Amgen announced that a new analysis showed lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels with Repatha® (evolocumab) reduced the risk of cardiovascular events in a sub-group of patients with a history of stroke from the Repatha cardiovascular outcomes study (FOURIER). No new safety concerns were identified in this cohort of more than 5,000 patients. Detailed results were presented today in a Late-Breaking Clinical Trials session at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.
“The clinical benefits of PCSK9 inhibition in stroke patients have not been previously reported. The reduction in cardiovascular event risk in this analysis is similar to what we saw in the broader 27,564-patient FOURIER study, supporting Repatha’s role in reducing the risk of future cardiovascular events for patients with a history of stroke,” said Terje Pedersen, professor emeritus, Department of Endocrinology, Morbid Obesity and Preventive Medicine at the University of Oslo Institute of Clinical Medicine, Oslo, Norway.
Nineteen percent of patients in the Repatha cardiovascular outcomes study had a prior history of non-hemorrhagic stroke (n=5,337). In this analysis, stroke patients treated with Repatha experienced a 56 percent mean reduction in LDL-C levels, compared to placebo (median LDL-C level of 29 mg/dL for patients on Repatha versus median LDL-C of 89 mg/dL for placebo; p<0.001).
In this analysis, the hazard ratio of Repatha compared to placebo for the composite primary endpoint, which included hospitalization for unstable angina, coronary revascularization, heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death, was 0.85 (95 percent CI, 0.72-1.00; p=0.047). The hazard ratio of Repatha compared to placebo for the secondary composite endpoint of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death was 0.89 (95 percent CI, 0.74-1.08). The hazard ratios of Repatha compared to placebo for coronary revascularization, heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death were 0.68 (95 percent CI, 0.52-0.90), 0.74 (95 percent CI, 0.55-1.00), 0.90 (95 percent CI, 0.68-1.19) and 1.11 (95 percent CI, 0.80-1.56), respectively.
“The cardiovascular outcomes study FOURIER unequivocally showed that lowering LDL-C with Repatha results in a powerful risk reduction for patients at high risk of a cardiovascular event,” said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. “The fact that we were able to detect a meaningful reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events in the much smaller sub-group of stroke patients is remarkable and demonstrates the importance of the intensive LDL-C lowering Repatha provides for patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.”
In the sub-group of patients with a history of stroke, there were no notable differences in the overall rate of adverse events, serious adverse events or adverse events leading to study drug discontinuation. Rates of adjudicated new onset diabetes (2.1 percent Repatha; 2.0 percent placebo), cataract (1.0 percent Repatha; 0.8 percent placebo), and neurocognitive adverse events (1.0 percent Repatha; 1.0 percent placebo) were similar between the two arms.
Primary Analysis of the Repatha Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial
The primary analysis included 27,564 patients with established cardiovascular disease. The study was statistically powered around the hard major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) composite endpoint of first heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death (key secondary composite endpoint) and found that adding Repatha to optimized statin therapy resulted in a statistically significant 20 percent (p<0.001) reduction in these events. The study also found a statistically significant 15 percent reduction (p<0.001) in the risk of the extended MACE composite (primary) endpoint, which included hospitalization for unstable angina, coronary revascularization, heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death.
No new safety concerns were identified in this large clinical trial with roughly 60,000 patient-years of follow-up; this included the assessment of patients who achieved very low levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
The detailed results from the Repatha cardiovascular outcomes study were initially presented during a Late-Breaking Clinical Trials Session at the American College of Cardiology 66th Annual Scientific Session and simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Repatha Cardiovascular Outcomes (FOURIER) Study Design
The 27,564-patient Repatha cardiovascular outcomes study, FOURIER (Further Cardiovascular OUtcomes Research with PCSK9 Inhibition in Subjects with Elevated Risk), was a multinational Phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, designed to evaluate whether treatment with Repatha in combination with statin therapy compared to placebo plus statin therapy reduces cardiovascular events. The primary endpoint was time to cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, or coronary revascularization. The key secondary endpoint was the time to cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction or stroke.
Eligible patients with high cholesterol (LDL-C ≥70 mg/dL or non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [non-HDL-C] ≥100 mg/dL) and clinically evident atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease at more than 1,200 study locations around the world were randomized to receive Repatha subcutaneous 140 mg every two weeks or 420 mg monthly plus optimized statin dose; or placebo subcutaneous every two weeks or monthly plus optimized statin dose. Optimized statin therapy was defined as at least atorvastatin 20 mg or equivalent daily with a recommendation for at least atorvastatin 40 mg or equivalent daily where approved. The study was event driven and continued until 1,630 patients experienced a key secondary endpoint.
About Repatha® (evolocumab)
Repatha® (evolocumab) is a human monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9). Repatha binds to PCSK9 and inhibits circulating PCSK9 from binding to the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor (LDLR), preventing PCSK9-mediated LDLR degradation and permitting LDLR to recycle back to the liver cell surface. By inhibiting the binding of PCSK9 to LDLR, Repatha increases the number of LDLRs available to clear LDL from the blood, thereby lowering LDL-C levels.1
Repatha is approved in more than 50 countries, including the U.S., Japan, Canada and in all 28 countries that are members of the European Union. Applications in other countries are pending.
U.S. Repatha Indication
Repatha® is indicated as an adjunct to diet and:
Maximally tolerated statin therapy for treatment of adults with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) or clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), who require additional lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)
Other LDL-lowering therapies (e.g., statins, ezetimibe, LDL apheresis) in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) who require additional lowering of LDL-C
The effect of Repatha® on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.
The safety and effectiveness of Repatha® have not been established in pediatric patients with HoFH who are younger than 13 years old.
The safety and effectiveness of Repatha® have not been established in pediatric patients with primary hyperlipidemia or HeFH.
Important U.S. Safety Information
Contraindication: Repatha® is contraindicated in patients with a history of a serious hypersensitivity reaction to Repatha®.
Allergic reactions: Hypersensitivity reactions (e.g. rash, urticaria) have been reported in patients treated with Repatha®, including some that led to discontinuation of therapy. If signs or symptoms of serious allergic reactions occur, discontinue treatment with Repatha®, treat according to the standard of care, and monitor until signs and symptoms resolve.
Adverse reactions: The most common adverse reactions (>5% of Repatha®-treated patients and more common than placebo) were: nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, influenza, back pain, and injection site reactions.
In a 52-week trial, adverse reactions led to discontinuation of treatment in 2.2% of Repatha®-treated patients and 1% of placebo-treated patients. The most common adverse reaction that led to Repatha® treatment discontinuation and occurred at a rate greater than placebo was myalgia (0.3% versus 0% for Repatha® and placebo, respectively).
Adverse reactions from a pool of the 52-week trial and seven 12-week trials: Local injection site reactions occurred in 3.2% and 3.0% of Repatha®-treated and placebo-treated patients, respectively. The most common injection site reactions were erythema, pain, and bruising. The proportions of patients who discontinued treatment due to local injection site reactions in Repatha®-treated patients and placebo-treated patients were 0.1% and 0%, respectively.
Allergic reactions occurred in 5.1% and 4.7% of Repatha®-treated and placebo-treated patients, respectively. The most common allergic reactions were rash (1.0% versus 0.5% for Repatha® and placebo, respectively), eczema (0.4% versus 0.2%), erythema (0.4% versus 0.2%), and urticaria (0.4% versus 0.1%).
Neurocognitive events were reported in less than or equal to 0.2% in Repatha®-treated and placebo-treated patients.
In a pool of placebo- and active-controlled trials, as well as open-label extension studies that followed them, a total of 1,988 patients treated with Repatha® had at least one LDL-C value <25 mg/dL. Changes to background lipid-altering therapy were not made in response to low LDL-C values, and Repatha® dosing was not modified or interrupted on this basis. Although adverse consequences of very low LDL-C were not identified in these trials, the long-term effects of very low levels of LDL-C induced by Repatha® are unknown.
Musculoskeletal adverse reactions were reported in 14.3% of Repatha®-treated patients and 12.8% of placebo-treated patients. The most common adverse reactions that occurred at a rate greater than placebo were back pain (3.2% versus 2.9% for Repatha® and placebo, respectively), arthralgia (2.3% versus 2.2%), and myalgia (2.0% versus 1.8%).
Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HoFH): In 49 patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia studied in a 12-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 33 patients received 420 mg of Repatha® subcutaneously once monthly. The adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2 (6.1%) Repatha®-treated patients and more frequently than in placebo-treated patients, included upper respiratory tract infection (9.1% versus 6.3%), influenza (9.1% versus 0%), gastroenteritis (6.1% versus 0%), and nasopharyngitis (6.1% versus 0%).
Immunogenicity: Repatha® is a human monoclonal antibody. As with all therapeutic proteins, there is a potential for immunogenicity with Repatha®.
Please contact Amgen Medinfo at 800-77-AMGEN (800-772-6436) or 844-REPATHA (844-737-2842) regarding Repatha® availability or find more information, including full Prescribing Information, at www.amgen.com and www.Repatha.com.
Important EU Product Information
In Europe Repatha is approved for use in:
Hypercholesterolemia and mixed dyslipidemia
Repatha is indicated in adults with primary hypercholesterolemia (heterozygous familial and non-familial) or mixed dyslipidemia, as an adjunct to diet:
in combination with a statin or statin with other lipid lowering therapies in patients unable to reach LDL-C goals with the maximum tolerated dose of a statin or,
alone or in combination with other lipid-lowering therapies in patients who are statin-intolerant, or for whom a statin is contraindicated.
Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia
Repatha is indicated in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia in combination with other lipid-lowering therapies.The effect of Repatha on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not yet been determined.
Primary hypercholesterolemia and mixed dyslipidemia in adults
The recommended dose of Repatha is either 140 mg every two weeks or 420 mg once monthly; both doses are clinically equivalent.
Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over
The initial recommended dose is 420 mg once monthly. After 12 weeks of treatment, dose frequency can be up-titrated to 420 mg once every 2 weeks if a clinically meaningful response is not achieved. Patients on apheresis may initiate treatment with 420 mg every two weeks to correspond with their apheresis schedule.
Important 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.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients.
Special Warnings and Precautions: Renal impairment: Patients with severe renal impairment (defined as eGFR < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2) have not been studied. Repatha should be used with caution in patients with severe renal impairment. Hepatic impairment: In patients with moderate hepatic impairment, a reduction in total evolocumab exposure was observed that may lead to a reduced effect on LDL‑C reduction. Therefore, close monitoring may be warranted in these patients. Patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C) have not been studied. Repatha should be used with caution in patients with severe hepatic impairment. Dry natural rubber: The needle cover of the glass pre-filled syringe and of the pre-filled pen is made from dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause allergic reactions. Sodium content: Repatha contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, i.e. it is essentially ‘sodium-free’.
Interactions: No formal drug-drug interaction studies have been conducted for Repatha. No studies on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics interaction between Repatha and lipid-lowering drugs other than statins and ezetimibe have been conducted.
Fertility, Pregnancy and Lactation: There are no or limited amount of data from the use of Repatha in pregnant women. Repatha should not be used during pregnancy unless the clinical condition of the woman requires treatment with evolocumab. It is unknown whether evolocumab is excreted in human milk. A risk to breastfed newborns/infants cannot be excluded. No data on the effect of evolocumab on human fertility are available.
Undesirable Effects: The following common (> 1/100 to < 1/10) adverse reactions have been reported in pivotal, controlled clinical studies: influenza, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, rash, nausea, back pain, arthralgia, injection site reactions. Please consult the SmPC for a full description of undesirable effects.
Pharmaceutical Precautions: Store in a refrigerator (2 degrees C – 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Keep the pre-filled syringe or the pre-filled pen in the original carton in order to protect from light. If removed from the refrigerator, Repatha may be stored at room temperature (up to 25 degrees C) in the original carton and must be used within 1 month.
About Amgen in the Cardiovascular Therapeutic Area
Building on more than three decades of experience in developing biotechnology medicines for patients with serious illnesses, Amgen is dedicated to addressing important scientific questions to advance care and improve the lives of patients with cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.2 Amgen’s research into cardiovascular disease, and potential treatment options, is part of a growing competency at Amgen that utilizes human genetics to identify and validate certain drug targets. Through its own research and development efforts, as well as partnerships, Amgen is building a robust cardiovascular portfolio consisting of several approved and investigational molecules in an effort to address a number of today’s important unmet patient needs, such as high cholesterol and heart failure.
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 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 one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
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