ELVAR™ ELLIPTA™ Gains Approval in Japan for the Treatment of Asthma
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Sep 20, 2013) – GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE: GSK) (NYSE: GSK) and Theravance, Inc. (NASDAQ: THRX) today announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has approved RELVAR™ ELLIPTA™ for the treatment of bronchial asthma (in cases where concurrent use of inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting inhaled beta2 agonist is required). Relvar Ellipta is not indicated for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Japan.
Relvar is a combination of the inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), fluticasone furoate “FF”, and the long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA), vilanterol “VI”. The MHLW has approved two doses of FF/VI – 100/25 mcg and 200/25 mcg. Both strengths will be administered once-daily using the Ellipta, a new dry powder inhaler (DPI).
Anoro Ellipta is the proposed proprietary name for UMEC/VI, a combination of two investigational bronchodilator molecules — GSK573719 or umeclidinium bromide (UMEC), a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and vilanterol (VI), a long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA), administered using the Ellipta inhaler.
The FDA Advisory Committee also voted that the safety of the investigational medicine has been adequately demonstrated at the 62.5/25mcg dose for the proposed indication (10 yes, 3 no), and the efficacy data provided substantial evidence of a clinically meaningful benefit for UMEC/VI 62.5/25mcg once daily for the long-term, maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in COPD (13 yes, 0 no).
Patrick Vallance, GSK’s President of Pharmaceuticals R&D, said: “Today’s recommendation is good news and a reflection of our commitment to giving an alternative treatment option for patients living with COPD — a disease that affects millions of Americans. If approved, Anoro Ellipta will be the first, once-daily dual bronchodilator available in the US, marking another significant milestone for GSK’s portfolio of medicines to treat respiratory disease. We will continue to work with the FDA as they complete their review.”
“We are pleased with the Advisory Committee’s support of UMEC/VI,” said Rick E Winningham, Chief Executive Officer of Theravance. “This is a transformative year for Theravance and today’s positive recommendation brings the second major respiratory medicine in our GSK collaboration closer to approval and becoming an important therapeutic option for COPD patients.”
In December 2012, a New Drug Application (NDA) was submitted to the FDA for the use of UMEC/VI administered by the Ellipta™ inhaler for the long-term once-daily maintenance bronchodilator treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. UMEC/VI is not proposed for the relief of acute bronchospasm or for the treatment of asthma in any of the regulatory applications.
The FDA Advisory Committee provides non-binding recommendations for consideration by the FDA, with the final decision on approval made by the FDA. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date for UMEC/VI is 18 December 2013.
UMEC/VI is an investigational medicine and is not currently approved anywhere in the world.
Across the four pivotal COPD studies for UMEC/VI, the most frequently reported adverse events across all treatment arms, including placebo, were headache, nasopharyngitis, cough, upper respiratory tract infection, and back pain. COPD exacerbation was the most common serious adverse event reported. In addition, in the four pivotal COPD studies, a small imbalance was observed in cardiac ischemia which was not observed in the long term safety study.
The UMEC/VI clinical development programme involved over 6,000 COPD patients.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term referring to two lung diseases, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, that are characterized by obstruction to airflow that interferes with normal breathing. COPD is the third most common cause of death in the US and The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) estimates that nearly 15 million US adults have COPD and another 12 million are undiagnosed or developing COPD(1).
According to the NHLI, long-term exposure to lung irritants that damage the lungs and the airways are usually the cause of COPD and in the United States, the most common irritant that causes COPD is cigarette smoke. Breathing in second hand smoke, air pollution, or chemical fumes or dust from the environment or workplace also can contribute to COPD. Most people who have COPD are at least 40 years old when symptoms begin.