THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and BRUSSELS, April 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and UCB (Euronext Brussels: UCB) today announced results from the fourth year of a Phase 2 study showing the efficacy and safety of a second course of treatment with EVENITY™* (romosozumab), an investigational agent for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. The results were presented in an oral session (OR08-1) at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.
In the study, postmenopausal women with low bone mass (lumbar spine, total hip or femoral neck T score between -2.0 and -3.5) were initially randomized to various doses of EVENITY or placebo for 24 months and then re-randomized to receive denosumab (Prolia®) or placebo for the next 12 months (24 to 36 months), as previously reported. For months 36 to 48, all of these patients were then treated with EVENITY (210 mg) for 12 months.
In patients who initially received 210 mg of EVENITY followed by placebo and then a second course of EVENITY (n=19), the second course led to significant increases in bone mineral density (BMD) to an extent similar to the initial EVENITY treatment: lumbar spine (12.7 percent), total hip (5.8 percent) and femoral neck (6.3 percent) during months 36 to 48. In those patients who received a second course of EVENITY after denosumab, EVENITY further increased BMD by 2.8 percent at the lumbar spine, while maintaining BMD at the total hip and femoral neck.
“Since osteoporosis is a chronic condition, which may lead to debilitating fractures, the option of providing a second course of bone-building therapy may benefit some patients with severe osteoporosis,” said David L. Kendler, M.D., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and lead study investigator. “This latest study is important as it shows that the safety and efficacy of romosozumab extends from initial use to a second course of treatment.”
A similar adverse event (AE) profile was observed in the EVENITY groups, regardless of prior treatment group (placebo or denosumab). In patients treated with EVENITY for months 36 to 48, serious AEs were reported for five percent of patients who initially received EVENITY (n=7/140) and four percent who initially received placebo (n=1/27). The AEs reported by these patients for months 36 to 48 include hypersensitivity (7.4 percent, initial placebo; 7.9 percent, initial EVENITY), injection-site reactions (7.4 percent, initial placebo; 7.1 percent, initial EVENITY), malignancies (3.7 percent, initial placebo; 3.6 percent, initial EVENITY) and osteoarthritis (11.1 percent, initial placebo; 2.1 percent, initial EVENITY). There were no reports of osteonecrosis of the jaw or atypical femoral fracture.
In the same oral session, Amgen and UCB presented results from a separate analysis of the Phase 2 study (OR08-2) showing BMD gains from prior EVENITY treatment were generally maintained for two years (months 48 to 72) when followed by a single dose of zoledronic acid.
The pivotal romosozumab Phase 3 studies have all been designed with patients receiving 12 months (single course) of romosozumab followed by treatment with an anti-resorptive therapy such as denosumab.
About EVENITY™* (romosozumab)
EVENITY is an investigational bone-forming monoclonal antibody and is not approved by any regulatory authority for the treatment of osteoporosis. It is designed to work by inhibiting the activity of sclerostin and has a dual effect on bone, increasing bone formation and decreasing bone resorption. EVENITY is being studied for its potential to reduce the risk of fractures in an extensive global Phase 3 program. This program includes two large fracture trials comparing EVENITY to either placebo or active comparator in more than 10,000 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Amgen and UCB are co-developing EVENITY.
About Prolia® (denosumab)
Prolia® is indicated for the treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture, defined as a history of osteoporotic fracture, or multiple risk factors for fracture; or patients who have failed or are intolerant to other available osteoporosis therapy. In postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, Prolia® reduces the incidence of vertebral, nonvertebral, and hip fractures.
Prolia® is indicated for treatment to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture, defined as a history of osteoporotic fracture, or multiple risk factors for fracture; or patients who have failed or are intolerant to other available osteoporosis therapy.
Prolia® is indicated as a treatment to increase bone mass in men at high risk for fracture receiving androgen deprivation therapy for nonmetastatic prostate cancer. In these patients Prolia® also reduced the incidence of vertebral fractures.
Prolia® is indicated as a treatment to increase bone mass in women at high risk for fracture receiving adjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy for breast cancer.
Important Safety Information (U.S.)
Prolia® is contraindicated in patients with hypocalcemia. Pre‐existing hypocalcemia must be corrected prior to initiating Prolia®. Prolia® is contraindicated in women who are pregnant and may cause fetal harm. Prolia® is contraindicated in patients with a history of systemic hypersensitivity to any component of the product. Reactions have included anaphylaxis, facial swelling and urticaria.
Same Active Ingredient
Prolia® contains the same active ingredient (denosumab) found in XGEVA®. Patients receiving Prolia® should not receive XGEVA®.
Clinically significant hypersensitivity including anaphylaxis has been reported with Prolia®. Symptoms have included hypotension, dyspnea, throat tightness, facial and upper airway edema, pruritus, and urticaria. If an anaphylactic or other clinically significant allergic reaction occurs, initiate appropriate therapy and discontinue further use of Prolia®.
Hypocalcemia may worsen with the use of Prolia®, especially in patients with severe renal impairment. In patients predisposed to hypocalcemia and disturbances of mineral metabolism, clinical monitoring of calcium and mineral levels is highly recommended within 14 days of Prolia® injection. Adequately supplement all patients with calcium and vitamin D.
Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ)
ONJ, which can occur spontaneously, is generally associated with tooth extraction and/or local infection with delayed healing, and has been reported in patients receiving Prolia®. An oral exam should be performed by the prescriber prior to initiation of Prolia®. A dental examination with appropriate preventive dentistry is recommended prior to treatment in patients with risk factors for ONJ such as invasive dental procedures, diagnosis of cancer, concomitant therapies (e.g., chemotherapy, corticosteroids, angiogenesis inhibitors), poor oral hygiene, and co-morbid disorders. Good oral hygiene practices should be maintained during treatment with Prolia®. The risk of ONJ may increase with duration of exposure to Prolia®.
For patients requiring invasive dental procedures, clinical judgment should guide the management plan of each patient. Patients who are suspected of having or who develop ONJ should receive care by a dentist or an oral surgeon. Extensive dental surgery to treat ONJ may exacerbate the condition. Discontinuation of Prolia® should be considered based on individual benefit-risk assessment.
Atypical Femoral Fractures
Atypical low-energy, or low trauma fractures of the shaft have been reported in patients receiving Prolia®. Causality has not been established as these fractures also occur in osteoporotic patients who have not been treated with antiresorptive agents.
During Prolia® treatment, patients should be advised to report new or unusual thigh, hip, or groin pain. Any patient who presents with thigh or groin pain should be evaluated to rule out an incomplete femur fracture. Interruption of Prolia®therapy should be considered, pending a risk/benefit assessment, on an individual basis.
Multiple Vertebral Fractures (MVF) Following Discontinuation of Prolia® Treatment
Following discontinuation of Prolia® treatment, fracture risk increases, including the risk of multiple vertebral fractures. New vertebral fractures occurred as early as 7 months (on average 19 months) after the last dose of Prolia®. Prior vertebral fracture was a predictor of multiple vertebral fractures after Prolia® discontinuation. Evaluate an individual’s benefit/risk before initiating treatment with Prolia®. If Prolia® treatment is discontinued, consider transitioning to an alternative antiresorptive therapy.
In a clinical trial (N= 7808) in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, serious infections leading to hospitalization were reported more frequently in the Prolia® group than in the placebo group. Serious skin infections, as well as infections of the abdomen, urinary tract and ear were more frequent in patients treated with Prolia®.
Endocarditis was also reported more frequently in Prolia®-treated patients. The incidence of opportunistic infections and the overall incidence of infections were similar between the treatment groups. Advise patients to seek prompt medical attention if they develop signs or symptoms of severe infection, including cellulitis.
Patients on concomitant immunosuppressant agents or with impaired immune systems may be at increased risk for serious infections. In patients who develop serious infections while on Prolia®, prescribers should assess the need for continued Prolia® therapy.
Dermatologic Adverse Reactions
In the same clinical trial in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, epidermal and dermal adverse events such as dermatitis, eczema and rashes occurred at a significantly higher rate with Prolia® compared to placebo. Most of these events were not specific to the injection site. Consider discontinuing Prolia® if severe symptoms develop.
Severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain has been reported in patients taking Prolia®. Consider discontinuing use if severe symptoms develop.
Suppression of Bone Turnover
In clinical trials in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, Prolia® resulted in significant suppression of bone remodeling as evidenced by markers of bone turnover and bone histomorphometry. The significance of these findings and the effect of long-term treatment are unknown. Monitor patients for these consequences, including ONJ, atypical fractures, and delayed fracture healing.
The most common adverse reactions (>5% and more common than placebo) in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis are back pain, pain in extremity, musculoskeletal pain, hypercholesterolemia, and cystitis. The most common adverse reactions (> 5% and more common than placebo) in men with osteoporosis are back pain, arthralgia, and nasopharyngitis. Pancreatitis has been reported with Prolia®.
In women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, the overall incidence of new malignancies was 4.3% in the placebo group and 4.8% in the Prolia® group. In men with osteoporosis, new malignancies were reported in no patients in the placebo group and 4 (3.3%) patients in the Prolia® group. A causal relationship to drug exposure has not been established.
The most common (per patient incidence ≥ 10%) adverse reactions reported with Prolia® in patients with bone loss receiving ADT for prostate cancer or adjuvant AI therapy for breast cancer are arthralgia and back pain. Pain in extremity and musculoskeletal pain have also been reported in clinical trials. Additionally, in Prolia®‐treated men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer receiving ADT, a greater incidence of cataracts was observed.
Denosumab is a human monoclonal antibody. As with all therapeutic proteins, there is potential for immunogenicity.
About the Amgen and UCB Collaboration
Since 2004, Amgen and UCB have been working together under a collaboration and license agreement to research, develop and market antibody products targeting the protein sclerostin. As part of this agreement, the two companies continue to collaborate on the development of EVENITY* (romosozumab) for the treatment of osteoporosis. This gene-to-drug project demonstrates how Amgen and UCB are joining forces to translate a genetic discovery into a new medicine, turning conceptual science into a reality.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 7,700 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of € 4.2 billion in 2016. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). Follow us on Twitter: @UCB_news