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US Department of Justice Closes Investigation into PLATO Clinical Trial for BRILINTA

WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AstraZeneca today announced that it has received confirmation from the United States Department of Justice that it is closing its investigation into PLATO, a clinical trial with BRILINTA® (ticagrelor) tablets. The government is not planning any further action.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We welcome the Department of Justice’s decision not to pursue further action. We have always had absolute confidence in the integrity of the PLATO trial and we are proud of the important benefit BRILINTA offers to patients around the world suffering from acute coronary syndrome. As one of AstraZeneca’s growth platforms, we remain committed to delivering the full potential of this important medicine.”

As part of our continued commitment to advancing the science behind cardiovascular medicine, AstraZeneca has initiated a clinical trial program for BRILINTA, its largest program involving more than 80,000 patients worldwide.

In 2011 the US Food and Drug Administration approved BRILINTA in the treatment of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). BRILINTA has been approved by regulatory authorities in over 100 countries and is included in 11 major ACS management guidelines globally, including six established US guidelines. The trial manuscript from the PLATO Executive Committee was first published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Following additional rigorous peer-review, over 30 PLATO sub-analyses articles have subsequently been published. The combination of these global reviews makes the PLATO data set one of the most widely analyzed clinical trials.

BRILINTA is the first and only oral antiplatelet (OAP) U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved to demonstrate superior reductions in cardiovascular (CV) death vs clopidogrel in patients with ACS. BRILINTA is indicated to reduce the rate of thrombotic CV events in patients with ACS (unstable angina [UA], non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction [NSTEMI], or ST-elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI]). In PLATO, BRILINTA has been shown to reduce the rate of a combined end point of CV death, MI, or stroke compared to clopidogrel. The difference between treatments was driven by CV death and MI with no difference in stroke. In patients treated with an artery-opening procedure known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), BRILINTA reduces the rate of stent thrombosis.

BRILINTA has been studied in ACS in combination with aspirin. Maintenance doses of aspirin above 100 mg decreased the effectiveness of BRILINTA. Avoid maintenance doses of aspirin above 100 mg daily.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION ABOUT BRILINTA

WARNING: (A) BLEEDING RISK, (B) ASPIRIN DOSE AND BRILINTA EFFECTIVENESS

A. BLEEDING RISK

  • BRILINTA, like other antiplatelet agents, can cause significant, sometimes fatal, bleeding
  • Do not use BRILINTA in patients with active pathological bleeding or a history of intracranial hemorrhage
  • Do not start BRILINTA in patients planned to undergo urgent coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). When possible, discontinue BRILINTA at least 5 days prior to any surgery
  • Suspect bleeding in any patient who is hypotensive and has recently undergone coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), CABG, or other surgical procedures in the setting of BRILINTA
  • If possible, manage bleeding without discontinuing BRILINTA. Stopping BRILINTA increases the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events

B. ASPIRIN DOSE AND BRILINTA EFFECTIVENESS

  • Maintenance doses of aspirin above 100 mg reduce the effectiveness of BRILINTA and should be avoided. After any initial dose, use with aspirin 75 mg - 100 mg per day

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • BRILINTA is contraindicated in patients with a history of intracranial hemorrhage and active pathological bleeding such as peptic ulcer or intracranial hemorrhage. BRILINTA is contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment because of a probable increase in exposure; it has not been studied in these patients. Severe hepatic impairment increases the risk of bleeding because of reduced synthesis of coagulation proteins. BRILINTA is also contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity (e.g., angioedema) to ticagrelor or any component of the product

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

  • Moderate Hepatic Impairment: Consider the risks and benefits of treatment, noting the probable increase in exposure to ticagrelor
  • Premature discontinuation increases the risk of MI, stent thrombosis, and death
  • Dyspnea was reported in 14% of patients treated with BRILINTA and in 8% of patients taking clopidogrel. Dyspnea resulting from BRILINTA is self-limiting. Rule out other causes
  • BRILINTA is metabolized by CYP3A4/5. Avoid use with strong CYP3A inhibitors and potent CYP3A inducers. Avoid simvastatin and lovastatin doses >40 mg
  • Monitor digoxin levels with initiation of, or any change in, BRILINTA therapy

ADVERSE REACTIONS

  • The most commonly observed adverse reactions associated with the use of BRILINTA vs clopidogrel were Total Major Bleeding (11.6% vs 11.2%) and dyspnea (14% vs 8%)
  • In clinical studies, BRILINTA has been shown to increase the occurrence of Holter-detected bradyarrhythmias. PLATO excluded patients at increased risk of bradycardic events. Consider the risks and benefits of treatment

Please read full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS, and Medication Guide.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Patients can find out more information about BRILINTA at www.BRILINTA.com or by calling 1-888-412-7454.

AstraZeneca offers the AZ&MeTM Prescription Savings Program. To determine eligibility, patients can visit www.AZandMe.com or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).

NOTES TO EDITORS

About the civil investigative demand

On October 21, 2013, AstraZeneca received a civil investigative demand from the US Department of Justice seeking documents and information related to the PLATO trial. AstraZeneca has cooperated with the government enquiry, which focused on questions that have been raised previously in public about the trial. Similar questions have been responded to by the independent PLATO Executive Committee which led the clinical trial.

About BRILINTA® (ticagrelor) tablets

BRILINTA is an oral antiplatelet treatment for ACS. BRILINTA is a direct-acting P2Y12 receptor antagonist in a chemical class called cyclopentyltriazolopyrimidines (CPTPs). BRILINTA works by inhibiting platelet activation and has been shown to reduce the rate of thrombotic CV events, such as a heart attack or CV death, in patients with ACS.

BRILINTA is a registered trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.

About PLATO

PLATO (PLATelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes) was a large (18,624 patients in 43 countries), head-to-head patient outcomes study of BRILINTA vs clopidogrel, both given in combination with aspirin and other standard therapy. The study was designed to establish whether BRILINTA could achieve a clinically meaningful reduction in cardiovascular (CV) events in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients, above and beyond that afforded by clopidogrel. Patients were treated for at least six months and up to 12 months.

PLATO demonstrated that treatment with BRILINTA led to a significantly greater reduction in the primary end point – a composite of CV death, MI (excluding silent MI), or stroke – compared to patients who received clopidogrel (9.8% vs 11.7% at 12 months; 1.9% absolute risk reduction [ARR]; 16% relative risk reduction [RRR]; 95% CI, 0.77 to 0.92; P<0.001). The difference in treatments was driven by CV death and MI with no difference in stroke. In PLATO, the absolute difference in treatment benefit vs clopidogrel was seen at 30 days and the Kaplan-Meier survival curves continued to diverge throughout the 12-month treatment period.

The PLATO study also demonstrated that treatment with BRILINTA for 12 months was associated with a 21% RRR in CV death (4% vs 5.1%; 1.1% ARR; P=0.001) and a 16% RRR in MI (excluding silent MI) compared to clopidogrel at 12 months (5.8% vs 6.9%; 1.1% ARR; P<0.005).

The primary safety end point in the PLATO study was Total Major Bleeding, which includes Fatal and Life-threatening bleeding, (11.6% for BRILINTA and 11.2% for clopidogrel) at 12 months. In PLATO, Non-CABG-related major + minor bleeding events were more common with BRILINTA vs clopidogrel (8.7% vs 7% respectively). The rate of non-CABG-related major bleeding was higher for BRILINTA (4.5%) vs clopidogrel (3.8%). The PLATO trial did not show an advantage for BRILINTA compared with clopidogrel for CABG-related Bleeding (Total Major 85.8% vs 86.9% and Fatal/Life-threatening 48.1% vs 47.9%, respectively).

Dyspnea was reported in 14% of patients treated with BRILINTA and in 8% of patients treated with clopidogrel. Dyspnea was usually mild to moderate in intensity and often resolved during continued treatment.

*PLATO used the following bleeding severity categorization: Major Bleed–Fatal/Life-threatening. Any one of the following: fatal; intracranial; intrapericardial bleed with cardiac tamponade; hypovolemic shock or severe hypotension due to bleeding and requiring pressors or surgery; clinically overt or apparent bleeding associated with a decrease in hemoglobin (Hb) of more than 5 g/dL; transfusion of 4 or more units (whole blood or packed red blood cells [PRBCs]) for bleeding. Major Bleed–Other. Any one of the following: significantly disabling (e.g., intraocular with permanent vision loss); clinically overt or apparent bleeding associated with a decrease in Hb of 3 g/dL; transfusion of 2-3 units (whole blood or PRBCs) for bleeding. Minor Bleed. Requires medical intervention to stop or treat bleeding (e.g., epistaxis requiring visit to medical facility for packing). Minimal Bleed. All others (e.g., bruising, bleeding gums, oozing from injection sites, etc.) not requiring intervention or treatment.

About Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)

ACS is an umbrella term for conditions that result from insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle. These conditions include unstable angina (UA), non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The conditions are defined by ECG changes and heart muscle enzyme leakage. Non–ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) includes unstable angina (UA) and non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI); the term is usually used before heart muscle enzymes have been analyzed.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit www.astrazeneca.com.

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