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Pharmacyclics is getting a priority review of its blood cancer treatment by federal regulators. A priority review shortens a drug evaluation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 10 months to six. The acceptance of the application triggers a $75 million milestone payment to Pharmacyclics from Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit.
Ibrutinib (USAN), also known as PCI-32765, is an experimental drug candidate for the treatment of various types of cancer. It is an orally-administered, selective and covalent inhibitor of the enzyme Bruton tyrosine kinase (Btk). Ibrutinib is currently under development by Pharmacyclics, Inc and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical division for B-cell malignancies including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.. Ibrutinib was first designed and synthesized at Celera Genomics by Zhengying Pan, who along with a team of chemists and biologists reported in 2007 a structure-based approach for creating a series of small molecules that inactivate BTK through covalent binding to cysteine-481 near the ATP binding domain of BTK. These small molecules irreversibly inhibited BTK by using a Michael acceptor for binding to the target cysteine. In April 2006, Pharmacyclics acquired Celera’s small molecule BTK inhibitor discovery program, which included a compound, PCI-32765 (known as compound 13 in the Pan et al paper) that was subsequently chosen for further preclinical development based on the discovery of anti-lymphoma properties in vivo . Since 2006, Pharmacyclics’ scientists have advanced the molecule into clinical trials and identified specific clinical indications for the drug.    It also has potential effects against autoimmune arthritis.
It has given good results in two phase II clinical trials.
In preclinical studies on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells, ibrutinib has been reported to promote apoptosis, inhibit proliferation, and also prevent CLL cells from responding to survival stimuli provided by the microenvironment. In this study, treatment of activated CLL cells with ibrutinib resulted in inhibition of Btk tyrosine phosphorylation and also effectively abrogated downstream survival pathways activated by this kinase including ERK1/2, PI3K, and NF-κB. Additionally, ibrutinib inhibited proliferation of CLL cells in vitro, effectively blocking survival signals provided externally to CLL cells from the microenvironment including soluble factors (CD40L, BAFF, IL-6, IL-4, and TNF-α), fibronectin engagement and stromal cell contact.
In early clinical studies, the activity of ibrutinib has been described to include a rapid reduction in lymphadenopathy accompanied by a transient lymphocytosis, suggesting that the drug might have direct effects on cell homing or migration to factors in tissue microenvironments.
Ibrutinib has been reported to reduce CLL cell chemotaxis towards the chemokines CXCL12 and CXCL13, and inhibit cellular adhesion following stimulation at the B cell receptor. Together, these data are consistent with a mechanistic model whereby ibrutinib blocks BCR signaling, which drives cells into apoptosis and/or disrupts cell migration and adherence to protective tumor microenvironments.
- ^ Statement on a Nonproprietary Name Adopted by the USAN Council
- ^ Pan, Z; Scheerens, H; Li, SJ; Schultz, BE; Sprengeler, PA; Burrill, LC; Mendonca, RV; Sweeney, MD et al. (2007). “Discovery of selective irreversible inhibitors for Bruton’s tyrosine kinase”. ChemMedChem 2 (1): 58–61. doi:10.1002/cmdc.200600221. PMID 17154430.
- ^ Celera Genomics Announces Sale of Therapeutic Programs to Pharmacyclics
- ^ United States patent 7514444
- ^ Honigberg, LA; Smith, AM; Sirisawad, M; Verner, E; Loury, D; Chang, B; Li, S; Pan, Z; Thamm, DH; Miller, RA; Buggy (2010). “The Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor PCI-32765 blocks B-cell activation and is efficacious in models of autoimmune disease and B-cell malignancy”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (29): 13075–80. doi:10.1073/pnas.1004594107. PMID 20615965. Unknown parameter
- ^ Janssen Biotech, Inc. Announces Collaborative Development and Worldwide License Agreement for Investigational Anti-Cancer Drug, PCI-32765
- ^ Clinical trials involve PCI-32765
- ^ Clinical trials involve ibrutinib
- ^ Chang, BY; Huang, MM; Francesco, M; Chen, J; Sokolove, J; Magadala, P; Robinson, WH; Buggy, JJ (2011). “The Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor PCI-32765 ameliorates autoimmune arthritis by inhibition of multiple effector cells”. Arthritis Research & Therapy 13 (4): R115. doi:10.1186/ar3400. PMID 21752263.
- ^ Good News Continues for Ibrutinib in CLL. 8 Dec 2012
- ^ Herman SE, Gordon AL, Hertlein E, Ramanunni A, Zhang X, Jaglowski S, Flynn J, Jones J, Blum KA, Buggy J.J., Hamdy A, Johnson AJ, Byrd JC. (2011) Bruton’s tyrosine kinase represents a promising therapeutic target for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and is effectively targeted by PCI-32765. Blood 117: 6287-6296
- ^ The Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor PCI-32765 (P) in treatment-naive (TN) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients (pts): Interim results of a phase Ib/II study.J Clin Oncol 30, 2012 (suppl; abstr 6507)
- ^ Ponader S, Chen SS, Buggy JJ, Balakrishnan K, Gandhi V, Wierda WG, Keating MJ, O’Brien S, Chiorazzi N, Burger JA. (2012) The Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor PCI-32765 thwarts chronic lymphocytic leukemia cell survival and tissue homing in vitro and in vivo. Blood 119: 1182-1189.
- ^ de Rooij MF, Kuil A, Geest CR, Eldering E, Chang BY, Buggy JJ, Pals ST, Spaargaren M. (2012) The clinically active BTK inhibitor PCI-32765 targets B-cell receptor (BCR)- and chemokine-controlled adhesion and migration in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Blood 119: 2590-2594.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug 14, 2013 (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has granted an “orphan drug designation” to a potential hemophilia treatment from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Orphan drug status is awarded to drugs that could treat diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. It comes with some added marketing exclusivity.
The Cambridge, Mass., company said Wednesday that the agency gave the designation to a drug labeled ALN-AT3 for the treatment of hemophilia B. Alnylam has tested the drug in mice and plans to start studies involving humans early next year.
for the treatment of hemophilia B. Alnylam has tested the drug in mice and plans to start studies involving humans early next year.
New Drug Application Submitted to U.S. FDA for Ibrutinib in the Treatment of Two B-Cell Malignancies
If approved, ibrutinib will address a high unmet need in relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia and relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma
RARITAN, N.J., July 10, 2013
Janssen Research & Development, LLC announced the submission of a New Drug Application for ibrutinib to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its use in the treatment of previously treated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), and for its use in the treatment of previously treated patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). The regulatory submission for ibrutinib is supported by data from two pivotal Phase 2 studies, one in relapsed/refractory CLL/SLL (PCYC-1102) and one in relapsed/refractory MCL (PCYC-1104), both of which were published in The New England Journal of Medicine online on June 19, 2013. Ibrutinib is a novel Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor being jointly developed by Janssen and Pharmacyclics, Inc. for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.
If approved, ibrutinib would be the first in a class of oral BTK inhibitors and is one of the first medicines to file for FDA approval via the new Breakthrough Therapy Designation pathway. Ibrutinib will be co-commercialized in the U.S. by Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Pharmacyclics.
“The FDA submission is another important milestone for ibrutinib since we formed our strategic partnership with Pharmacyclics just 18 months ago,” said Peter F. Lebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Global Oncology Head, Janssen. “Both companies recognize that there is great unmet need among these patient populations, and together in close collaboration with the FDA, as part of its Breakthrough Therapy Designation pathway, we have been able to accelerate the ibrutinib development program for the benefit of patients.”
About Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is a slow-growing blood cancer that starts in the white blood cells (lymphocytes), most commonly from B-cells. CLL is the second most common adult leukemia. Approximately 16,000 patients in the US are diagnosed each year with CLL. The prevalence of CLL is approximately 113,000 in the US. The disease is a chronic disease of the elderly with an average survival of about 5 years. Patients commonly receive multiple lines of treatment over the course of their disease.
In CLL the genetic mutation 17p deletion occurs when the short arm of chromosome 17 is missing. Del 17p is associated with abnormalities of a key tumor suppressor gene, TP53, which results in poor response to chemoimmunotherapy and worse treatment outcomes. It occurs in about 7% of treatment naive CLL patients and is estimated to be approximately 20% to 40% of relapsed or refractory patients harboring the mutation.
Ibrutinib , previously publicly known as PCI-32765, is an experimental drug candidate for the treatment of various types of cancer. It was first synthesized at Celera Genomics as a selective inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk).It was later discovered to have anti-lymphoma properties in vivo by scientists at Pharmacyclics, Inc.Ibrutinib is currently under development by Pharmacyclics, Inc and Johnson & Johnson‘sJanssen Pharmaceutical division for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma,diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. It also has potential effects against autoimmune arthritis.
Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Pharmacyclics entered a collaboration and license agreement in December 2011 to co-develop and co-commercialize ibrutinib. Ibrutinib was designed to specifically target and selectively inhibit an enzyme called Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). BTK is a key mediator of at least three critical B-cell pro-survival mechanisms occurring in parallel – regulation of apoptosis, adhesion, and cell migration and homing. Through these multiple signals, BTK regulation helps to direct malignant B-cells to lymphoid tissues, thus allowing access to a micro environment necessary for survival.
The effectiveness of ibrutinib alone or in combination with other treatments is being studied in several B-cell malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia and multiple myeloma. To date five Phase III trials have been initiated with ibrutinib and a total of 26 trials are currently registered on www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Pharmacyclics® is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer and immune mediated diseases. Our mission and goal is to build a viable biopharmaceutical company that designs, develops and commercializes novel therapies intended to improve quality of life, increase duration of life and resolve serious unmet medical healthcare needs; and to identify promising product candidates based on scientific development and administrational expertise, develop our products in a rapid, cost-efficient manner and pursue commercialization and/or development partners when and where appropriate.
Presently, Pharmacyclics has three product candidates in clinical development and several preclinical molecules in lead optimization. The Company is committed to high standards of ethics, scientific rigor, and operational efficiency as it moves each of these programs to viable commercialization.
The Company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California and is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol PCYC. To learn more about how Pharmacyclics advances science to improve human healthcare visit at http://www.pharmacyclics.com.
july, 10, 2013
Omthera Pharmaceuticals, which is in the process of being acquired by AstraZeneca, has filed its anti-triglyceride drug Epanova with regulators in the USA.The Princeton, New Jersey-based company is seeking approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to sell Epanova, a coated soft gelatin capsule containing a mixture of polyunsaturated free fatty acids derived from fish oils, for the treatment of patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. The submission is based on two Phase III trials (EVOLVE and ESPRIT) examining the effectiveness of Epanova in lowering very high triglycerides, and in reducing non-HDL cholesterol in combination with a statin. Both trials were conducted under a special protocol assessment with the FDA.
The filing will please AstraZeneca which announced at the end of May that it will buy Omthera for $12.70 per share, or around $323 million. In addition to the cash payment, each Omthera shareholder will receive contingent value rights of up to $4.70 per share – or around $120 million in total – if specified milestones related to Epanova are achieved.
When the deal was announced, Omthera chief executive Gerald Wisler said he expects AstraZeneca to “maximise the value of Epanova not only as a monotherapy treatment for dyslipidemia but also as a treatment for cardiovascular disease in combination with Crestor (atorvastatin)”, the firm’s cholesterol blockbuster.