SALT LAKE CITY -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today provided a comprehensive update on recent progress in its research and development activities in cystic fibrosis (CF) aimed at helping more people with CF and enhancing the clinical benefit for these patients with our approved and investigational medicines. Vertex today announced that the TRAFFIC and TRANSPORT Phase 3 studies of lumacaftor (VX-809) in combination with ivacaftor in people with two copies of the F508del mutation are fully enrolled. Data from these studies are expected in mid-2014, and Vertex plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) in the U.S. and a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) in Europe in the second half of 2014 for the combination of lumacaftor and ivacaftor. Vertex also today provided updates on multiple ongoing label-expansion studies for ivacaftor, ongoing and planned Phase 2 combination studies of lumacaftor and ivacaftor and VX-661 and ivacaftor, and research efforts aimed at beginning clinical development of a next-generation corrector.
These updates were made in conjunction with the 27th Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) in Salt Lake City where additional data from a study of ivacaftor in people with non-G551D gating mutations and data from the PERSIST open-label rollover study will be presented. The company will webcast remarks from its investor presentation at the conference at 2:45 p.m. ET on Friday, October 18. The webcast can be accessed at www.vrtx.com/nacfc2013.
"KALYDECO was the first medicine to treat the underlying cause of CF, and we believe that KALYDECO is just the first step of our work in CF," said Robert Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Vertex. “Our goal in CF is to help many more people with this disease and to evaluate multiple combinations of CFTR modulators aimed at providing further benefit for people with CF.”
KALYDECOTM (ivacaftor) is currently approved for people with CF ages 6 and older who have at least one copy of the G551D mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. More than 2,000 people with CF ages 6 and older have at least one copy of the G551D mutation in North America, Europe and Australia. Vertex has multiple studies planned and underway to evaluate whether ivacaftor may help additional people with CF who have other mutations that may respond to ivacaftor treatment. More than 7,000 people with CF, including those with the G551D mutation, have CFTR mutations that may respond to ivacaftor treatment. The company is also conducting studies to evaluate a combination of ivacaftor and a corrector in people with two copies of the most common CFTR mutation, F508del. Vertex today provided the following updates:
Studies to Expand Number of People Eligible for Ivacaftor
Multiple ongoing studies of ivacaftor monotherapy are designed to evaluate whether additional people with CF may benefit from treatment with ivacaftor alone. These studies include three Phase 3 label-expansion studies and a Phase 2 proof-of-concept study:
Phase 3 Program in People with Two Copies (homozygous) of the F508del Mutation
More than 28,000 people ages 6 and older have two copies of the F508del mutation in North America, Europe and Australia, and more than 17,000 people ages 6 and older have one copy of the F508del mutation and a mutation not expected to respond to ivacaftor treatment.
VX-661 in Combination with Ivacaftor
Additional NACFC Presentations
At NACFC, Fred Van Goor, Ph.D., Head of Biology for Vertex's CF program, and David Rodman, M.D., Vice President of Clinical Development for Vertex's CF program, will participate in invited talks regarding their work to discover and develop medicines that target the underlying cause of CF. The talks will take place during Symposium Sessions II and III:
KALYDECO™ (ivacaftor) is the first medicine to treat the underlying cause of CF in people with the G551D mutation in the CFTR gene. Known as a CFTR potentiator, KALYDECO is an oral medicine that aims to help the CFTR protein function more normally once it reaches the cell surface, to help hydrate and clear mucus from the airways. KALYDECO (150mg, q12h) was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2012, by the European Medicines Agency in July 2012, by Health Canada in November 2012 and by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia in July 2013 for use in people with CF ages 6 and older who have at least one copy of the G551D mutation in the CFTR gene. A New Medicine Application (NMA) for KALYDECO has been submitted to Medsafe, the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority, and has been granted priority assessment.
Vertex retains worldwide rights to develop and commercialize KALYDECO.
INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR KALYDECO™ (ivacaftor)
Ivacaftor (150mg tablets) is indicated for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients age 6 years and older who have a G551D mutation in the CFTR gene.
Ivacaftor is not for use in people with CF due to other mutations in the CFTR gene. It is not effective in patients with CF with 2 copies of the F508del mutation (F508del/F508del) in the CFTR gene. The efficacy and safety of ivacaftor in children younger than 6 years of age have not been evaluated.
Elevated liver enzymes (transaminases; ALT and AST) have been reported in patients receiving ivacaftor. It is recommended that ALT and AST be assessed prior to initiating ivacaftor, every 3 months during the first year of treatment, and annually thereafter. Patients who develop increased transaminase levels should be closely monitored until the abnormalities resolve. Dosing should be interrupted in patients with ALT or AST of greater than 5 times the upper limit of normal. Following resolution of transaminase elevations, consider the benefits and risks of resuming ivacaftor dosing.
Use of ivacaftor with medicines that are strong CYP3A inducers, such as the antibiotics rifampin and rifabutin; seizure medications (phenobarbital, carbamazepine, or phenytoin); and the herbal supplement St. John's Wort, substantially decreases exposure of ivacaftor which may diminish effectiveness. Therefore, co-administration is not recommended.
The dose of ivacaftor must be adjusted when used concomitantly with potent and moderate CYP3A inhibitors. The dose of ivacaftor must be adjusted when used in patients with moderate or severe hepatic disease.
Ivacaftor can cause serious adverse reactions including abdominal pain and high liver enzymes in the blood. The most common side effects associated with ivacaftor include headache; upper respiratory tract infection (the common cold), including sore throat, nasal or sinus congestion, and runny nose; stomach (abdominal) pain; diarrhea; rash; and dizziness. These are not all the possible side effects of ivacaftor. A list of the adverse reactions can be found in the product labeling for each country where ivacaftor is approved. Patients should tell their healthcare providers about any side effect that bothers them or does not go away.
Please see full U.S. Prescribing Information for KALYDECO at www.KALYDECO.com, the EU Summary of Product Characteristics for KALYDECO at http://goo.gl/N3Tz4, the Canadian Product Monograph for KALYDECO at www.vrtx.ca and the Australian Consumer Medical Information and Product Information for KALYDECO at http://bit.ly/18wlMld.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a rare, life-threatening genetic disease affecting approximately 75,000 people in North America, Europe and Australia. Today, the median predicted age of survival for a person with CF is between 34 and 47 years, but the median age of death remains in the mid-20s.
CF is caused by a defective or missing CFTR protein resulting from mutations in the CFTR gene. Children must inherit two defective CFTR genes — one from each parent — to have CF. There are more than 1,800 known mutations in the CFTR gene. Some of these mutations, which can be determined by a genetic, or genotyping test, lead to CF by creating non-working or too few CFTR protein at the cell surface. The absence of working CFTR protein results in poor flow of salt and water into and out of the cell in a number of organs, including the lungs. This leads to the buildup of abnormally thick, sticky mucus that can cause chronic lung infections and progressive lung damage.
Collaborative History with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT)
Vertex initiated its CF research program in 1998 as part of a collaboration with CFFT, the nonprofit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This collaboration was expanded to support the accelerated discovery and development of Vertex's CFTR modulators.
Vertex creates new possibilities in medicine. Our team discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapies so people with serious diseases can lead better lives.
Vertex scientists and our collaborators are working on new medicines to cure or significantly advance the treatment of hepatitis C, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other life-threatening diseases.
Founded more than 20 years ago in Cambridge, Mass., we now have ongoing worldwide research programs and sites in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Today, Vertex has more than 2,000 employees around the world, and for three years in a row, Science magazine has named Vertex one of its Top Employers in the life sciences.
Special Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, Dr. Kauffman’s statements in the third paragraph of this press release and statements regarding (i) Vertex’s ongoing and planned studies evaluating ivacaftor monotherapy, lumacaftor (VX-809) in combination with ivacaftor, and VX-661 in combination with ivacaftor, including its expectations regarding the timing of enrollment and the receipt of data from these studies and potential timelines for NDA, sNDA and other regulatory submissions, and (ii) Vertex's ongoing research program for the discovery and development of next generation CFTR corrector compounds, including its goal of advancing a next-generation corrector into clinical development by the end of 2014. While Vertex believes the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are accurate, those statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes to vary materially from the outcomes referenced in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things: the sNDA and MAA variation for ivacaftor for people ages 6 and older who have at least one non-G551D mutation may not be approved; studies of ivacaftor, ivacaftor in combination with lumacaftor, and ivacaftor in combination with VX-661 may be delayed or prevented; that the outcomes of Vertex's ongoing and planned clinical studies may not support registration or further development of its compounds due to safety, efficacy or other reasons; and the other risks listed under Risk Factors in Vertex's annual report and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available through the company's website at www.vrtx.com. Vertex disclaims any obligation to update the information contained in this press release as new information becomes available.