Home / FDA News / FDA Expands Approval of PTC Therapeutics’ Emflaza to Include Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Patients 2-5 Years of Age

FDA Expands Approval of PTC Therapeutics’ Emflaza to Include Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Patients 2-5 Years of Age

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., June 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTCT) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company’s supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Emflaza® (deflazacort) to expand its labeling to include patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who are between 2- and 5-years-old. Duchenne is a rare childhood genetic disorder that causes progressive irreversible muscle deterioration and weakness. Emflaza was first approved by the FDA in February 2017 for the treatment of Duchenne in patients 5-years and older.

“We are excited to be able to bring Emflaza to younger boys living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy,” said Stuart Peltz, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of PTC Therapeutics. “The standard of care is to start Emflaza at the time of diagnosis. We believe that treating patients as young as possible, when they still have a substantial amount of muscle, will have the greatest benefit for patients that are two years and older.”

PTC has developed a support program, called PTC Cares™ which is dedicated to helping patients, caregivers, and prescribers understand the prescription process, and financial assistance programs for PTC products. For more information, please visit our website, www.ptccares.com or call 1-844-4PTC-CARES (1-844-478-2227).

About EMFLAZA®

EMFLAZA® is indicated for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in patients two years of age and older.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Contraindication: Do not use if you are allergic to deflazacort or any of the inactive ingredients in EMFLAZA.

Do not stop taking EMFLAZA, or change the amount you are taking, without first checking with your healthcare provider, as there may be a need for gradual dose reduction to decrease the risk of adrenal insufficiency and steroid “withdrawal syndrome”. Acute adrenal insufficiency can occur if corticosteroids are withdrawn abruptly and can be fatal. A steroid “withdrawal syndrome,” seemingly unrelated to adrenocortical insufficiency, may also occur following abrupt discontinuance of corticosteroids. For patients already taking corticosteroids during times of stress, the dosage may need to be increased.

  • Hyperglycemia: Corticosteroids can increase blood glucose, worsen pre-existing diabetes, predispose those on long-term treatment to diabetes mellitus, and may reduce the effect of anti-diabetic drugs. Monitor blood glucose at regular intervals. For patients with hyperglycemia, anti-diabetic treatment should be initiated or adjusted accordingly.
  • Increased Risk of Infection: Tell your healthcare provider if you have had recent or ongoing infections or if you have recently received a vaccine or are scheduled for a vaccination. Seek medical advice at once should you develop fever or other signs of infection, as some infections can potentially be severe and fatal. Avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles, but if you are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.
  • Alterations in Cardiovascular/Kidney Function: EMFLAZA can cause an increase in blood pressure, salt and water retention, or a decrease in your potassium and calcium levels. If this occurs, dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be needed.
  • Behavioral and Mood Disturbances: There is a potential for severe behavioral and mood changes with EMFLAZA and you should seek medical attention if psychiatric symptoms develop.
  • Effects on Bones: There is a risk of osteoporosis or decrease in bone mineral density with prolonged use of EMFLAZA, which can potentially lead to vertebral and long bone fractures.
  • Effects on Growth and Development: Long-term use of corticosteroids, including EMFLAZA may slow growth and development in children.
  • Ophthalmic Effects: EMFLAZA may cause cataracts or glaucoma and you should be monitored if corticosteroid therapy is continued for more than 6 weeks.
  • Vaccination: The administration of live or live attenuated vaccines is not recommended. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered, but the responses cannot be predicted.
  • Serious Skin Rashes: Seek medical attention at the first sign of a rash.
  • Drug Interactions: Certain medications can cause an interaction with EMFLAZA. Tell your healthcare provider of all the medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines (such as insulin, aspirin or other NSAIDS), dietary supplements, and herbal products. Alternate treatment, dosage adjustment, and/or special test(s) may be needed during the treatment.

Common side effects that could occur with EMFLAZA include: Facial puffiness or Cushingoid appearance, weight increased, increased appetite, upper respiratory tract infection, cough, frequent daytime urination, unwanted hair growth, central obesity, and colds.

Please see the accompanying full Prescribing Information

You may report side effects to ProPharma Group at 1‑866‑562‑4620 or drugsafety@propharmagroup.com.

You may report side effects to FDA at 1‑800‑FDA‑1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

About Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 

Primarily affecting males, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) is a rare and fatal genetic disorder that results in progressive muscle weakness from early childhood and leads to premature death in the mid-twenties due to heart and respiratory failure. It is a progressive muscle disorder caused by the lack of functional dystrophin protein. Dystrophin is critical to the structural stability of skeletal, diaphragm, and heart muscles. Patients with Duchenne can lose the ability to walk as early as age ten, followed by loss of the use of their arms. Duchenne patients subsequently experience life-threatening lung complications, requiring the need for ventilation support, and heart complications in their late teens and twenties. More information regarding Duchenne is available through the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. Additionally, information and resources are available at www.duchenneandyou.com.

About PTC Therapeutics, Inc.

PTC is a science-led, global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of clinically-differentiated medicines that provide benefits to patients with rare disorders. PTC’s ability to globally commercialize products is the foundation that drives investment in a robust pipeline of transformative medicines and our mission to provide access to best-in-class treatments for patients who have an unmet medical need.

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