2013-01-18 13:43:08 -
Novartis International AG /
Novartis receives positive CHMP opinion for Ilaris® to treat patients whose
acute gouty arthritis cannot be managed with standard of care
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* CHMP endorsed the use of Ilaris in patients with acute gouty arthritis, who
suffer frequent attacks and for whom current treatments are unsuitable or
* Ilaris, the only approved fully human monoclonal antibody targeting
interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), inhibits inflammation through sustained
neutralization of IL-1 beta
* Current therapies do not offer relief to certain groups of gouty arthritis
patients, particularly those with serious comorbidities, during their
severe, crippling attacks,
Basel, January 18, 2013 - Novartis announced today that the Committee for
Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
has adopted a positive opinion for the use of llaris (canakinumab, ACZ885) in
the treatment of patients with acute gouty arthritis who suffer frequent
attacks, and whose symptoms cannot or should not be managed with current
"Novartis welcomes the decision by the CHMP in support of the approval of Ilaris
in the EU," said David Epstein, Division Head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. "When
approved, lIaris will provide a new treatment option for patients who have
endured frequent and crippling gouty arthritis attacks and where existing
therapies do not offer relief. We look forward to receiving the final decision
from the European Commission in the coming months."
Ilaris is the only available fully human monoclonal antibody that specifically
targets IL-1 beta and, when approved, will offer patients suffering gouty
arthritis attacks rapid pain relief via a single subcutaneous injection of 150
Gouty arthritis, commonly referred to as gout, is a serious, chronic and
progressive inflammatory disease that generally affects 1 to 4% of adults[3-7].
Gouty arthritis is associated with a high prevalence of comorbidities, such as
hypertension, kidney disease, diabetes, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease.
These conditions can lead to contraindications for existing therapies and
complications for disease management,,,.
When approved, Ilaris will be specifically indicated for the 'symptomatic
treatment of adult patients with frequent gouty arthritis attacks (at least 3
attacks in the previous 12 months) in whom non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
(NSAIDs) and colchicine are contraindicated, are not tolerated, or do not
provide an adequate response, and in whom repeated courses of corticosteroids
are not appropriate'. Since urate lowering therapy (ULT) is generally advised in
these patients, Ilaris may provide sufficient pain relief to allow initiation or
continuation of ULT.
Data from two Phase III trials and their extensions, which informed the CHMP's
positive opinion for Ilaris in gouty arthritis, showed that patients treated
with Ilaris experienced significantly greater pain relief compared to the
injectable steroid triamcinolone acetonide (TA). The majority of adverse
events (AEs) were mild to moderate, with infections (e.g. upper respiratory
tract infections and nasopharyngitis) being the most frequent of them.
The European Commission generally follows the recommendations of the CHMP and
usually delivers its final decision within three months of the CHMP
About Ilaris Phase III Studies
Ilaris has been assessed for the treatment of acute gouty arthritis attacks in
two multicentre, randomized, double-blind, active-controlled studies in patients
with frequent gouty arthritis attacks (>=3 in the previous year) who were unable
to use NSAIDs or colchicine (due to contraindication, intolerance or lack of
efficacy). The studies were 12 weeks in duration followed by 12 week double-
blind initial extensions.
A total of 454 patients were randomized to receive a single dose of Ilaris 150
mg via subcutaneous injection or TA 40 mg via intramuscular injection.
Pain intensity in the overall study population was statistically significantly
lower for Ilaris 150 mg compared to TA at 72 hours (-10.7 mm, p<0.0001), with an
absolute mean decrease in VAS score of approximately -50 mm. Reduction in pain
was observed as early as 6 hours after dosing in both groups. A statistically
significant difference between treatments was observed from 24 hours to 7 days.
Ilaris also reduced the risk of subsequent attacks.
Safety results showed an increased incidence of AEs for Ilaris compared to TA,
with 66% vs. 53% of patients reporting any adverse event and 20% vs. 10% of
patients reporting an infection adverse event over 24 weeks.
A sub-analysis of these studies included 101 patients unable to use NSAIDs and
colchicine, and on stable ULT or unable to use ULT. Pain relief was similar to
that shown in the total study population (-10.2 mm for Ilaris 150 mg compared
with TA at 72 hours, p=0.0208).
Ilaris is a selective, fully human, monoclonal antibody that inhibits IL-1 beta,
which is an important part of the body's immune system defenses. Excessive
production of IL-1 beta plays a prominent role in certain inflammatory diseases.
Ilaris works by neutralizing IL-1 beta for a sustained period of time, therefore
Ilaris is approved in more than 60 countries, including in the EU, US,
Switzerland and Japan for the treatment of Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic
Syndromes (CAPS), a suite of rare, life-long, genetic, autoinflammatory diseases
with debilitating symptoms. Ilaris is being investigated in a number of
inflammatory conditions, which include, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis
(SJIA), Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Periodic Syndrome (TRAPS),
Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) and cardiovascular disease. Not all patients
with these diseases would be eligible for treatment with Ilaris, if approved for
the applicable disease.
In the US, Novartis continues to work with the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) to determine the next steps for ACZ885 in gouty arthritis, following a
Complete Response letter received in August 2011 with a request by the Agency
for additional clinical data to evaluate the benefit risk profile in refractory
About Gouty Arthritis
Gouty arthritis is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in
adults,. The chronic and progressive disease is characterized by
recurrent attacks in select joints. These attacks occur when the body has a
strong inflammatory response to uric acid crystals forming in the affected
joint, typically of the toe, foot, ankle, or knee,. The intense
inflammatory response associated with these attacks may cause severe pain and
debilitating symptoms that can last a week or more,,.
Treatments currently available to manage the pain and inflammation of gouty
arthritis attacks, such as NSAIDs, colchicine or corticosteroids, may be
inadequate or inappropriate in patients who have certain coexisting medical
problems,,. As a result, there is a significant unmet medical need
among individuals with gouty arthritis.
The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified
by terminology such as "positive opinion," "endorsed," "will,"
to," "generally follows," "recommendation," "would," or
similar expressions, or
by express or implied discussions regarding potential new indications or
labeling for Ilaris or regarding potential future revenues from Ilaris. You
should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking
statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and
involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause
actual results with Ilaris to be materially different from any future results,
performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can
be no guarantee that Ilaris will be submitted or approved for any additional
indications or labeling in any market. Nor can there be any guarantee that
Ilaris will achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In
particular, management's expectations regarding Ilaris could be affected by,
among other things, unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government
regulation generally; unexpected clinical trial results, including unexpected
new clinical data and unexpected additional analysis of existing clinical data;
competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing
pressures; unexpected manufacturing issues; the company's ability to obtain or
maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; the
impact that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the
Novartis Group's assets and liabilities as recorded in the Group's consolidated
balance sheet, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current
Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or
more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying
assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those
anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Novartis is providing the
information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any
obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press
release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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