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12 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM

FDA approves Vumerity (diroximel fumarate) for Multiple Sclerosis

drugs.com
FDA approves Vumerity (diroximel fumarate) for Multiple Sclerosis

Biogen Inc. and Alkermes plc recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vumerity (diroximel fumarate), a novel oral fumarate with a distinct chemical structure, for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease and active secondary progressive disease. Biogen holds the exclusive, worldwide license to commercialize Vumerity and intends to make it available in the United States in the near future.

“The FDA’s approval of Vumerity delivers on Biogen’s commitment to pursue new therapies that may provide meaningful impact for people living with relapsing MS, and we look forward to bringing it to the MS community as an additional treatment option,” said Alfred Sandrock, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, research and development, and chief medical officer at Biogen. “Vumerity is a novel fumarate that offers the well-characterized efficacy of Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate) and has been studied for improved patient-reported gastrointestinal tolerability.”

“The approval of Vumerity for relapsing MS marks the culmination of a multi-year development program and is the latest milestone in our mission to develop new treatments for patients living with chronic central nervous system disorders,” said Craig Hopkinson, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president of medicines development and medical affairs at Alkermes. “We are grateful to the patients and study investigators who have participated in our Vumerity clinical trials and we look forward to working with our collaboration partners at Biogen to make this new treatment available to patients.”

The FDA approval of Vumerity was based on a New Drug Application (NDA) submitted under the 505(b)(2) filing pathway. It included data from pharmacokinetic bridging studies comparing Vumerity and Tecfidera to establish bioequivalence, and relied, in part, on the FDA’s findings of safety and efficacy for Tecfidera.

The NDA submission also included interim exposure and safety findings from EVOLVE-MS-1, an ongoing, Phase 3, single-arm, open-label, two-year safety study evaluating Vumerity in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. Interim results from EVOLVE-MS-1 at the time of NDA submission included a low overall rate of Vumerity treatment discontinuation due to adverse events (6.3 percent), and a rate of less than one percent of patients who discontinued Vumerity treatment due to gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events. Additional exploratory efficacy endpoints in the ongoing EVOLVE-MS-1 study showed changes in clinical and radiological measures compared to baseline.

“MS is a heterogeneous disease, and real-world patient circumstances can vary, reinforcing the benefits of having therapeutic choices to support the diverse range of treatment considerations,” said Robert Naismith, M.D., professor of neurology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “Throughout its clinical development program, Vumerity has demonstrated a desirable therapeutic profile, making it a compelling new option for patients.”

“MS is a lifelong disease that has a significant impact on the people affected and their caregivers. We are encouraged by the progress being made in the treatment of MS, and pleased that another treatment option will soon be available,” said Bruce Bebo, Ph.D., executive vice president, research, National MS Society. “It’s important for people with MS to have treatments that are both efficacious and tolerable to help manage their disease.”

Under the terms of the license and collaboration agreement between Biogen and Alkermes, Biogen will pay Alkermes $150 million in connection with the FDA’s approval of Vumerity. Biogen plans to account for this milestone payment as an asset that will be amortized over the expected useful life of the product.

About Vumerity (diroximel fumarate)

Vumerity is a novel oral fumarate with a distinct chemical structure approved in the U.S. for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease and active secondary progressive disease. Once in the body, Vumerity rapidly converts to monomethyl fumarate, the same active metabolite of dimethyl fumarate.

About the Vumerity EVOLVE-MS Clinical Development Program

The key components of the EVOLVE-MS (Endeavoring to Advance Treatment for Patients Living with Multiple Sclerosis) clinical development program of Vumerity include the EVOLVE-MS-1 study, a Phase 3, open-label, two-year safety study in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, along with pharmacokinetic bridging studies comparing Vumerity and Tecfidera to demonstrate bioequivalence.

The EVOLVE-MS clinical development program also includes the EVOLVE-MS-2 study, an elective Phase 3, five-week randomized, prospective, double-blind, multi-center study that assessed the gastrointestinal (GI) tolerability of Vumerity and Vumerity using self-administered GI questionnaires.

INDICATION and IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for VUMERITY (diroximel fumarate)

What is Vumerity (diroximel fumarate)?

Vumerity is a prescription medicine used to treat people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults. It is not known if Vumerity is safe and effective in children.

Important safety information

Who should not take Vumerity?

Patients should not use Vumerity if they have had an allergic reaction (such as welts, hives, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or tongue, or difficulty breathing) to diroximel fumarate, dimethyl fumarate, or any of the ingredients in Vumerity or if they are taking dimethyl fumarate.

             

Before taking and while taking Vumerity, patients should tell their healthcare provider if they: have liver problems; kidney problems; have or have had low white blood cell counts or an infection; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant because it is not known if Vumerity will harm an unborn baby; are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed because it is not known if Vumerity passes into breast milk; are taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

What should patients avoid while taking Vumerity?

Patients should not drink alcohol at the same time they take a Vumerity dose.

What are the possible side effects of Vumerity?

Vumerity may cause serious side effects including:

Allergic reaction (such as welts, hives, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or tongue, or difficulty breathing).

PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy), a rare brain infection that usually leads to death or severe disability over a period of weeks or months. Patients should tell their doctor right away if they get any of these symptoms of PML: weakness on one side of the body that gets worse, clumsiness in their arms or legs, vision problems, changes in thinking and memory, confusion, or personality changes.

Decreases in your white blood cell count, the patient’s healthcare provider should do a blood test to check their white blood cell count before starting treatment with Vumerity and while on therapy. Patients should have bloods tests after 6 months of treatment and every 6 to 12 months after that.

Liver problems, the patient’s healthcare provider should do blood tests to check liver function before starting treatment with VUMERITY and during treatment if needed. Patients should tell their healthcare provider right away if they get any of these symptoms of a liver problem during treatment: severe tiredness, loss of appetite, pain on the right side of the stomach, have dark or brown (tea color) urine, or yellowing of the skin or the white part of the eyes.

The most common side effects of Vumerity include: flushing, redness, itching, or rash; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or indigestion. Flushing and stomach problems are the most common reactions, especially at the start of therapy, and may decrease over time.

Taking Vumerity with food (avoid high-fat, high-calorie meal or snack) may help reduce flushing. Patients should call their healthcare provider if they have any of these symptoms, are bothered by them, or if they do not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Vumerity. Patients should call their healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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