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Vertex Announces a Signed Letter of Intent to Enable Public Reimbursement of KALYDECO® (ivacaftor) in Canada for Eligible People with Cystic Fibrosis
-Before patients can get access through public reimbursement, each participating province or territory must decide to reimburse KALYDECO through its individual drug program-
-Approximately 100 people ages 6 and older in
Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease for which there is no cure. CF is caused by defective or missing CFTR proteins that result from mutations in the CFTR gene. The defective function or absence of CFTR proteins in people with CF results in poor flow of salt and water into and out of the cell in a number of organs, including the lungs. KALYDECO facilitates increased chloride transport by potentiating the channel-open probability (or gating) of the CFTR protein.
"The letter of intent signed today with the pan-
The process to add KALYDECO to drug programs at the provincial and
territorial level is ongoing. The letter of intent does not include the
KALYDECO is now available to eligible people with CF in more than 15
countries around the world, including
About KALYDECO (ivacaftor)
KALYDECO (ivacaftor) is the first medicine to treat the underlying cause
of CF in people with specific mutations in the CFTR gene. Known
as a CFTR potentiator, KALYDECO is an oral medicine that aims to help
the CFTR protein function more normally once it reaches the cell
surface, to help hydrate and clear mucus from the airways. KALYDECO
(150mg, q12h) was first approved by the
KALYDECO was approved by the
Vertex retains worldwide rights to develop and commercialize KALYDECO.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a rare, life-threatening genetic disease affecting
approximately 75,000 people in
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 more than 1,900 known mutations in the CFTR gene. Some of these mutations, which can be determined by a genetic, or genotyping test, lead to CF by creating non-working or too few CFTR protein at the cell surface. The defective function or absence of CFTR proteins in people with CF results in poor flow of salt and water into and 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.
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
Vertex's press releases are available at www.vrtx.com.
About Vertex in
In 2009, Vertex established a research and development site in
INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR KALYDECO™ (ivacaftor)
Ivacaftor (150 mg tablets) is indicated for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients age 6 years and older who have a G551D mutation in the CFTR gene.
Ivacaftor is not effective in patients with CF with 2 copies of the F508del mutation (F508del/F508del) in the CFTR gene. The safety and efficacy of ivacaftor in children with CF younger than 6 years of age have not been established.
Elevated liver enzymes (transaminases; ALT and AST) have been reported in patients receiving ivacaftor. It is recommended that ALT and AST be assessed prior to initiating ivacaftor, every 3 months during the first year of treatment, and annually thereafter. Patients who develop increased transaminase levels should be closely monitored until the abnormalities resolve. Dosing should be interrupted in patients with ALT or AST of greater than 5 times the upper limit of normal. Following resolution of transaminase elevations, consider the benefits and risks of resuming ivacaftor dosing.
Use of ivacaftor with medicines that are strong CYP3A inducers, such as the antibiotics rifampin and rifabutin; seizure medications (phenobarbital, carbamazepine, or phenytoin); and the herbal supplement St. John's Wort, substantially decreases exposure of ivacaftor and may diminish effectiveness. Therefore, co-administration is not recommended.
The dose of ivacaftor must be adjusted when used concomitantly with strong and moderate CYP3A inhibitors or when used in patients with moderate or severe hepatic disease.
Ivacaftor can cause serious adverse reactions including abdominal pain and high liver enzymes in the blood. The most common side effects associated with ivacaftor include headache; upper respiratory tract infection (the common cold), including sore throat, nasal or sinus congestion, and runny nose; stomach (abdominal) pain; diarrhea; rash; and dizziness. These are not all the possible side effects of ivacaftor. A list of the adverse reactions can be found in the product labeling for each country where ivacaftor is approved. Patients should tell their healthcare providers about any side effect that bothers them or does not go away.
Please see KALYDECO U.S. Prescribing Information, EU Summary of Product Characteristics, Canadian Product Monograph, Australian Consumer Medicine Information and Product Information, Swiss Prescribing Information and Patient Information, and the New Zealand Datasheet and Consumer Medicine Information.
Special Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without
limitation, Mr. Arbuckle's statements in the third paragraph of the
press release, and the information provided regarding the reimbursement
approval processes for each participating province and territory in
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