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FDA Approves ORKAMBI™ (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) - the First Medicine to Treat the Underlying Cause of Cystic Fibrosis for People Ages 12 and Older with Two Copies of the F508del Mutation
-Approximately 8,500 people in the U.S. are ages 12 and older and have two copies of the F508del mutation, the most common genetic form of the disease-
Cystic fibrosis is a rare, life-threatening genetic disease. People with
two copies of the F508del mutation represent the largest group of
people with CF. Of the 30,000 people in
"Today is a remarkable day for science, medicine and the CF community,"
Vertex will host an investor conference call on
The approval of ORKAMBI was based on data from two Phase 3 studies (TRAFFIC and TRANSPORT) that enrolled more than 1,100 people with CF ages 12 and older with two copies of the F508del mutation. Patients treated with ORKAMBI experienced statistically significant improvements in lung function. Patients also experienced reductions in pulmonary exacerbations and improvements in body mass index (BMI). The most common adverse events included shortness of breath and/or chest tightness, upper respiratory tract infection (common cold) and gastrointestinal symptoms (including nausea, diarrhea, or gas).
Vertex continues to invest in CF research and development with the goal of treating the vast majority of people with the disease and enhancing the benefit for those we treat. Multiple Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical studies are in progress and Vertex has an ongoing research program focused on discovering new CF medicines.
"In 1998, Vertex and the
Helping Patients Access ORKAMBI
The people who work at Vertex understand that medicines can only help patients who can get them. The Vertex Guidance & Patient Support (Vertex GPS™) program provides a dedicated team of Vertex employees who help eligible patients who have been prescribed our medicines within their labeled indications understand their insurance benefits and the resources that are available to help them.
Vertex also offers a co-pay assistance program for patients with commercial insurance coverage and a free medicine program for qualifying patients who are uninsured and who meet certain income and other eligibility criteria. More information is available by visiting www.VertexGPS.com or by calling 1-877-752-5933.
About CF and ORKAMBI
Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease that is caused by defective or missing cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulatory (CFTR) proteins resulting from mutations in the CFTR gene. The defective or missing proteins result in poor flow of salt and water into or out of the cell in a number of organs, including the lungs. 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. ORKAMBI is taken every 12 hours - once in the morning and once in the evening.
INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR ORKAMBI™ (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) TABLETS
ORKAMBI is a combination of lumacaftor and ivacaftor indicated for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients age 12 years and older who are homozygous for the F508del mutation in the CFTR gene. The efficacy and safety of ORKAMBI have not been established in patients with CF other than those homozygous for the F508del mutation.
Worsening of liver function, including hepatic encephalopathy, in patients with advanced liver disease has been reported in some patients with CF while receiving ORKAMBI. ORKAMBI should be used with caution in patients with advanced liver disease and only if the benefits are expected to outweigh the risks. If ORKAMBI is used in these patients, the patients should be closely monitored and the dose reduced.
Serious adverse reactions related to elevated transaminases have been reported in patients with CF receiving ORKAMBI and, in some instances, associated with concomitant elevations in total serum bilirubin. It is recommended that ALT, AST, and bilirubin be assessed prior to initiating ORKAMBI, every 3 months during the first year of treatment, and annually thereafter. For patients with a history of ALT, AST, or bilirubin elevations, more frequent monitoring should be considered. Patients who develop increased ALT, AST, or bilirubin should be closely monitored until the abnormalities resolve. Dosing should be interrupted in patients with ALT or AST greater than 5x upper limit of normal (ULN) when not associated with elevated bilirubin. Dosing should also be interrupted in patients with ALT or AST elevations greater than 3x ULN when associated with bilirubin elevations greater than 2x ULN. Following resolution of transaminase elevations, consider the benefits and risks of resuming dosing.
Respiratory events (e.g., chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and chest tightness) were observed more commonly in patients during initiation of ORKAMBI compared to those who received placebo. Clinical experience in patients with percent predicted FEV1 < 40 is limited, and additional monitoring of these patients is recommended during initiation of therapy.
Co-administration of ORKAMBI with sensitive CYP3A substrates or CYP3A substrates with a narrow therapeutic index is not recommended as ORKAMBI may reduce their effectiveness.
ORKAMBI may substantially decrease hormonal contraceptive exposure, reducing their effectiveness and increasing the incidence of menstruation-associated adverse reactions. Hormonal contraceptives, including oral, injectable, transdermal, and implantable, should not be relied upon as an effective method of contraception when co-administered with ORKAMBI.
Co-administration with strong CYP3A inducers (e.g. rifampin, rifabutin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin and St. John's wort) is not recommended as they may reduce the therapeutic effectiveness of ORKAMBI.
ORKAMBI has the potential to affect other drugs. For additional information regarding drug interactions, see full Prescribing Information.
Abnormalities of the eye lens (cataracts) have been reported in pediatric patients treated with ivacaftor, a component of ORKAMBI. Baseline and follow-up ophthalmological examinations are recommended in pediatric patients initiating treatment with ORKAMBI.
Serious adverse reactions that occurred more frequently in patients treated with ORKAMBI included pneumonia, blood in sputum, cough, increased muscle enzyme levels, and liver enzyme elevations. The most common adverse reactions associated with ORKAMBI include shortness of breath, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infection, fatigue, chest tightness, increased blood creatinine phosphokinase, rash, flatulence, runny nose, and influenza.
Global Regulatory Submissions for ORKAMBI
Outside of the U.S., Vertex has submitted ORKAMBI for regulatory
approval in the
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About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a rare, life-threatening 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, lead to CF by creating defective or too few CFTR proteins at the cell surface. The defective or missing CFTR protein results in poor flow of salt and water into or out of the cell in a number of organs, including 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 predicted age of survival for a person with CF is 41 years, but the median age of death is 27 years.
Collaborative History with
Vertex initiated its CF research program in 1998 as part of a
collaboration with CFFT, the nonprofit drug discovery and development
affiliate of the
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that aims to discover, develop and commercialize innovative medicines so people with serious diseases can lead better lives. In addition to our clinical development programs focused on cystic fibrosis, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs aimed at other serious and life-threatening diseases.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex today has research and
development sites and commercial offices in the United
States, Europe, Canada and
Special Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, as defined in
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended,
including the statements by
© 2015 Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated I VRX-US-02-01002 I 07/2015
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