NEW HAVEN, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) announced today that the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) has issued patent No. 6224059, directed to the composition of matter of eculizumab (Soliris®) and pharmaceutical formulations of eculizumab, which will expire in 2027.
“Alexion is pleased that the JPO has granted an additional patent for Soliris, enhancing our global portfolio of intellectual property protection for this novel complement inhibitor,” said Ludwig Hantson, Chief Executive Officer of Alexion. “As we continue to serve patients in Japan and invest in additional research and development for Soliris, we look forward to working with other jurisdictions around the world to further strengthen our patent portfolio.”
As previously announced, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued three U.S. patents earlier this year directed to the composition of matter of eculizumab, pharmaceutical formulations of eculizumab, and methods of treating paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) with eculizumab. These patents will expire in 2027.
Alexion is pursuing corresponding patent applications for eculizumab in other regions and countries, including Europe. In addition, Alexion is pursuing patent applications for additional indications of Soliris, including for the treatment of anti-acetylcholine receptor (AchR) antibody-positive generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG).
About Soliris® (eculizumab)
Soliris® is a first-in-class complement inhibitor that works by inhibiting the terminal part of the complement cascade, a part of the immune system that, when activated in an uncontrolled manner, plays a role in serious ultra-rare disorders like paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) and anti-acetylcholine receptor (AchR) antibody-positive myasthenia gravis (MG). Soliris is approved in the U.S., EU, Japan and other countries as the first and only treatment for patients with PNH and aHUS, in the EU as the first and only treatment of refractory gMG in adults who are anti-AchR antibody-positive, and in the U.S. for the treatment of adult patients with gMG who are anti-AchR antibody-positive. Alexion’s new drug application in Japan for Soliris as a treatment for patients with anti-AchR antibody-positive refractory gMG has been accepted for review by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW). Soliris is not indicated for the treatment of patients with Shiga-toxin E. coli-related hemolytic uremic syndrome (STEC-HUS).
Soliris has received Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for the treatment of patients with PNH in the U.S., EU, Japan and many other countries, for the treatment of patients with aHUS in the U.S., EU and many other countries, for the treatment of patients with MG in the U.S. and EU, and for the treatment of patients with refractory gMG in Japan. Alexion and Soliris have received some of the pharmaceutical industry's highest honors for the medical innovation in complement inhibition: the Prix Galien USA (2008, Best Biotechnology Product) and France (2009, Rare Disease Treatment).
For more information on Soliris, please see full prescribing information for Soliris, including BOXED WARNING regarding risk of serious meningococcal infection, available at www.soliris.net.
Important Soliris Safety Information
The U.S. prescribing information for Soliris includes the following warnings and precautions: Life-threatening and fatal meningococcal infections have occurred in patients treated with Soliris. Meningococcal infection may become rapidly life-threatening or fatal if not recognized and treated early. Comply with the most current Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for meningococcal vaccination in patients with complement deficiencies. Immunize patients with meningococcal vaccines at least two weeks prior to administering the first dose of Soliris, unless the risks of delaying Soliris therapy outweigh the risk of developing a meningococcal infection. Monitor patients for early signs of meningococcal infections and evaluate immediately if infection is suspected. Soliris is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). Under the Soliris REMS, prescribers must enroll in the program. Enrollment in the Soliris REMS program and additional information are available by telephone: 1-888-SOLIRIS (1-888-765-4747) or at www.solirisrems.com.
Patients may have increased susceptibility to infections, especially with encapsulated bacteria. Aspergillus infections have occurred in immunocompromised and neutropenic patients. Children treated with Soliris may be at increased risk of developing serious infections due to Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib). Soliris treatment of patients with PNH should not alter anticoagulant management because the effect of withdrawal of anticoagulant therapy during Soliris treatment has not been established. Administration of Soliris may result in infusion reactions, including anaphylaxis or other hypersensitivity reactions.
In patients with PNH, the most frequently reported adverse events observed with Soliris treatment in clinical studies were headache, nasopharyngitis, back pain and nausea. In patients with aHUS, the most frequently reported adverse events observed with Soliris treatment in clinical studies were headache, diarrhea, hypertension, upper respiratory infection, abdominal pain, vomiting, nasopharyngitis, anemia, cough, peripheral edema, nausea, urinary tract infections, and pyrexia. In patients with gMG who are anti-AchR antibody-positive, the most frequently reported adverse reaction observed with Soliris treatment in the placebo-controlled clinical study (≥10%) was musculoskeletal pain.
Alexion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases through the innovation, development and commercialization of life-changing therapies. Alexion is the global leader in complement inhibition and has developed and commercializes the first and only approved complement inhibitor to treat patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), and anti-acetylcholine receptor (AchR) antibody-positive generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG). In addition, Alexion has two highly innovative enzyme replacement therapies for patients with life-threatening and ultra-rare metabolic disorders, hypophosphatasia (HPP) and lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D). As the leader in complement biology for over 20 years, Alexion focuses its research efforts on novel molecules and targets in the complement cascade, and its development efforts on the core therapeutic areas of hematology, nephrology, neurology, and metabolic disorders. This press release and further information about Alexion can be found at: www.alexion.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements related to Soliris intellectual property, and the strength and scope of Soliris intellectual property protection. Forward-looking statements are subject to factors that may cause Alexion's results and plans to differ from those expected, including for example, decisions of regulatory authorities regarding the adequacy of our research, marketing approval or material limitations on the marketing of our products, delays, interruptions or failures in the manufacture and supply of our products and our product candidates, failure to satisfactorily address matters raised by the FDA and other regulatory agencies, the possibility that results of clinical trials are not predictive of safety and efficacy results of our products in broader patient populations, the possibility that current rates of adoption of Soliris in PNH, aHUS or other diseases are not sustained, the possibility that clinical trials of our product candidates could be delayed, the adequacy of our pharmacovigilance and drug safety reporting processes, the risk that third party payors (including governmental agencies) will not reimburse or continue to reimburse for the use of our products at acceptable rates or at all, uncertainties surrounding legal proceedings, company investigations and government investigations, including investigations of Alexion by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. Department of Justice, the risk that anticipated regulatory filings are delayed, the risk that estimates regarding the number of patients with PNH, aHUS, gMG, HPP and LAL-D are inaccurate, the risks of changing foreign exchange rates, risks relating to the potential effects of the Company's restructuring and relocation of its corporate headquarters, and a variety of other risks set forth from time to time in Alexion's filings with the SEC, including but not limited to the risks discussed in Alexion's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2017 and in our other filings with the SEC. Alexion does not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, except when a duty arises under law.