CAS number 219685-50-4
Alexion’s Soliris® (eculizumab) Receives Positive Opinion from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products for Treatment of Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALXN) today announced that Soliris® (eculizumab), the company’s first-in-class terminal complement inhibitor, has received a positive opinion for orphan medicinal product designation from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a life-threatening, ultra-rare neurological disorder. The positive opinion of the COMP has now been forwarded to the European Commission for final approval and publication in the community register. Soliris is not approved in any country for the treatment of patients with NMO
Soliris is a formulation of eculizumab which is a recombinant humanized monoclonal IgG2/4;κ antibody produced by murine myeloma cell culture and purified by standard bioprocess technology. Eculizumab contains human constant regions from human IgG2 sequences and human IgG4 sequences and murine complementarity-determining regions grafted onto the human framework light- and heavy-chain variable regions. Eculizumab is composed of two 448 amino acid heavy chains and two 214 amino acid light chains and has a molecular weight of approximately 148 kDa.
Eculizumab (INN and USAN; trade name Soliris®) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that is a first-in-class terminal complement inhibitor and the first therapy approved for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare, progressive, and sometimes life-threatening disease characterized by excessive destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis). It costs £400,000 ($US 600,000) per year per patient.
Eculizumab also is the first agent approved for the treatment of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), an ultra-rare genetic disease that causes abnormal blood clots to form in small blood vessels throughout the body, leading to kidney failure, damage to other vital organs and premature death.
In clinical trials in patients with PNH, eculizumab was associated with reductions in chronic hemolysis, thromboembolic events, and transfusion requirements, as well as improvements in PNH symptoms, quality of life, and survival. Clinical trials in patients with aHUS demonstrated inhibition of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), the formation of blood clots in small blood vessels throughout the body, including normalization of platelets and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), as well as maintenance or improvement in renal function.
Eculizumab was discovered and developed by Alexion Pharmaceuticals and is manufactured by Alexion. It was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 16, 2007 for the treatment of PNH, and on September 23, 2011 for the treatment of aHUS. It was approved by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of PNH on June 20, 2007, and on November 24, 2011 for the treatment of aHUS. Eculizumab is currently being investigated as a potential treatment for other severe, ultra-rare disorders
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