognosis of aHUS can be poor in many cases, so a timely and accurate diagnosis—in addition to treatment—is critical to improving patient outcomes. Available tests can help distinguish aHUS from other hemolytic diseases with similar symptoms.
ULTOMIRIS® (ravulizumab) is the first and only long-acting C5 complement inhibitor. The medication works by inhibiting the C5 protein in the terminal complement cascade, a part of the body’s immune system. When activated in an uncontrolled manner, the complement cascade over-responds, leading the body to attack its own healthy cells. ULTOMIRIS is administered intravenously every eight weeks or, for pediatric patients less than 20 kg, every four weeks following a loading dose. ULTOMIRIS is approved in the European Union (EU) for treatment of adult patients with paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) in patients with haemolysis with clinical symptom(s) indicative of high disease activity and in patients who are clinically stable after having been treated with eculizumab for at least the past 6 months. It is also approved in the United States (US) and Japan as a treatment for adults with PNH. It is also approved in the U.S. for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) to inhibit complement-mediated thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) in adult and pediatric (one month of age and older) patients, as well as in the EU for the treatment of adults and children with a body weight of at least 10 kg with aHUS. To learn more about the regulatory status of ULTOMIRIS in the countries that we serve, please visit www.alexion.com.
Alexion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases and devastating conditions through the discovery, development and commercialization of life-changing medicines. As a leader in rare diseases for more than 25 years, Alexion has developed and commercializes two approved complement inhibitors to treat patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), as well as the first and only approved complement inhibitor to treat anti-acetylcholine receptor (AchR) antibody-positive generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Alexion also has two highly innovative enzyme replacement therapies for patients with life-threatening and ultra-rare metabolic disorders, hypophosphatasia (HPP) and lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D) as well as the first and only approved Factor Xa inhibitor reversal agent. In addition, the company is developing several mid-to-late-stage therapies, including a copper-binding agent for Wilson disease, an anti-neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) antibody for rare Immunoglobulin G (IgG)-mediated diseases and an oral Factor D inhibitor as well as several early-stage therapies, including one for light chain (AL) amyloidosis, a second oral Factor D inhibitor and a third complement inhibitor. Alexion focuses its research efforts on novel molecules and targets in the complement cascade and its development efforts on the core therapeutic areas of hematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic disorders and cardiology. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexion has offices around the globe and serves patients in more than 50 countries. This press release and further information about Alexion can be found at: www.alexion.com.
SOURCE: Alexion Pharmaceuticals