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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with GLENMARK LIFE SCIENCES LTD, Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 30 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri, Dr T.V. Radhakrishnan and Dr B. K. Kulkarni, etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him Open superstar worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 30 PLUS year tenure till date June 2021, Around 35 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 9 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 90 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, 233 countries, 7 continents, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 33 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 233 countries...... , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc

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FDA approves new treatment Xeljanz (tofacitinib) for moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approval of Xeljanz (tofacitinib) to include adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. Xeljanz is the first oral medication approved for chronic use in this indication. Other FDA-approved treatments for the chronic treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis must be administered through an intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection.

May 30, 2018


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approval of Xeljanz (tofacitinib) to include adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. Xeljanz is the first oral medication approved for chronic use in this indication. Other FDA-approved treatments for the chronic treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis must be administered through an intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection.

“New treatments are needed for patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis,” said Julie Beitz, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Today’s approval provides an alternative therapy for a debilitating disease with limited treatment options.”

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease affecting the colon. Patients experience recurrent flares of abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms include fatigue, weight loss and fever. More than 900,000 patients are affected in the U.S., many of them experiencing moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis, and there is currently no cure.

The efficacy of Xeljanz for the treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis was demonstrated in three controlled clinical trials. This included two 8-week placebo-controlled trials that demonstrated that 10 mg of Xeljanz given twice daily induces remission in 17 to 18 percent of patients by week eight. In a placebo-controlled trial among patients who achieved a clinical response by week eight, Xeljanz, at a 5 mg or 10 mg dose given twice daily, was effective in inducing remission by week 52 in 34 percent and 41 percent of patients, respectively. Among patients who achieved remission after 8 weeks of treatment, 35 percent and 47 percent achieved sustained corticosteroid-free remission when treated with 5 mg and 10 mg, respectively.

The safety of chronic use of Xeljanz for ulcerative colitis was studied in the 52-week placebo- controlled trial. Additional supportive safety information was collected from patients who received treatment in an open-label long-term study.

The most common adverse events associated with Xeljanz treatment for ulcerative colitis were diarrhea, elevated cholesterol levels, headache, herpes zoster (shingles), increased blood creatine phosphokinase, nasopharyngitis (common cold), rash and upper respiratory tract infection.

Less common serious adverse events included malignancy and serious infections such as opportunistic infections. Xeljanz has a boxed warning for serious infections and malignancy. Patients treated with Xeljanz are at increased risk for developing serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death. Lymphoma and other malignancies have been observed in patients treated with Xeljanz.

Use of Xeljanz in combination with biological therapies for ulcerative colitis or with potent immunosuppressants, such as azathioprine and cyclosporine, is not recommended.

Xeljanz, made by Pfizer Labs, was previously approved in 2012 for rheumatoid arthritis and in 2017 for psoriatic arthritis.

/////////////Xeljanz, tofacitinib, pfizer, fda 2017, psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis

Phase 3-LY2439821 (ixekizumab) for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

PRONUNCIATION ix” e kiz’ ue mab
THERAPEUTIC CLAIM Treatment of autoimmune diseases
1. Immunoglobulin G4, anti-(human interleukin 17A) (human monoclonal LY2439821γ4-chain), disulfide with human monoclonal LY2439821 κ-chain, dimer
2. Immunoglobulin G4, anti-(human interleukin-17A (IL-17, cytotoxic
T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 8)); humanized mouse monoclonal LY2439821 des-Lys446-[Pro227]γ4 heavy chain {H10S>P,CH3107K>-} (133-219′)-disulfide with humanized mouse monoclonal LY2439821 κ light chain, dimer (225-225”:228-228”)-bisdisulfide
MOLECULAR FORMULA C6492H10012N1728O2028S46

SPONSOR Eli Lilly and Co.

Ixekizumab (ix” e kiz’ ue mab)
Phase III Business area: Bio-Medicines
LY2439821 (ixekizumab) is a biologic entity that neutralizes a soluble factor called interleukin-17A (IL-17). LY2439821 is being studied for the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Ixekizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.[1]

Ixekizumab was developed by Eli Lilly and Co.

  1. “Statement On A Nonproprietary Name Adopted By The USAN Council: Ixekizumab”.American Medical Association.

Lilly’s Anti-IL-17 Monoclonal Antibody, Ixekizumab, Met Primary Endpoint in Phase II Study in Patients With Chronic Plaque Psoriasis – March 28, 2012


more info

Inflammation represents a key event of many diseases, such as psoriasis, inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis,

atherosclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and sepsis. Inflammatory cells, such as neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, mast cells, macrophages, endothelial cells, and platelets, respond to inflammatory stimuli and foreign substances by producing bioactive mediators. These mediators act as autocrines and paracrines by interacting with many cell types to promote the inflammatory response. There are many mediators that can promote inflammation, such as cytokines and their receptors, adhesion molecules and their receptors, antigens involved in lymphocyte activation, and IgE and its receptors. [0004] Cytokines, for example, are soluble proteins that allow for communication between cells and the external environment. The term cytokines includes a wide range of proteins, such as lymphokines, monokines, interleukins, colony stimulating factors, interferons, tumor necrosis factors, and chemokines. Cytokines serve many functions, including controlling cell growth, migration, development, and differentiation, and mediating and regulating immunity, inflammation, and hematopoiesis. Even within a given function, cytokines can have diverse roles. For example, in the context of mediating and regulating inflammation, some cytokines inhibit the inflammatory response (anti-inflammatory cytokines), others promote the inflammatory response (pro-inflammatory cytokines). And certain cytokines fall into both categories, i.e., can inhibit or promote inflammation, depending on the situation. The targeting of proinflammatory cytokines to suppress their natural function, such as with antibodies, is a well-established strategy for treating various inflammatory diseases.

Many inflammatory diseases are treated by targeting proinflammatory cytokines with antibodies. Most (if not all) of the anti-proinflammatory cytokine antibodies currently on the market, and those currently in clinical trials, are of the IgG class. See, for example, Nature Reviews, vol. 10, pp. 301-316 (2010); Nature Medicine, vol. 18, pp. 736-749 (2012); Nature Biotechnology, vol. 30, pp. 475-477 (2012); Anti-Inflammatory & Anti- Allergy Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 8, pp. 51-71 (2009);, F 1000 Biology Reports, 1 :70 (2009); mAbs 4: 1, pp. 1-3 (2012); mAbs 3: 1, pp. 76-99 (2011); (generally), and (generally). These IgG antibodies are administered systemically and thus are often associated with unwanted side effects, which can include one or more of, for example, infusion reactions and immunogenicity, hypersensitivity reactions,

immunosuppression and infections, heart problems, liver problems, and others. Additionally the suppression of the target cytokines at non-diseased parts of the body can lead to unwanted effects.

In an attempt to reduce side effects associated with systemic treatment and to eliminate the inconvenience and expense of infusions, an article proposed an oral anti-TNF therapy that could be useful in treating Crohn’ s disease. Worledge et al. “Oral Administration of Avian Tumor Necrosis Factor Antibodies Effectively Treats Experimental Colitis in Rats.” Digestive Diseases and Sciences 45(12); 2298-2305 (December 2000). This article describes immunizing hens with recombinant human TNF and an adjuvant, fractionating polyclonal yolk antibody (IgY, which in chickens is the functional equivalent to IgG), and administering the unformulated polyclonal IgY (diluted in a carbonate buffer to minimize IgY acid hydrolysis in the stomach) to rats in an experimental rodent model of colitis. The rats were treated with 600mg/kg/day of the polyclonal IgY. The uses of animal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies, however, are undesirable.

In a similar attempt to avoid adverse events associated with systemic administration, another group, Avaxia Biologies Inc., describes a topical (e.g., oral or rectal) animal-dervied polyclonal anti-TNF composition that could be useful in treating

inflammation of the digestive tract, such as inflammatory bowel disease. WO2011047328. The application generally states that preferably the polyclonal antibody composition is prepared by immunizing an animal with a target antigen, and the preferably the polyclonal antibody composition is derived from milk or colostrum with bovine colostrums being preferred (e.g., p. 14). The application also generally states that the animal derived polyclonal antibodies could be specific for (among other targets) other inflammatory cytokines (e.g., pp. 6-7). This application describes working examples in which cows were immunized with murine TNF and the colostrum was collected post-parturition to generate bovine polyclonal anti-TNF antibodies (designated as AVX-470). The uses of animal-derived antibodies and polyclonal antibodies, however, are undesirable.

IgA molecular forms have been proposed as treatments for various diseases, most notably as treatments for pollen allergies, as treatments against pathogens, and as treatments for cancer.

For example, one article describes anti-AmbCtl (a ragweed pollen antigen) humanized monomelic IgA and dimeric IgA antibodies made in murine cells (NSO and Sp2/0 cells). The dimeric IgA contains a mouse J-chain. The article proposes that the antibodies may be applied to a mucosal surface or the lower airway to inhibit entry of allergenic molecules across the mucosal epithelium and therefore to prevent the development of allergic response. Sun et al. “Human IgA Monoclonal Antibodies Specific for a Major Ragweed Pollen Antigen.” Nature Biotechnology 13, 779-786 (1995).

Several other articles propose the use of IgA antibodies as a defense against pathogens.

Two articles proposed the use of an anti-streptococcal antigen I II secretory IgA-G hybrid antibody. Ma et al. “Generation and Assembly of Secretory Antibodies in Plants.” Science 268(5211), 716-719 (May 1995); Ma et al. “Characterization of a

Recombinant Plant Monoclonal Secretory Antibody and Preventive Immunotherapy in Humans.” Nature Medicine 4(5); 601-606 (May 1998). The hybrid antibody contains murine monoclonal kappa light chain, hybrid Ig A-G heavy chain, murine J- Chain, and rabbit secretory component. The antibody was made by successive sexual crossing between four transgenic N. tabacum plants and filial recombinants to form plant cells that expressed all four protein chains simultaneously. The parent antibody (the source of the antigen binding regions, is identified as the IgG antibody Guy’s 13. The group proposes that although slgA may provide an advantage over IgG in the mucosal environment, such is not always the case (1998 Ma at p. 604, right column).

A related article identifies the anti-streptococcal antigen I/II secretory IgA-G hybrid antibody, which was derived from Guy’s 13 IgA, as CaroRx. Wycoff. “Secretory IgA Antibodies from Plants.” Current Pharmaceutical Design 10(00); 1-9 (2004). Planet Biotechnology Inc. This related article states that the CaroRx antibody was designed to block adherence to teeth of the bacteria that causes cavities. Apparently, the CaroRx antibody was difficult to purify; the affinity of Protein A for the murine Ig domain was too low and protein G was necessary for sufficient affinity chromatography. Furthermore, the article states that several other chromatographic media had shown little potential as purification steps for the hybrid slgA-G from tobacco leaf extracts. The article also indicates that the authors were unable to control for human-like glycosylation in tobacco, but that such was not a problem because people are exposed to plant glycans every day in food without ill effect.

WO9949024, which lists Wycoff as an inventor, Planet Biotechnology Inc. as the applicant, describes the use of the variable regions of Guy’s 13 to make a secretory antibody from tobacco. The application contains only two examples – the first a working example and the second a prophetic example. Working Example 1 describes the transient production of an anti-S. mutans SA I/III (variable region from Guy’s 13) in tobacco. The tobacco plant was transformed using particle bombardment of tobacco leaf disks. Transgenic plants were then screened by Western blot “to identify individual transformants expressing assembled human slgA” (p. 25). Prophetic Example 2 states that in a transformation system for Lemna gibba (a monocot), bombardment of surface-sterilized leaf tissue with DNA- coated particles “is much the same as with” tobacco (a dicot). The prophetic example also stops at screening by immunoblot analysis for antibody chains and assembled slgA, and states that the inventors “expect to find fully assembled slgA.” [0014] Another article proposed the use of an anti-RSV glycoprotein F IgA antibodies (mlgA, dlgA, and slgA). Berdoz et al. “In vitro Comparison of the Antigen-Binding and Stability Properties of the Various Molecular Forms of IgA antibodies Assembled and Produced in CHO Cells.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96; 3029-3034 (March 1999). The slgA antibody was made in CHO cells sequentially transfected with chimeric heavy and light chains, human J-Chain, and human secretory component, respectively. Single clones were generated to express the mlgA (clone 22), the dlgA (clone F), and the slgA (clone 6) (p. 3031).

Still other articles proposed, for example: (1) anti-HSV mlgA made in maize (Karnoup et al. Glycobiology 15(10); 965-981 (May 2005)) (which states that at that time there had been little success in the application of IgA class antibodies to therapeutic use because of the difficulty in producing the dimeric form in mammalian cells at economic levels); (2) anti-C. difficile toxin A chimeric mouse-human monomeric and dimeric IgA made in CHO cells (Stubbe et al. Journal of Immunology 164; 1952-1960 (2000)); (3) anti-N. meningitidis chimeric IgA antibodies were produced in BHK cells cotransfected with human J-Chain and/or human secretory component (Vidarsson et al., Journal of Immunology 166; 6250-6256 (2001)); (4) mti-Pseudomonas aeruginosa 06 lipopolysaccharide chimeric mouse/human mlgAl made in CHO cells (Preston et al. Infection and Immunity 66(9); 4137- 4142 (September 1998)); (5) anti-Plasmodium mlgA made in CHO cells (Pleass et al. Blood 102(13); 4424-4429 (December 2003)) (which states that unlike their parental mouse IgG antibodies, the mlgA antibodies failed to protect against parasitic challenge in vivo); and (5) ^^-Helicobacter pylori urease subunit A slgA and dlgA (Berdoz et al. Molecular

Immunology 41(10); 1013-1022 (August 2004)). [0016] For a review article discussing passive and active protection against pathogens at mucosal surfaces, see Corthesy. “Recombinant Immunoglobulin A: Powerful Tools for Fundamental and Applied Research.” Trends in Biotechnology 20(2); 65-71 (February 2002).

Still other articles propose the use of IgA antibodies as a treatment for cancer.

For example, one article describes a Phase la trial of a muring anti-transferrin receptor IgA antibody (Brooks et al. “Phase la Trial of Murine Immunoglobulin A

Antitransferrin Receptor Antibody 42/6.” Clinical Cancer Research 1(11); 1259-1265 (November 1995)). Another article describes a human anti-Ep-CAM mIgA made in BHK (baby hamster kidney) cells (Huls et al. “Antitumor Immune Effector Mechanisms Recruited by Phase Display-Derived Fully Human IgGl and IgAl Monoclonal Antibodies.” Cancer Research 59; 5778-5784 (November 1999)). Still another article describes an anti-HLA Class II chimeric mIgA antibody made in BHK cells (Dechant et al. “Chimeric IgA Antibodies Against HLA Class II Effectively Trigger Lymphoma Cell Killing.” Blood 100(13); 4574- 4580 (December 2002)). Yet other articles describe anti-EGFR mIgA or dlgA antibodies made in CHO, including Dechant et al. “Effector Mechanisms of Recombinant IgA

Antibodies Against Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor.” Journal of Immunology 179; 2936- 2943 (2007), Beyer et al. “Serum- Free Production and Purification of Chimeric IgA

Antibodies.” Journal of Immunology 346; 26-37 (2009) (stating that as of 2009, IgA antibodies have not been commercially explored for problems including lack of production and purification methods), and Lohse et al. “Recombinant Dimeric IgA Antibodies Against the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mediate Effective Tumor Cell Killing.” Journal of Immunology 186; 3770-3778 (February 2011).

For a review article on anti-cancer IgA antibodies, see Dechant et al. “IgA antibodies for Cancer Therapy. ” Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology 39; 69-77 (2001); states that compared with infectious diseases, the role of IgA in cancer immunotherapy is even less investigated).

IL17 and IFN-garama inhibition for the treatment of autoimmune inflammation

The IL-17 family of cytokines has been associated with the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and is generally blamed for the pathogenic symptoms of autoimmune inflammation. Overexpression of IL-17 is a hallmark for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematomatosus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis (Yao Z et. al., J Immunol, 155(12), 1995, 5483-6. Chang S H,, Cytokine, 46, 2009, 7-11; Hisakata Yamada, Journal of Inflamm. Res., 3, 2010, 33-44)).

The IL-17 cytokine family comprises six members, out of which IL-17 A and IL-17F are the best characterized. IL-17A and IL-17F exist as homo- as well as as heterodimers (IL-17AA, IL-17AF, IL-17FF). IL-17A and IL-17F are clearly associated with inflammation (Gaffen S H, Cytokine, 43, 2008, 402-407; Torchinsky M B et al, Cell. Mol. Life Sci., 67, 2010, 1407- 1421).

The secretion of IL-17 is predominantly caused by a specific subtype of T helper cells termed TH-17 cells. IL-23, TGFp and IL-6 were shown to be important factors leading to conversion of naive CD4+ T-cells to THl 7 cells. It was also reported that TGF and IL-6 potently induce in synergy THl 7 differentiation. Important transcription factors for the secretion of IL-17 from TH17 cells are RORyt and STAT3 (IvanovJ Cell 126, 2006, 1121-1133). IL-17 induces pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF- and IL-lb) and Chemokines (CXCL1,GCP-2,CXCL8 or IL-8,CINC,MCP-1). It increases the production of nitric oxide prostaglandin E2 and matrix-metalloproteinases. As a consequence of these events neutrophil infiltration, tissue damage and chronic inflammation occurs (PECK A, Clin Immunol., 132(3), 2009, 295-304).

Before the recognition of the importance of IL-17 in autoimmune inflammation, IFN-gamma derived from THl cells was believed to be an important cytokine that drives autoimmune disorders (Takayanagi H et. al. Nature, 408, 2000, 600-605. Huang W. et. al. Arthritis Res. Ther., 5, 2002, R49-R59) The secretion of IFN-gamma is a key feature of the THl effector cell lineage and the secretion is regulated by the transcription factors T-bet and STAT4 (Bluestone JA et. al. Nat Rev Immunol, 11, 2009, 811-6). Infiltration of activated T-cells and elevation of M-CSF, IL-10 and TNF support this notion (Yamanda H Ann. Rheu. Dis., 67, 2008, 1299-1304; Kotake S Eur. J. Immunol, 35, 2005, 3353-3363).

Recently, a more complex situation was proposed, where hybrid TH17/TH1 cells induced by IL-23 and IL-6 in concert with IL-1 secrete IL-17 and IFN-gamma. These cells are under the control of the transcription factors RORyt and T-bet, confirming the notion, that these are true hybrids of THl and THl 7 cells. It was also demonstrated that these double producing cells are the pathogenic species in IBD and EAE (Buonocore S Nature, 464, 2010, 1371-5; Ghoreshi K. et. al. Nature, 467, 2010, 967-971).

Compounds which target and suppress both IL-17 and IFN-gamma are predisposed for the treatment of autoimmune disorders.

The effectiveness of blocking IL-17 signaling as therapeutic treatment in autoimmune diseases has already been proven in clinical trials with e.g. monoclonal antibodies against IL- 17A (AIN457, secukinumab; Ly2439821,ixekizumab; RG4934) and/or the IL-17 receptor IL- 17RA (AMG827, brodalumab).

Positive results have been reported for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and uveitis (Hueber W et al, Sci. Transl. Med., 2, 2010, 52ra72, DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001107; van den Berg W B e/ al, Nat. Rev. Rheumatol, 5, 2009, 549-553), ankylosing spondylitis and spondyloarthritides (Song I-H et al, Curr. Opin. Rheumatol., 23, 2011, 346-351).

Secukinumab is currently under investigation in clinical trials for psoriatic arthritis, Behcet disease, uveitits, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis (Kopf M et al., Nat. Rev. Drug Disc, 9, 2010, 703-718; Song I-H et al, Curr. Opin. Rheumatol., 23, 2011, 346-351).

Brodalumab, Ixekizumab and RG4934 are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis (Kopf M et al, Nat. Rev. Drug Disc, 9, 2010, 703-718;; Medicines in development for skin diseases, 201 1, published by PhRMA, www .phrma. com) .

With regard to blocking of IFN-gamma signaling as therapeutic treatment in autoimmune diseases, the IFN-gamma-specific monoclonal antibody AMG811 is currently under clinical investigations for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (Kopf M et al., Nat. Rev. Drug Disc, 9, 2010, 703-718).

Celgene phase 3 – Oral Apremilast Achieves Statistical Significance for the Primary Endpoint of PASI-75 in the First Phase III Study in Patients with Psoriasis

APREMILAST, N-{2-[(1S)-1-(3-Ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylsulfonyl)ethyl]-1,3-dioxo-2,3-dihydro-1H-isoindol-4-yl}acetamide


Celgene International Sàrl, a subsidiary of Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) today presented the results from ESTEEM 1, the Company’s first phase III study in psoriasis, at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting in Miami, Florida.

“I see this as a prime candidate for future management of psoriasis that allows us to treat a range of patients, including more moderate cases earlier on”

The company previously announced statistical significance for the primary and major secondary endpoint of PASI-75 at Week 16 and the Static Physician Global Assessment for patients receiving apremilast in the ESTEEM 1&2 phase III studies. ESTEEM 1&2 are the phase III registrational randomized, placebo-controlled studies evaluating the Company’s oral small-molecule inhibitor of phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis.

ESTEEM 1, presented today, evaluated efficacy and safety in a range of patients. Approximately one-third of the study population was systemic and/or phototherapy treatment-naïve. Nearly 30 percent of the overall study population had prior biologic therapy, which included biologic-failures.

In the ESTEEM 1 study, a significantly higher percentage of apremilast-treated patients demonstrated PASI-75 at week 16 than did placebo patients (33.1% vs. 5.3%; P<0.0001). Significantly higher PASI-75 scores at week 16 were demonstrated across all patient segments enrolled in this study, including systemic-naïve and biologic-naïve patients receiving apremilast 30 mg BID compared with placebo (38.7% vs. 7.6%; P<0.0001 and 35.8% vs. 5.9%; P<0.0001 respectively). Apremilast demonstrated maintenance of effect over time, as measured by the Mean Percent Change from Baseline in PASI score over 32 weeks, with apremilast demonstrating a 54.9% reduction at week 16 and a 61.9% reduction at week 32.

Statistical significance at week 16 was also demonstrated in the major secondary endpoint, Static Physician Global Assessment (sPGA) of clear or almost clear (P<0.0001), and other key secondary endpoints (change in BSA, Pruritus VAS, DLQI), as well as in assessments of difficult to treat areas (nail and scalp psoriasis).

“I see this as a prime candidate for future management of psoriasis that allows us to treat a range of patients, including more moderate cases earlier on,” said Kristian Reich, M.D., SCIderm Research Institute and Dermatologikum Hamburg, Germany.

The overall safety and tolerability profile was consistent with results from previously reported phase III psoriatic arthritis trials. No cases of tuberculosis or lymphoma were observed through week 16, and there was no increased risk of cardiovascular events or serious opportunistic infection. Apremilast was generally well tolerated. The most common adverse events (AEs) greater than placebo were diarrhea, nausea and headache. Greater than 96% of patients in the study reported no AEs or mild to moderate AEs. A similar percentage of patients reported both serious AEs and severe AEs in the apremilast 30 mg BID treatment group compared to placebo (2.1% vs. 2.8% and 3.6% vs. 3.2%, respectively).

An NDA submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, based on the combined ESTEEM 1&2 studies for psoriasis, is expected in the second half of 2013. The Company previously announced it expects to file a separate NDA for psoriatic arthritis in the first quarter of 2013. A combined PsA/psoriasis MAA submission in Europe is also planned for the second half of 2013.

Top-line positive results from the two pivotal, randomized, placebo-controlled phase III studies of apremilast in psoriasis (ESTEEM 1&2) were released in January 2013. The studies included more than 1,200 patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis and are ongoing. Results from PSOR-005, a phase IIb dose-range study, were recently published in The Lancet (

About ESTEEM 1 & 2

ESTEEM 1 & 2 are two pivotal phase III randomized, placebo-controlled studies evaluating apremilast in subjects with a diagnosis of moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis for at least 12 months prior to the screening, and at baseline, and who were also candidates for phototherapy and/or systemic therapy. Approximately 1,250 patients were randomized 2:1 to receive either apremilast 30 mg BID or placebo for the first 16 weeks, followed by a maintenance phase from weeks 16-32 in which placebo subjects were switched to apremilast 30 mg BID through week 32, and a randomized withdrawal phase for responders from Week 32-Week 52 based on their initial apremilast randomization and PASI response.

Apremilast, an oral small-molecule inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), works intracellularly to modulate a network of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators. PDE4 is a cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-specific PDE and the dominant PDE in inflammatory cells (see PDE4 inhibition elevates intracellular cAMP levels, which in turn down-regulates the inflammatory response by modulating the expression of TNF-α, IL-23, and other inflammatory cytokines. Elevation of cAMP also increases anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10. To learn more go to

Top-line positive results from three pivotal randomized, placebo-controlled phase III studies of apremilast in PsA (PALACE 1, 2 & 3) were released in September 2012. PALACE 1 was also presented as an oral presentation at the ACR annual meeting in November 2012. Taken together, the PALACE program comprises the most comprehensive psoriatic arthritis studies to date intended for regulatory submission.

Results from PSA-001, the phase II study of apremilast in psoriatic arthritis, were recently published online in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism (

A randomized, placebo-controlled phase III study (POSTURE) of apremilast in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) began enrolling patients in April 2012. AS, a debilitating disease, which may cause fusion of the spine, arthritis, inflammation of the eye and damage to the heart, affects approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. and Europe. The trial will randomize approximately 450 patients to receive 20 mg or 30 mg apremilast BID, or placebo BID.

Psoriasis is an immune-mediated, non-contagious chronic inflammatory skin disorder of unknown cause. The disorder is a chronic recurring condition that varies in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. About 80 percent of people who develop psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, which appears as patches of raised, reddish skin covered by silvery-white scales. These patches, or plaques, frequently form on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. Psoriasis occurs nearly equally in males and females. Recent studies show that there may be an ethnic link. Psoriasis is believed to be most common in Caucasians and slightly less common in other ethnic groups. Worldwide, psoriasis is most common in Scandinavia and other parts of northern Europe. About 10 percent to 30 percent of patients with psoriasis also develop a condition called psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints.

Celgene International Sàrl, located in Boudry, in the Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, is a wholly owned subsidiary and international headquarters of Celgene Corporation. Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global pharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through gene and protein regulation. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at

Apremilast is an orally available small molecule inhibitor of PDE4 being developed by Celgene for ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis.[1][2] The drug is currently in phase III trials for the three indications. Apremilast, an anti-inflammatory drug, specifically inhibits phosphodiesterase 4. In general the drug works on an intra-cellular basis to moderate proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediator production.

Apremilast is being tested for its efficacy in treating “psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, Behcet’s disease, and rheutmatoid arthritis.”

  1.  “Apremilast Palace Program Demonstrates Robust and Consistent Statistically Significant Clinical Benefit Across Three Pivotal Phase III Studies (PALACE-1, 2 & 3) in Psoriatic Arthritis” (Press release). Celgene Corporation. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  2. “US HOT STOCKS: OCZ, VeriFone, Men’s Wearhouse, AK Steel, Celgene”. The Wall Street Journal. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-06
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