CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) today announced that its partner Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) has received approval from the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) for Iclusig® (ponatinib) for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) resistant or intolerant to preceding drug treatment and relapsed or treatment resistant Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL).
“Our collaboration with Otsuka has resulted in today’s approval of Iclusig in Japan, providing an important new treatment for patients with refractory CML and Ph+ ALL,” stated Paris Panayiotopoulos, president and chief executive officer of ARIAD. “Japan represents a large market opportunity for Iclusig and its first approval in Asia. We are committed to expanding patient access and to continuing our successful partnership with Otsuka as evidenced by recent marketing applications for Iclusig submitted in Korea and Taiwan.”
This approval triggers a $10 million milestone payment to ARIAD from Otsuka under the parties’ collaboration agreement entered in December 2014.
”Treatment failure affects a substantial proportion of CML patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors due to resistance or intolerance. For these patients living with CML in Japan, we are grateful to have Iclusig as a new approved treatment option,” said Arinobu Tojo, M.D., Ph.D, deputy director, Research Hospital, The Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo.
The PMDA filing was supported by a Phase 1/2 study in Japanese patients as well as the international pivotal PACE and Phase 1 trials of ponatinib. The Japanese study included 35 Japanese patients with CML or Ph+ ALL who experienced failure of prior tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. With a median follow-up of 14.9 months at the time of analysis, the Phase 1/2 study results confirmed that Iclusig demonstrated anti-leukemic activity in this patient population. Among the 17 chronic-phase patients, 65 percent achieved the primary efficacy endpoint of major cytogenetic response, and 35 percent had a major molecular response. Thirteen patients remained on therapy, including 12 in chronic phase. The median duration of response had not been reached. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events in the trial of any grade were decreased platelet and neutrophil counts, pyrexia, hypertension, dry skin, rash and increased lipase. Treatment-emergent arterial occlusive events were reported in four patients, or 11 percent.
About Iclusig® (ponatinib) tablets
Iclusig is a kinase inhibitor. The primary target for Iclusig is BCR-ABL, an abnormal tyrosine kinase that is expressed in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia-chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Iclusig was designed using ARIAD's computational and structure-based drug-design platform specifically to inhibit the activity of BCR-ABL. Iclusig targets not only native BCR-ABL but also its isoforms that carry mutations that confer resistance to treatment, including the T315I mutation, which has been associated with resistance to other approved TKIs. Iclusig is approved in the U.S., EU, Australia, Switzerland, Israel, Canada and Japan.
In the U.S., Iclusig is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the:
- Treatment of adult patients with T315I-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase) or T315I-positive Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL).
- Treatment of adult patients with chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia or Ph+ ALL for whom no other tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy is indicated.
These indications are based upon response rate. There are no trials verifying an improvement in disease-related symptoms or increased survival with Iclusig.
Limitations of use: Iclusig is not indicated and is not recommended for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed chronic phase CML.
IMPORTANT U.S. SAFETY INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE BOXED WARNING
WARNING: VASCULAR OCCLUSION, HEART FAILURE, and HEPATOTOXICITY
See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning
- Vascular Occlusion: Arterial and venous thrombosis and occlusions have occurred in at least 27% of Iclusig treated patients, including fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, stenosis of large arterial vessels of the brain, severe peripheral vascular disease, and the need for urgent revascularization procedures. Patients with and without cardiovascular risk factors, including patients less than 50 years old, experienced these events. Monitor for evidence of thromboembolism and vascular occlusion. Interrupt or stop Iclusig immediately for vascular occlusion. A benefit risk consideration should guide a decision to restart Iclusig therapy.
- Heart Failure, including fatalities, occurred in 8% of Iclusig-treated patients. Monitor cardiac function. Interrupt or stop Iclusig for new or worsening heart failure.
- Hepatotoxicity, liver failure and death have occurred in Iclusig-treated patients. Monitor hepatic function. Interrupt Iclusig if hepatotoxicity is suspected.
Vascular Occlusion: Arterial and venous thrombosis and occlusions, including fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, stenosis of large arterial vessels of the brain, severe peripheral vascular disease, and the need for urgent revascularization procedures have occurred in at least 27% of Iclusig-treated patients from the phase 1 and phase 2 trials. Iclusig can also cause recurrent or multi-site vascular occlusion. Overall, 20% of Iclusig-treated patients experienced an arterial occlusion and thrombosis event of any grade. Fatal and life-threatening vascular occlusion has occurred within 2 weeks of starting Iclusig treatment and in patients treated with average daily dose intensities as low as 15 mg per day. The median time to onset of the first vascular occlusion event was 5 months. Patients with and without cardiovascular risk factors have experienced vascular occlusion although these events were more frequent with increasing age and in patients with prior history of ischemia, hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia. Interrupt or stop Iclusig immediately in patients who develop vascular occlusion events.
Heart Failure: Fatal and serious heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction occurred in 5% of Iclusig treated patients (22/449). Eight percent of patients (35/449) experienced any grade of heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms consistent with heart failure and treat as clinically indicated, including interruption of Iclusig. Consider discontinuation of Iclusig in patients who develop serious heart failure.
Hepatotoxicity: Iclusig can cause hepatotoxicity, including liver failure and death. Fulminant hepatic failure leading to death occurred in an Iclusig-treated patient within one week of starting Iclusig. Two additional fatal cases of acute liver failure also occurred. The fatal cases occurred in patients with blast phase CML (BP-CML) or Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Severe hepatotoxicity occurred in all disease cohorts. Iclusig treatment may result in elevation in ALT, AST, or both. Monitor liver function tests at baseline, then at least monthly or as clinically indicated. Interrupt, reduce or discontinue Iclusig as clinically indicated.
Hypertension: Treatment-emergent hypertension (defined as systolic BP≥140 mm Hg or diastolic BP≥90 mm Hg on at least one occasion) occurred in 67% of patients (300/449). Eight patients treated with Iclusig (2%) experienced treatment-emergent symptomatic hypertension as a serious adverse reaction, including one patient (<1%) with hypertensive crisis. Patients may require urgent clinical intervention for hypertension associated with confusion, headache, chest pain, or shortness of breath. In 131 patients with Stage 1 hypertension at baseline, 61% (80/131) developed Stage 2 hypertension. Monitor and manage blood pressure elevations during Iclusig use and treat hypertension to normalize blood pressure. Interrupt, dose reduce, or stop Iclusig if hypertension is not medically controlled. In the event of significant worsening, labile or treatment-resistant hypertension, interrupt treatment and consider evaluating for renal artery stenosis.
Pancreatitis: Clinical pancreatitis occurred in 6% (28/449) of patients (5% Grade 3) treated with Iclusig. Pancreatitis resulted in discontinuation or treatment interruption in 6% of patients (25/449). The incidence of treatment-emergent lipase elevation was 41%. Check serum lipase every 2 weeks for the first 2 months and then monthly thereafter or as clinically indicated. Consider additional serum lipase monitoring in patients with a history of pancreatitis or alcohol abuse. Dose interruption or reduction may be required. In cases where lipase elevations are accompanied by abdominal symptoms, interrupt treatment with Iclusig and evaluate patients for pancreatitis. Do not consider restarting Iclusig until patients have complete resolution of symptoms and lipase levels are less than 1.5 x ULN.
Increased Toxicity in Newly Diagnosed Chronic Phase CML: In a prospective randomized clinical trial in the first line treatment of newly diagnosed patients with chronic phase (CP) CML, single agent Iclusig 45 mg once-daily increased the risk of serious adverse reactions 2-fold compared to singe agent imatinib 400 mg once-daily. The median exposure to treatment was less than 6 months. The trial was halted for safety in October 2013. Arterial and venous thrombosis and occlusions occurred at least twice as frequently in the Iclusig arm compared to the imatinib arm. Compared to imatinib-treated patients, Iclusig-treated patients exhibited a greater incidence of myelosuppression, pancreatitis, hepatotoxicity, cardiac failure, hypertension and skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders. Iclusig is not indicated and is not recommended for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed CP CML.
Neuropathy: Peripheral and cranial neuropathy have occurred in Iclusig-treated patients. Overall, 13% (59/449) of Iclusig-treated patients experienced a peripheral neuropathy event of any grade (2%, grade 3/4). In clinical trials, the most common peripheral neuropathies reported were peripheral neuropathy (4%, 18/449), paresthesia (4%, 17/449), hypoesthesia (2%, 11/449), and hyperesthesia (1%, 5/449). Cranial neuropathy developed in 1% (6/449) of Iclusig-treated patients (<1% grade 3/4).
Of the patients who developed neuropathy, 31% (20/65) developed neuropathy during the first month of treatment. Monitor patients for symptoms of neuropathy, such as hypoesthesia, hyperesthesia, paresthesia, discomfort, a burning sensation, neuropathic pain or weakness. Consider interrupting Iclusig and evaluate if neuropathy is suspected.
Ocular Toxicity: Serious ocular toxicities leading to blindness or blurred vision have occurred in Iclusig-treated patients. Retinal toxicities including macular edema, retinal vein occlusion, and retinal hemorrhage occurred in 3% of Iclusig-treated patients. Conjunctival or corneal irritation, dry eye, or eye pain occurred in 13% of patients. Visual blurring occurred in 6% of the patients. Other ocular toxicities include cataracts, glaucoma, iritis, iridocyclitis, and ulcerative keratitis. Conduct comprehensive eye exams at baseline and periodically during treatment.
Hemorrhage: Serious bleeding events, including fatalities, occurred in 5% (22/449) of patients treated with Iclusig. Hemorrhagic events occurred in 24% of patients. The incidence of serious bleeding events was higher in patients with accelerated phase CML (AP-CML), BP-CML, and Ph+ ALL. Most hemorrhagic events, but not all occurred in patients with grade 4 thrombocytopenia. Interrupt Iclusig for serious or severe hemorrhage and evaluate.
Fluid Retention: Serious fluid retention events occurred in 3% (13/449) of patients treated with Iclusig. One instance of brain edema was fatal. In total, fluid retention occurred in 23% of the patients. The most common fluid retention events were peripheral edema (16%), pleural effusion (7%), and pericardial effusion (3%). Monitor patients for fluid retention and manage patients as clinically indicated. Interrupt, reduce, or discontinue Iclusig as clinically indicated.
Cardiac Arrhythmias: Symptomatic bradyarrhythmias that led to a requirement for pacemaker implantation occurred in 1% (3/449) of Iclusig-treated patients. Advise patients to report signs and symptoms suggestive of slow heart rate (fainting, dizziness, or chest pain). Supraventricular tachyarrhythmias occurred in 5% (25/449) of Iclusig-treated patients. Atrial fibrillation was the most common supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and occurred in 20 patients. For 13 patients, the event led to hospitalization. Advise patients to report signs and symptoms of rapid heart rate (palpitations, dizziness). Interrupt Iclusig and evaluate.
Myelosuppression: Severe (grade 3 or 4) myelosuppression occurred in 48% (215/449) of patients treated with Iclusig. The incidence of these events was greater in patients with AP-CML, BP-CML and Ph+ ALL than in patients with CP-CML. Obtain complete blood counts every 2 weeks for the first 3 months and then monthly or as clinically indicated, and adjust the dose as recommended.
Tumor Lysis Syndrome: Two patients (<1%) with advanced disease (AP-CML, BP-CML, or Ph+ ALL) treated with Iclusig developed serious tumor lysis syndrome. Hyperuricemia occurred in 7% (30/449) of patients overall; the majority had CP-CML (19 patients). Due to the potential for tumor lysis syndrome in patients with advanced disease, ensure adequate hydration and treat high uric acid levels prior to initiating therapy with Iclusig.
Compromised Wound Healing and Gastrointestinal Perforation: Since Iclusig may compromise wound healing, interrupt Iclusig for at least 1 week prior to major surgery. Serious gastrointestinal perforation (fistula) occurred in one patient 38 days post-cholecystectomy.
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Iclusig can cause fetal harm. If Iclusig is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking Iclusig, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Advise women to avoid pregnancy while taking Iclusig.
Most common non-hematologic adverse reactions: (≥20%) were hypertension, rash, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dry skin, constipation, arthralgia, nausea, and pyrexia. Hematologic adverse reactions included thrombocytopenia, anemia, neutropenia, lymphopenia, and leukopenia.
Please see the full U.S. Prescribing Information for Iclusig, including the Boxed Warning.
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts is focused on discovering, developing and commercializing precision therapies for patients with rare cancers. ARIAD is working on new medicines to advance the treatment of rare forms of chronic and acute leukemia, lung cancer and other rare cancers. ARIAD utilizes computational and structural approaches to design small-molecule drugs that overcome resistance to existing cancer medicines. For additional information, visit http://www.ariad.com or follow ARIAD on Twitter (@ARIADPharm).
About Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: “Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide.” Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical is a leading firm in the challenging area of mental health and also has products and research programs for several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate more powerfully than words how Otsuka is a “big venture” company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does. Otsuka Pharmaceutical and its affiliates employ approximately 31,000 people globally, and the company welcomes you to visit its global website at: http://www.otsuka.co.jp/en.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, each of which are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Any statements contained herein which do not describe historical facts, including, but not limited to, statements regarding: the potential for Iclusig to provide an important new treatment option for Japanese patients with refractory Philadelphia-positive leukemia; the anticipated market opportunity for Iclusig in Japan; the receipt of a milestone payment from Otsuka; and ARIAD’s and Otsuka’s plans to expand patient access and seek potential approvals in other Asian countries, are forward-looking statements that are based on management's expectations and are subject to certain factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, outcome of events, timing and performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These factors, risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, our ability to successfully commercialize and generate profits from sales of our products; our ability to meet anticipated clinical trial commencement, enrollment and completion dates and regulatory filing dates for our products and product candidates and to move new development candidates into the clinic; our ability to execute on our key corporate initiatives; regulatory developments and safety issues, including difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory and pricing and reimbursement approvals to market our products; competition from alternative therapies; our reliance on the performance of third-party manufacturers and specialty pharmacies or our collaborators for the supply and distribution of our products and product candidates; the occurrence of adverse safety events with our products and product candidates; the costs associated with our research, development, manufacturing, commercialization and other activities; the conduct, timing and results of preclinical and clinical studies of our products and product candidates, including that preclinical data and early-stage clinical data may not be replicated in later-stage clinical studies; the adequacy of our capital resources and the availability of additional funding; the ability to satisfy our contractual obligations, including under our leases, convertible debt and royalty financing agreements; patent protection and third-party intellectual property claims; litigation; our operations in foreign countries; risks related to key employees, markets, economic conditions, health care reform, prices and reimbursement rates; and other risk factors detailed in our public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Except as otherwise noted, these forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of these statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after this press release. We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.