CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), the leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the Company’s New Drug Application (NDA) for givosiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic targeting aminolevulinic acid synthase 1 (ALAS1) in development for the treatment of acute hepatic porphyria (AHP), and granted Priority Review for the NDA. A Priority Review designation is granted to medicines that the FDA has determined have the potential to provide significant improvements in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a serious disease, and FDA’s goal is to take action within six months compared to 10 months under standard review.
The FDA has set an action date of February 4, 2020 under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), and the agency has indicated that they are not currently planning an advisory committee meeting as part of the NDA review.
Additionally, the Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) for givosiran has been submitted to and validated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Givosiran was previously granted an accelerated assessment by the EMA, which is awarded to medicines deemed to be of major public health interest and therapeutic innovation, and is designed to bring new treatments to patients more quickly. Accelerated assessment potentially reduces the Agency’s evaluation time from 210 to 150 days.
Givosiran also previously received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA and Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S., as well as Priority Medicines (PRIME) Designation from the EMA and Orphan Drug Designation in the EU.
Givosiran is an investigational, subcutaneously administered RNAi therapeutic targeting aminolevulinic acid synthase 1 (ALAS1) in development for the treatment of acute hepatic porphyria (AHP). Monthly administration of givosiran has the potential to significantly lower induced liver ALAS1 levels in a sustained manner and thereby decrease neurotoxic heme intermediates, aminolevulinic acid (ALA) and porphobilinogen (PBG), towards normal levels. By reducing accumulation of these intermediates, givosiran has the potential to prevent or reduce the occurrence of severe and life-threatening attacks, control chronic symptoms, and decrease the burden of the disease. Givosiran utilizes Alnylam’s Enhanced Stabilization Chemistry ESC-GalNAc conjugate technology, which enables subcutaneous dosing with increased potency and durability and a wide therapeutic index. The safety and efficacy of givosiran were evaluated in the ENVISION Phase 3 trial with positive results; these results have not been evaluated by the FDA, the EMA or any other health authority.
About Acute Hepatic Porphyria
Acute hepatic porphyria (AHP) refers to a family of rare, genetic diseases characterized by potentially life-threatening attacks and for some patients chronic debilitating symptoms that negatively impact daily functioning and quality of life. AHP is comprised of four subtypes, each resulting from a genetic defect leading to deficiency in one of the enzymes of the heme biosynthesis pathway in the liver: acute intermittent porphyria (AIP), hereditary coproporphyria (HCP), variegate porphyria (VP), and ALAD-deficiency porphyria (ADP). These defects cause the accumulation of neurotoxic heme intermediates aminolevulinic acid (ALA) and porphobilinogen (PBG), with ALA believed to be the primary neurotoxic intermediate responsible for causing both attacks and ongoing symptoms between attacks. Common symptoms of AHP include severe, diffuse abdominal pain, weakness, nausea, and fatigue. The nonspecific nature of AHP signs and symptoms can often lead to misdiagnoses of other more common conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, appendicitis, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis, and consequently, patients afflicted by AHP often remain without a proper diagnosis for up to 15 years. In addition, long-term complications of AHP and its treatment can include chronic neuropathic pain, hypertension, chronic kidney disease and liver disease, including iron overload, fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently, there are no treatments approved to prevent debilitating attacks or to treat the chronic manifestations of the disease.
RNAi (RNA interference) is a natural cellular process of gene silencing that represents one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug development today. Its discovery has been heralded as “a major scientific breakthrough that happens once every decade or so,” and was recognized with the award of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. By harnessing the natural biological process of RNAi occurring in our cells, a new class of medicines, known as RNAi therapeutics, is now a reality. Small interfering RNA (siRNA), the molecules that mediate RNAi and comprise Alnylam's RNAi therapeutic platform, function upstream of today’s medicines by potently silencing messenger RNA (mRNA) – the genetic precursors – that encode for disease-causing proteins, thus preventing them from being made. This is a revolutionary approach with the potential to transform the care of patients with genetic and other diseases.
About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Alnylam (Nasdaq: ALNY) is leading the translation of RNA interference (RNAi) into a whole new class of innovative medicines with the potential to transform the lives of people afflicted with rare genetic, cardio-metabolic, hepatic infectious, and central nervous system (CNS)/ocular diseases. Based on Nobel Prize-winning science, RNAi therapeutics represent a powerful, clinically validated approach for the treatment of a wide range of severe and debilitating diseases. Founded in 2002, Alnylam is delivering on a bold vision to turn scientific possibility into reality, with a robust discovery platform. Alnylam’s first commercial RNAi therapeutic is ONPATTRO® (patisiran) approved in the U.S., EU, Japan and Canada. Alnylam has a deep pipeline of investigational medicines, including five product candidates that are in late-stage development. Looking forward, Alnylam will continue to execute on its "Alnylam 2020" strategy of building a multi-product, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company with a sustainable pipeline of RNAi-based medicines to address the needs of patients who have limited or inadequate treatment options. Alnylam employs over 1,200 people worldwide and is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. For more information about our people, science and pipeline, please visit www.alnylam.com and engage with us on Twitter at @Alnylam or on LinkedIn.
Alnylam Forward Looking Statements
Various statements in this release concerning Alnylam's future expectations, plans and prospects, including, without limitation, Alnylam's views with respect to the potential treatment benefits of givosiran and potential for givosiran to impact the lives of patients, the acceptance of the givosiran NDA by the FDA and the expected timing of review based upon the FDA’s Priority Review of the NDA and the established PDUFA date, expectations regarding the lack of a need for an advisory committee meeting for givosiran based upon the FDA’s current plans, the validation of the MAA for givosiran by the EMA and the expected timing for review based upon the EMA’s grant of an accelerated assessment, and expectations regarding its “Alnylam 2020” guidance for the advancement and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics, constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results and future plans may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, without limitation, Alnylam's ability to discover and develop novel drug candidates and delivery approaches, successfully demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its product candidates, the pre-clinical and clinical results for its product candidates, which may not be replicated or continue to occur in other subjects or in additional studies or otherwise support further development of product candidates for a specified indication or at all, actions or advice of regulatory agencies, which may affect the design, initiation, timing, continuation and/or progress of clinical trials or result in the need for additional pre-clinical and/or clinical testing, delays, interruptions or failures in the manufacture and supply of its product candidates, obtaining, maintaining and protecting intellectual property, Alnylam's ability to enforce its intellectual property rights against third parties and defend its patent portfolio against challenges from third parties, obtaining and maintaining regulatory approval, pricing and reimbursement for products, progress in establishing a commercial and ex-United States infrastructure, successfully launching, marketing and selling its approved products globally, Alnylam’s ability to successfully expand the indication for ONPATTRO in the future, competition from others using technology similar to Alnylam's and others developing products for similar uses, Alnylam's ability to manage its growth and operating expenses, obtain additional funding to support its business activities, and establish and maintain strategic business alliances and new business initiatives, Alnylam's dependence on third parties for development, manufacture and distribution of products, the outcome of litigation, the risk of government investigations, and unexpected expenditures, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the “Risk Factors” filed with Alnylam's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and in other filings that Alnylam makes with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Alnylam's views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Alnylam explicitly disclaims any obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update any forward-looking statements.