– 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–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Alexion 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.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties relating to future events and the future performance of Alexion, including statements related to: the safety, efficacy and benefits of the 100 mg/mL ULTOMIRIS formulation as a treatment for PNH and aHUS; that ULTOMIRIS 100 mg/mL formulation reduces infusion time as compared to the 10mg/mL formulation of ULTOMIRIS and SOLIRIS by approximately 60% with comparable safety and efficacy; that shorter infusion times will make a meaningful difference in patient lives and will lessen the burden on patients and health systems; that we expect the European Commission decision on the ULTOMIRIS 100 mg/mL formulation in November; ULTOMIRIS is anticipated to be the new standard of care for people with PNH and aHUS; that the advanced ULTOMIRIS formula will lessen the overall burden on healthcare systems and is an important advance; that 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; that most patients on the ULTOMIRIS 100 mg/mL formulation will spend only six hours or less a year receiving treatment; Alexion’s plans to submit regulatory filings in the U.S. and in the 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 ongoing Phase 3 study and collection of 12-month safety data; that 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; and planned clinical trial initiations in 2020. Forward-looking statements are subject to factors that may cause Alexion’s results and plans to differ materially from those expected by these forward looking statements, including for example: the anticipated safety profile and the benefits of the ULTOMIRIS 100 mg/ml formulation may not be realized (and the results of the clinical trials may not be indicative of future results); ULTOMIRIS 100 mg/ml formulation may not be approved by the EU; results of clinical trials may not be sufficient to satisfy regulatory authorities; results in clinical trials may not be indicative of results from later stage or larger clinical trials (or in broader patient populations); the possibility that results of clinical trials are not predictive of safety and efficacy and potency of our products (or we fail to adequately operate or manage our clinical trials) which could cause us to discontinue sales of the product (or halt trials, delay or prevent us from making regulatory approval filings or result in denial of approval of our product candidates); the severity of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Alexion’s business, including on commercial and clinical development programs; unexpected delays in clinical trials; unexpected concerns regarding products and product candidates that may arise from additional data or analysis obtained during clinical trials or obtained once used by patients following product approval; future product improvements may not be realized due to expense or feasibility or other factors; delays (expected or unexpected) in the time it takes regulatory agencies to review and make determinations on applications for the marketing approval of our products; inability to timely submit (or failure to submit) future applications for regulatory approval for our products and product candidates; inability to timely initiate (or failure to initiate) and complete future clinical trials due to safety issues, IRB decisions, CMC-related issues, expense or unfavorable results from earlier trials (among other reasons); our dependence on sales from our principal product (SOLIRIS); future competition from biosimilars and novel products; decisions of regulatory authorities regarding the adequacy of our research, marketing approval or material limitations on the marketing of our products; delays or failure of product candidates to obtain regulatory approval; delays or the inability to launch product candidates due to regulatory restrictions, anticipated expense or other matters; interruptions or failures in the manufacture and supply of our products and our product candidates; failure to satisfactorily address matters raised by regulatory agencies regarding our products and product candidates; uncertainty of long-term success in developing, licensing or acquiring other product candidates or additional indications for existing products; inability to complete acquisitions or grow the product pipeline through acquisitions (including due to failure to obtain antitrust approvals); the possibility that current rates of adoption of our products are not sustained; the adequacy of our pharmacovigilance and drug safety reporting processes; failure to protect and enforce our data, intellectual property and proprietary rights and the risks and uncertainties relating to intellectual property claims, lawsuits and challenges against us (including intellectual property lawsuits relating to ULTOMIRIS brought by third parties); the risk that third party payors (including governmental agencies) will not reimburse or continue to reimburse for the use of our products at acceptable rates or at all; failure to realize the benefits and potential of investments, collaborations, licenses and acquisitions; the possibility that expected tax benefits will not be realized; potential declines in sovereign credit ratings or sovereign defaults in countries where we sell our products; delay of collection or reduction in reimbursement due to adverse economic conditions or changes in government and private insurer regulations and approaches to reimbursement; adverse impacts on our supply chain, clinical trials, manufacturing operations, financial results, liquidity, hospitals, pharmacies and health care systems from natural disasters and global pandemics, including COVID-19; uncertainties surrounding legal proceedings, company investigations and government investigations; the risk that estimates regarding the number of patients with PNH, aHUS, gMG, NMOSD, HPP and LAL-D and other indications we are pursuing (as well as patients requiring a Factor Xa inhibitor reversal agent) are inaccurate; the risks of changing foreign exchange rates; risks relating to the potential effects of the Company’s restructuring; risks related to the acquisitions of Portola Pharmaceuticals, Achillion and other companies and co-development efforts; and a variety of other risks set forth from time to time in Alexion’s filings with the SEC, including but not limited to the risks discussed in Alexion’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2020 and in our other filings with the SEC. Alexion disclaims any obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, except when a duty arises under law.
Short ULTOMIRIS SmPC – June 2020
ULTOMIRIS (ravulizumab) Prescribing Information
Please refer to the SmPC for further information before prescribing.
ULTOMIRIS 300 mg concentrate for solution for infusion
Qualitative and quantitative composition: One vial of 30 mL contains 30 0mg of ravulizumab, produced in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell culture by recombinant DNA technology. After dilution, the final concentration of the solution to be infused is 5 mg/mL. Excipient(s) with known effect: Sodium (5 mmol per vial). Clear to translucent, slight whitish colour, pH 7.0 solution.
Therapeutic indication: 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. Treatment of patients with a body weight of 10 kg or above with atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) who are complement inhibitor treatment-naïve or have received eculizumab for at least 3 months and have evidence of response to eculizumab.
Posology and method of administration. Posology: The recommended dosing regimen consists of a loading dose followed by maintenance dosing, administered by intravenous infusion. The doses to be administered are based on the patient’s body weight. For adult patients (≥ 18 years of age), maintenance doses should be administered at a once every 8 week interval, starting 2 weeks after loading dose administration. Dosing schedule is allowed to occasionally vary by ± 7 days of the scheduled infusion day (except for the first maintenance dose of ravulizumab) but the subsequent dose should be administered according to the original schedule. For patients switching from eculizumab to ravulizumab, the loading dose of ravulizumab should be administered 2 weeks after the last eculizumab infusion, and then maintenance doses are administered once every 8 weeks, starting 2 weeks after loading dose administration. Ravulizumab has not been studied in patients with PNH who weigh less than 40 kg. There is no experience of concomitant PE/PI (plasmapheresis or plasma exchange, or fresh frozen plasma infusion) use with ravulizumab. Administration of PE/PI may reduce ravulizumab serum levels. In aHUS, ravulizumab treatment to resolve TMA manifestations should be for a minimum duration of 6 months, beyond which length of treatment needs to be considered for each patient individually. Patients who are at higher risk for TMA recurrence, as determined by the treating healthcare provider (or clinically indicated), may require chronic therapy. Special Populations: Paediatric patients with aHUS with body weight ≥ 40 kg are treated in accordance with the adult dosing recommendations. The weight-based doses and dosing intervals for paediatric patients ≥ 10 kg to 20 kg is once every 4 week interval, for paediatric patients ≥ 20 kg to 40 kg once every 8 weeks, starting 2 weeks after loading dose administration. Data to support safety and efficacy of ravulizumab for patients with body weight below 10 kg are limited. No recommendation on a posology can be made for patients below 10 kg body weight (please refer to the SmPC for currently available data). The safety and efficacy of ravulizumab in children with PNH aged 0 to < 18 years have not been established. No data are available. Method of administration: For intravenous infusion only. ULTOMIRIS must be diluted to a final concentration of 5 mg/mL. This medicinal product must be administered through a 0.2 μm filter and should not be administered as an intravenous push or bolus injection. ULTOMIRIS must be diluted prior to administration by intravenous infusion over a minimal period of 1.7 to 2.4 hours depending of body weight (please refer to the SmPC).
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients; in patients with unresolved Neisseria meningitidis infection at treatment initiation; in patients who are not currently vaccinated against Neisseria meningitidis unless they receive prophylactic treatment with appropriate antibiotics until 2 weeks after vaccination. Special warnings and precautions for use. Traceability: In order to improve the traceability of biological medicinal products, the name and the batch number of the administered product should be clearly recorded. Serious meningococcal infection: Due to its mechanism of action, the use of ravulizumab increases the patient’s susceptibility to meningococcal infection/sepsis (Neisseria meningitidis). Meningococcal disease due to any serogroup may occur. To reduce this risk of infection, all patients must be vaccinated against meningococcal infections at least two weeks prior to initiating ravulizumab unless the risk of delaying ravulizumab therapy outweighs the risk of developing a meningococcal infection. Patients who initiate ravulizumab treatment less than 2 weeks after receiving a meningococcal vaccine, must receive treatment with appropriate prophylactic antibiotics until 2 weeks after vaccination. Vaccines against serogroups A, C, Y, W135 and B where available, are recommended in preventing the commonly pathogenic meningococcal serogroups. Patients must be vaccinated or revaccinated according to current national guidelines for vaccination use. If the patient is being switched from eculizumab treatment, physicians should verify that meningococcal vaccination is current according to national guidelines for vaccination use. Vaccination may not be sufficient to prevent meningococcal infection. Consideration should be given to official guidance on the appropriate use of antibacterial agents. Cases of serious meningococcal infections/sepsis have been reported in patients treated with ravulizumab. Cases of serious or fatal meningococcal infections/sepsis have been reported in patients treated with other terminal complement inhibitors. All patients should be monitored for early signs of meningococcal infection and sepsis, evaluated immediately if infection is suspected, and treated with appropriate antibiotics. Patients should be informed of these signs and symptoms and steps should be taken to seek medical care immediately. Physicians should provide patients with a patient information brochure and a patient safety card. Immunization: Prior to initiating ravulizumab therapy, it is recommended that PNH and aHUS patients initiate immunizations according to current immunization guidelines. Vaccination may further activate complement. As a result, patients with complement-mediated diseases, including PNH and aHUS, may experience increased signs and symptoms of their underlying disease, such as haemolysis.
Megan Goulart, 857-338-8634
Executive Director, Corporate Communications
Chris Stevo, 857-338-9309
Head of Investor Relations