FDA Approves Pfizer’s Xeljanz XR for Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved XELJANZ® XR (tofacitinib citrate) extended-release 11 mg tablets for the once-daily treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients who have had an inadequate response or intolerance to methotrexate (MTX). XELJANZ XR is the first and only once-daily oral RA treatment in its class, known as Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors.

“Pfizer continues to be an innovator in inflammation and immunology. The introduction of the first and only once-daily oral JAK inhibitor for RA, XELJANZ XR, builds upon Pfizer’s tradition of developing patient-centered therapies,” said Michael Corbo, Category Development Lead, Inflammation & Immunology, Pfizer Global Innovative Pharmaceuticals Business.

“The availability of XELJANZ XR provides physicians with a new treatment option for people with RA who may prefer an oral once-daily treatment,” said Dr. Roy Fleischmann, clinical professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Co-Medical Director, Metroplex Clinical Research Center.

About XELJANZ and XELJANZ XR

XELJANZ®/XELJANZ XR® (tofacitinib citrate) is a prescription medicine called a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor. XELJANZ XR 11 mg is the first and only once-daily oral JAK inhibitor for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

As the developer of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, Pfizer is a leader in JAK innovation. XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR do not require injections or infusions. XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR can be taken with or without methotrexate.

XELJANZ is approved in more than 45 countries around the world for the treatment of moderate to severe RA as a second-line therapy after failure of one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Pfizer is committed to advancing the science of JAK inhibition and enhancing understanding of XELJANZ through a robust clinical development program. The efficacy and safety profile of XELJANZ has been studied in approximately 6,200 patients with moderate to severe RA, amounting to more than 19,400 patient-years of drug exposure in the global clinical development program.

XELJANZ is the only JAK inhibitor included in the 2015 American College of Rheumatology Guideline for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.1

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR U.S. Label Information

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is a prescription medicine called a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor. XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is used to treat adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis in which methotrexate did not work well. XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR may be used as a single agent or in combination with methotrexate (MTX) or other non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Use of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR in combination with biologic DMARDs or potent immunosuppressants, such as azathioprine and cyclosporine is not recommended.

  • It is not known if XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is safe and effective in people with hepatitis B or C.
  • XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is not for people with severe liver problems.
  • It is not known if XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

  • XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR can lower the ability of the immune system to fight infections. Some people can have serious infections while taking XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, including tuberculosis (TB), and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that can spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Healthcare providers should test patients for TB before starting XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, and monitor them closely for signs and symptoms of TB and other infections during treatment. People should not start taking XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR if they have any kind of infection unless their healthcare provider tells them it is okay.
  • People may be at a higher risk of developing shingles.
  • XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR may increase the risk of certain cancers by changing the way the immune system works. Lymphoma and other cancers, including skin cancers, can happen in patients taking XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.
  • The risks and benefits of treatment should be considered prior to initiating XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR in patients with chronic or recurrent infection; who have been exposed to tuberculosis; with a history of a serious or an opportunistic infection; who have resided or traveled in areas of endemic tuberculosis or endemic mycoses; or with underlying conditions that may predispose them to infection.
  • Viral reactivation, including cases of herpes virus reactivation (e.g., herpes zoster), was observed in clinical studies with XELJANZ.
  • Use of live vaccines should be avoided concurrently with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Update immunizations in agreement with current immunization guidelines prior to initiating XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR therapy.
  • Some people who have taken XELJANZ with certain other medicines to prevent kidney transplant rejection have had a problem with certain white blood cells growing out of control (Epstein Barr virus-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder).
  • Some people taking XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR can get tears in their stomach or intestines. This happens most often in people who also take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, or methotrexate.
  • XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR should be used with caution in patients who may be at increased risk for gastrointestinal perforation (e.g., patients with a history of diverticulitis), or who have a narrowing within their digestive track. Patients should tell their healthcare provider right away if they have fever and stomach-area pain that does not go away or a change in bowel habits.
  • XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR can cause changes in certain lab test results including low blood cell counts, increases in certain liver tests, and increases in cholesterol levels. Healthcare providers should do blood tests before starting patients on XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR and while they are taking XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, to check for these side effects. Normal cholesterol levels are important to good heart health. Healthcare providers may stop XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR treatment because of changes in blood cell counts or liver test results.
  • Use of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR in patients with severe hepatic impairment is not recommended.
  • Patients should tell their healthcare providers if they plan to become pregnant or are pregnant.

It is not known if XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR will harm an unborn baby. To monitor the outcomes of pregnant women exposed to XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, a registry has been established. Physicians are encouraged to register patients and pregnant women are encouraged to register themselves by calling 1-877-311-8972.

  • Patients should tell their healthcare providers if they plan to breastfeed or are breastfeeding. Patients and their healthcare provider should decide if they will take XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR or breastfeed. They should not do both.
  • In carriers of the hepatitis B or C virus (viruses that affect the liver), the virus may become active while using XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Healthcare providers may do blood tests before and during treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.
  • Common side effects include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), headache, diarrhea, and nasal congestion, sore throat, and runny nose (nasopharyngitis).

Please click the direct link to the full prescribing information for XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, including boxed warning and Medication Guide: http://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=959.

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes a range of symptoms, including pain and swelling in the joints,2,3 particularly those in the hands, feet and knees.3 Although the exact cause of RA is unknown,3 it is considered to be an autoimmune disease, because the immune system in people with RA mistakes the body’s healthy tissues for a threat and attacks them.3 Some people are at increased risk of developing RA, including people with a family history of RA, smokers and women.4 Three times as many women are affected by RA compared to men.3 RA affects approximately 23.7 million people worldwide5 and 1.6 million people in the United States.6,7 It can develop at any time during adulthood, but it usually occurs between 40 and 70 years of age.3

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world®

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer healthcare products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. For more information, please visit us at www.pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer(link is external) and @Pfizer_News(link is external)LinkedIn(link is external)YouTube(link is external) and like us on Facebook atFacebook.com/Pfizer(link is external).

Check Also

FDA Approves Gavreto for the Treatment of Adults with Metastatic RET Fusion-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.