Regeneron and Ultragenyx Collaborate to Commercialize Evkeeza® (evinacumab) Outside the United States
- Category: Antibodies
- Published on Saturday, 08 January 2022 17:32
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Evkeeza is a first-in-class medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Commission (EC) to treat an ultra-rare inherited form of high cholesterol
TARRYTOWN, NY and NOVATO, CA, USA I January 7, 2022 I Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) and Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. today announced a license and collaboration agreement for Ultragenyx to clinically develop, commercialize and distribute Evkeeza® (evinacumab) in countries outside of the U.S. This includes the European Economic Area, where Evkeeza was approved in June 2021 as a first-in-class therapy for use together with diet and other low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering therapies to treat adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH). Regeneron discovered and developed Evkeeza, and launched the medicine in the U.S. in February 2021 when it was approved by the FDA.
"Evkeeza is a transformational medicine for those living with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, as previous therapies were insufficient for many patients who still faced extremely high LDL cholesterol levels and treatment-related tolerability issues," said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and President of Regeneron. "With its focus on rare, debilitating genetic conditions, Ultragenyx is an ideal partner for us, and we look forward to working together to bring this much needed medicine to patients around the world."
Under the terms of the agreement, Regeneron will receive a $30 million upfront payment and is eligible to receive up to $63 million in additional potential regulatory and sales milestones. Ultragenyx will receive the rights to develop, commercialize and distribute the medicine in countries outside of the U.S. and make payments to Regeneron based on net sales. Ultragenyx will share in certain costs for global trials led by Regeneron and also have the right to continue to clinically develop Evkeeza in countries outside of the U.S. for HoFH and other potential indications.
Regeneron has also granted Ultragenyx an exclusive option to negotiate a separate agreement to collaborate on the development and commercialization outside of the U.S. of Regeneron's investigational antibody currently in Phase 2/3 development for the treatment of the ultra-rare disease, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) under terms to be agreed upon by both companies.
"Evkeeza utilizes a novel, potent biological mechanism to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol levels beyond historical standard of care for people with HoFH. This is a highly complementary partnership that combines Regeneron's bold science with our proficiency in rare disease," said Emil D. Kakkis, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Ultragenyx. "We have developed our commercial expertise to support patient identification and access across regions and we believe we can make a real difference for the HoFH community outside of the U.S."
Regeneron will continue to solely commercialize Evkeeza in the U.S., where more patients with HoFH are now being treated with Evkeeza than the prior standard-of-care. In countries outside of the U.S., Ultragenyx will be responsible for commercialization efforts.
About Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HoFH)
HoFH, also known as homozygous FH, is an ultra-rare inherited condition that affects 1 in 160,000 to 300,000 people worldwide. HoFH occurs when two copies of the familial hypercholesterolemia (FH)-causing genes are inherited, one from each parent, resulting in dangerously high levels (>400 mg/dL) of LDL-C, or bad cholesterol. Patients with HoFH are at risk for premature atherosclerotic disease and cardiac events as early as their teenage years.
About Evkeeza® (evinacumab)
Evkeeza is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to and blocks the function of angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3), a protein that plays a key role in lipid metabolism. Regeneron scientists discovered the angiopoietin gene family more than two decades ago. Human genetics research published in New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 2017 by scientists from the Regeneron Genetics Center found that patients whose ANGPTL3 gene did not function properly (called a "loss-of function mutation") have significantly lower levels of key blood lipids, including LDL-C, and that this is associated with a significantly lower risk of coronary artery disease.
In the U.S., Evkeeza is indicated as an adjunct to other LDL-C lowering therapies for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients, aged 12 years and older with HoFH. The safety and effectiveness of Evkeeza have not been established in patients with other causes of hypercholesterolemia, including those with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH). The effect of Evkeeza on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.
Evkeeza was invented using Regeneron's VelocImmune® technology and is the first ANGPTL3-targeted therapy approved by the European Commission and U.S. FDA. The approvals were based on results from the Phase 3 ELIPSE HoFH trial, which was published in the NEJM in August 2020.
The generic name for Evkeeza in its approved U.S. indications is evinacumab-dgnb, with dgnb the suffix designated in accordance with Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products Guidance for Industry issued by the U.S. FDA.
About Regeneron's VelocImmune Technology
Regeneron's VelocImmune technology utilizes a proprietary genetically engineered mouse platform endowed with a genetically humanized immune system to produce optimized fully human antibodies. When Regeneron's President and Chief Scientific Officer George D. Yancopoulos was a graduate student with his mentor Frederick W. Alt in 1985, they were the first to envision making such a genetically humanized mouse, and Regeneron has spent decades inventing and developing VelocImmune and related VelociSuite® technologies. Dr. Yancopoulos and his team have used VelocImmune technology to create approximately a quarter of all original, FDA-approved fully human monoclonal antibodies currently available. This includes Evkeeza® (evinacumab-dgnb), REGEN-COV® (casirivimab and imdevimab), Dupixent® (dupilumab), Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwlc), Praluent® (alirocumab), Kevzara® (sarilumab) and Inmazeb™ (atoltivimab, maftivimab and odesivimab-ebgn).
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to nine FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, almost all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite technologies, such as VelocImmune, which uses unique genetically humanized mice to produce optimized fully human antibodies and bispecific antibodies, and through ambitious research initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.
For additional information about the company, please visit www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.
Ultragenyx is a biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing novel products to patients for the treatment of serious rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases. The company has built a diverse portfolio of approved therapies and product candidates aimed at addressing diseases with high unmet medical need and clear biology for treatment, for which there are typically no approved therapies treating the underlying disease.
The company is led by a management team experienced in the development and commercialization of rare disease therapeutics. Ultragenyx's strategy is predicated upon time- and cost-efficient drug development, with the goal of delivering safe and effective therapies to patients with the utmost urgency.
For more information on Ultragenyx, please visit the company's website at: www.ultragenyx.com.
SOURCE: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals