European Commission Approves EVENITY® (romosozumab) For The Treatment Of Severe Osteoporosis In Postmenopausal Women At High Risk Of Fracture
First New Osteoporosis Medicine Approved in the European Union (EU) Since 2010
Novel Bone-Builder With a Dual Effect That Increases Bone Formation and Reduces Bone Loss
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and BRUSSELS, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and UCB (Euronext Brussels: UCB) today announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted marketing authorization for EVENITY® (romosozumab) for the treatment of severe osteoporosis in postmenopausal women at high risk of fracture. EVENITY is a novel bone-builder with a dual effect that increases bone formation and to a lesser extent reduces bone resorption (or bone loss).
“After her first fracture, a woman is five times more likely to suffer another fracture within a year.1 EVENITY is a significant step forward in the management of osteoporosis for physicians who need to treat patients with a medicine that can rapidly increase bone mineral density within 12 months,” said David M. Reese, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. “We are pleased by the European Commission’s approval to make this therapy available to the millions of women at high risk of fracture in the European Union.”
The approval follows a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) that was received in October 2019. The first launches of EVENITY in the European Economic Area (EEA) are planned for first half of 2020.
As the population ages, the incidence and contribution of fragility fractures to the overall healthcare spend in Europe will continue to rise. Recent studies estimate that every year €37 billion is spent on healthcare costs for the 2.7 million fragility fractures that occur across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK.2 This annual expenditure is predicted to increase to over €47 billion by 2030.2
“Today’s European population is living longer and expecting more out of life in their later years. Yet fragility fractures due to osteoporosis affect one in three women aged over 50, and evidence shows that many women remain undiagnosed and untreated following a fracture. These fractures represent a barrier to healthy aging, potentially impacting independence and quality of life2,” said Dr. Pascale Richetta, head of bone and executive vice president, UCB. “With today’s approval of EVENITY we can now offer patients and clinicians a new medicine that can help drive positive changes in secondary fracture prevention.”
“Fragility fractures can often be avoided, but their prevention and management are being neglected despite a large personal, societal and economic impact. With the number of worldwide fractures expected to rise there is a growing need to take action and prioritize post-fracture care through better education, specialist services, lifestyles and medicines,” said Alison Doyle, head of clinical operations for the Royal Osteoporosis Society. “Therefore, we welcome this approval as it represents a new, therapeutic option for both patients and health care professionals in addressing this neglected condition.”
European Commission marketing authorization approval is valid in all EU and EEA-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). EVENITY is now approved in 37 countries, including the U.S., Japan, Canada and Australia.
About EVENITY® (romosozumab)
EVENITY is a bone-forming monoclonal antibody. It is designed to work by inhibiting the activity of sclerostin, which simultaneously results in increased bone formation and to a lesser extent decreased bone resorption. The EVENITY development program includes 19 clinical studies that enrolled approximately 14,000 patients. EVENITY has been studied for its potential to reduce the risk of fractures in an extensive global Phase 3 program that included two large fracture trials comparing EVENITY to either placebo or active comparator in nearly 11,000 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Amgen and UCB are co-developing EVENITY.
About Osteoporosis-Related Fractures
Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men, over the age of 50, will suffer a fragility fracture due to osteoporosis and with an aging population these numbers will rise.3 Yet despite this, there is a large gap in the management and treatment of osteoporosis, especially in the post-fracture setting, with an estimated four out of five patients remaining undiagnosed and untreated after a fracture.4 Without proper care or access to effective intervention options, they remain at risk of painful and disabling fractures in the future.
Important EU/EEA Product Information
EVENITY® (romosozumab) is indicated for treatment of severe osteoporosis in postmenopausal women at high risk of fracture.
Important EU/EEA Safety information
This medicinal product is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification of new safety information. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions.
EVENITY is contraindicated in patients with a history of myocardial infraction or stroke. EVENITY is contraindicated in patients with hypocalcemia. EVENITY is contraindicated in patients with a history of systemic hypersensitivity to romosozumab or to any component of the product formulation.
Special Warning and Precautions for Use
Myocardial infarction and stroke: In randomised controlled studies, an increase in serious cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction and stroke) has been observed in romosozumab treated patients compared to controls. Romosozumab is contraindicated in patients with previous myocardial infarction or stroke.
When determining whether to use romosozumab for an individual patient, consideration should be given to her fracture risk over the next year and her cardiovascular risk based on risk factors (e.g. established cardiovascular disease, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes mellitus, smoking, severe renal impairment, age). Romosozumab should only be used if the prescriber and patient agree that the benefit outweighs the risk. If a patient experiences a myocardial infarction or stroke during therapy, treatment with romosozumab should be discontinued.
Hypocalcemia: Transient hypocalcemia has been observed in patients receiving romosozumab. Hypocalcemia should be corrected prior to initiating therapy with romosozumab and patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of hypocalcemia. If any patient presents with suspected symptoms of hypocalaemia during treatment, calcium levels should be measured. Patients should be adequately supplemented with calcium and vitamin D. Patients with severe renal impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] 15 to 29 ml/min/1.73 m2) or receiving dialysis are at greater risk of developing hypocalcemia and the safety data for these patients is limited. Calcium levels should be monitored in these patients.
Hypersensitivity: Clinically significant hypersensitivity reactions, including angioedema, erythema multiforme, and urticaria occurred in the romosozumab group in clinical trials. If an anaphylactic or other clinically significant allergic reaction occurs, appropriate therapy should be initiated and use of romosozumab should be discontinued.
Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ): ONJ, has been reported rarely in patients receiving romosozumab. The following risk factors should be considered when evaluating a patient’s risk of developing ONJ:
- potency of the medicinal product that inhibits bone resorption (the risk increases with the antiresorptive potency of the compound), and cumulative dose of bone resorption therapy.
- cancer, co-morbid conditions (e.g. anaemia, coagulopathies, infection), smoking.
- concomitant therapies: corticosteroids, chemotherapy, angiogenesis inhibitors, radiotherapy to head and neck.
- poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, poorly fitting dentures, history of dental disease, invasive dental procedures e.g. tooth extractions.
All patients should be encouraged to maintain good oral hygiene, receive routine dental check-ups, and immediately report any oral symptoms such as dental mobility, pain or swelling or non-healing of sores or discharge during treatment with romosozumab.
Patients who are suspected of having or who develop ONJ while on romosozumab should receive care by a dentist or an oral surgeon with expertise in ONJ. Discontinuation of romosozumab therapy should be considered until the condition resolves and contributing risk factors are mitigated where possible.
Atypical Femoral Fractures: Atypical low-energy or low trauma fracture of the femoral shaft, which can occur spontaneously, has been reported rarely in patients receiving romosozumab. Any patient who presents with new or unusual thigh, hip, or groin pain should be suspected of having an atypical fracture and should be evaluated to rule out an incomplete femur fracture. Patient presenting with an atypical femur fracture should also be assessed for symptoms and signs of fracture in the contralateral limb. Interruption of romosozumab therapy should be considered, based on an individual benefit-risk assessment.
Adverse Reactions: The most common adverse reactions were nasopharyngitis (13.6%) and arthralgia (12.4%). Common adverse reactions included hypersensitivity, sinusitis, rash, dermatitis, headache, neck pain, muscle spasms and injection site reactions (most frequent injection site reactions were pain and erythema). Uncommon adverse reactions were urticaria, hypocalcaemia, stroke, myocardial infarction and cataract. Finally, rare side effects were serious allergic reactions which caused swelling of the face, throat, hands, feet, ankles or lower legs (angioedema) and acute skin eruption (erythema multiforme).
Refer to the European Summary of Product Characteristics for other adverse reactions and full prescribing information for EVENITY®.
Important U.S. Product Information
EVENITY® is indicated for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women at high risk for fracture, defined as a history of osteoporotic fracture, or multiple risk factors for fracture; or patients who have failed or are intolerant to other available osteoporosis therapy.5
The anabolic effect of EVENITY wanes after 12 monthly doses of therapy. Therefore, the duration of EVENITY use should be limited to 12 monthly doses. If osteoporosis therapy remains warranted, continued therapy with an anti-resorptive agent should be considered.
Important U.S. Safety Information
POTENTIAL RISK OF MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION, STROKE AND CARDIOVASCULAR DEATH
EVENITY® may increase the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular death. EVENITY® should not be initiated in patients who have had a myocardial infarction or stroke within the preceding year. Consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks in patients with other cardiovascular risk factors. Monitor for signs and symptoms of myocardial infarction and stroke and instruct patients to seek prompt medical attention if symptoms occur. If a patient experiences a myocardial infarction or stroke during therapy, EVENITY® should be discontinued.
In a randomized controlled trial in postmenopausal women, there was a higher rate of major adverse cardiac events (MACE), a composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction and nonfatal stroke, in patients treated with EVENITY® compared to those treated with alendronate.
Contraindications: EVENITY® is contraindicated in patients with hypocalcemia. Pre-existing hypocalcemia must be corrected prior to initiating therapy with EVENITY®. EVENITY® is contraindicated in patients with a history of systemic hypersensitivity to romosozumab or to any component of the product formulation. Reactions have included angioedema, erythema multiforme and urticaria.
Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitivity reactions, including angioedema, erythema multiforme, dermatitis, rash and urticaria have occurred in EVENITY®-treated patients. If an anaphylactic or other clinically significant allergic reaction occurs, initiate appropriate therapy and discontinue further use of EVENITY®.
Hypocalcemia: Hypocalcemia has occurred in patients receiving EVENITY®. Correct hypocalcemia prior to initiating EVENITY®. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of hypocalcemia, particularly in patients with severe renal impairment or receiving dialysis. Adequately supplement patients with calcium and vitamin D while on EVENITY®.
Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ): ONJ, which can occur spontaneously, is generally associated with tooth extraction and/or local infection with delayed healing, and has been reported in patients receiving EVENITY®. A routine oral exam should be performed by the prescriber prior to initiation of EVENITY®. Concomitant administration of drugs associated with ONJ (chemotherapy, bisphosphonates, denosumab, angiogenesis inhibitors, and corticosteroids) may increase the risk of developing ONJ. Other risk factors for ONJ include cancer, radiotherapy, poor oral hygiene, pre-existing dental disease or infection, anemia and coagulopathy.
For patients requiring invasive dental procedures, clinical judgment should guide the management plan of each patient. Patients who are suspected of having or who develop ONJ should receive care by a dentist or an oral surgeon. In these patients, dental surgery to treat ONJ may exacerbate the condition. Discontinuation of EVENITY® should be considered based on benefit-risk assessment.
Atypical Femoral Fractures: Atypical low-energy or low trauma fractures of the femoral shaft have been reported in patients receiving EVENITY®. Causality has not been established as these fractures also occur in osteoporotic patients who have not been treated.
During EVENITY® treatment, patients should be advised to report new or unusual thigh, hip or groin pain. Any patient who presents with thigh or groin pain should be evaluated to rule out an incomplete femur fracture. Interruption of EVENITY® therapy should be considered based on benefit-risk assessment.
Adverse Reactions: The most common adverse reactions (≥ 5%) reported with EVENITY® were arthralgia and headache.
EVENITY® is a humanized monoclonal antibody. As with all therapeutic proteins, there is potential for immunogenicity.
Please see accompanying EVENITY® full U.S. Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning and Medication Guide.
About the Amgen and UCB Collaboration
Since 2004, Amgen and UCB have been working together under a collaboration and license agreement to research, develop and market antibody products targeting the protein sclerostin. As part of this agreement, the two companies continue to collaborate on the development of romosozumab for the treatment of osteoporosis. This gene-to-drug project demonstrates how Amgen and UCB are joining forces to translate a genetic discovery into a new medicine, turning conceptual science into a reality.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be the world’s largest independent biotechnology company, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With 7 500 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of € 4.6 billion in 2018. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). Follow us on Twitter: @UCB_news.
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- Lindsay R, Silverman SL, Cooper C, et al. Risk of new vertebral fracture in the year following fracture. JAMA. 2001;285(3):320-323.
- International Osteoporosis Foundation. Broken Bones, Broken Lives: A Roadmap to Solve the Fragility Fracture Crisis in Europe. http://share.iofbonehealth.org/EU-6-Material/Reports/IOF%20Report_EU.pdf Accessed November 18, 2019.
- International Osteoporosis Foundation. Patient Brochure. http://share.iofbonehealth.org/WOD/2012/patient_brochure/WOD12-pa-tient_brochure.pdf. Accessed November 18, 2019.
- Nguyen TV, Center JR, Eisman JA (2004) Osteoporosis: underrated, underdiagnosed and undertreated. Med J Aust 180:S18.
- EVENITY™ (romosozumab-aqqg) U.S. Prescribing Information https://www.pi.amgen.com/~/media/amgen/repositorysites/pi-amgen-com/evenity/evenity_pi_hcp_english.ashx
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