SUMMIT, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) today announced that OTEZLA ® (apremilast), Celgene’s oral selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), has been granted full marketing authorization by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) for the treatment of adult patients with plaque psoriasis with an inadequate response to topical therapies, as well as adult patients with psoriatic arthritis.
“The approval of the first oral treatment in 25 years for psoriasis is good news. OTEZLA ® has a novel mechanism of action, is well tolerated and does not require monitoring before administration. We are pleased that OTEZLA ® presents a new treatment option for patients,” said Mamitaro Ohtsuki, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology, Jichi Medical University.
OTEZLA ® is the first in a new class of medicines approved for the treatment of both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, two diseases involving dysregulated immune system activity. Plaque psoriasis is a systemic inflammatory condition characterized by raised scaly lesions on the skin. It affects an estimated 430,000 people in Japan and about 125 million people worldwide.
The approval was based on efficacy and safety results from an international phase 2b study (PSOR-005), international phase 3 studies, ESTEEM-1 and 2, and a Japanese phase 2b study (PSOR-011) conducted in adult patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, and international phase 3 studies, PALACE-1,2 and 3, conducted in adult patients with psoriatic arthritis. In clinical studies, the most common side effects of OTEZLA ® were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache.
“The approval of OTEZLA ® in Japan is another important milestone for Celgene in its mission to deliver innovative medicines in an effort to address the unmet needs of people worldwide living with chronic inflammatory diseases,” said Scott Smith, President, Celgene Inflammation & Immunology. “We believe that OTEZLA ®’s novel mechanism of action and oral administration will be a welcome new option for patients with plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in Japan.”
OTEZLA ® is approved in 37 countries, including the United States and Europe, as of December 2016.
About OTEZLA ®
OTEZLA ® is an oral small-molecule inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) specific for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). PDE4 inhibition results in increased intracellular cAMP levels which is thought to indirectly modulate the production of inflammatory mediators. The specific mechanism(s) by which OTEZLA ® exerts its therapeutic action in patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis is not well defined.
Important Safety Information
Otezla ® (apremilast) is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to apremilast or to any of the excipients in the formulation.
Warnings and Precautions
Depression: Carefully weigh the risks and benefits of treatment with Otezla for patients with a history of depression and/or suicidal thoughts/behavior, or in patients who develop such symptoms while on Otezla. Patients, caregivers, and families should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or other mood changes, and they should contact their healthcare provider if such changes occur.
Psoriasis: Treatment with Otezla is associated with an increase in adverse reactions of depression. During clinical trials, 1.3% (12/920) of patients treated with Otezla reported depression compared to 0.4% (2/506) on placebo; 0.1% (1/1308) of Otezla patients discontinued treatment due to depression compared with none on placebo (0/506). Depression was reported as serious in 0.1% (1/1308) of patients exposed to Otezla, compared to none in placebo-treated patients (0/506). Suicidal behavior was observed in 0.1% (1/1308) of patients on Otezla, compared to 0.2% (1/506) on placebo. One patient treated with Otezla attempted suicide; one patient on placebo committed suicide.
Psoriatic Arthritis: During clinical trials, 1.0% (10/998) of patients treated with Otezla reported depression or depressed mood compared to 0.8% (4/495) treated with placebo; 0.3% (4/1441) of patients treated with Otezla discontinued treatment due to depression or depressed mood compared with none in placebo treated patients (0/495). Depression was reported as serious in 0.2% (3/1441) of patients exposed to Otezla, compared to none in placebo treated patients (0/495). Suicidal ideation and behavior were observed in 0.2% (3/1441) of patients on Otezla, compared to none on placebo (0/495). Two patients who received placebo committed suicide compared to none on Otezla.
Weight Decrease: Monitor body weight regularly; evaluate unexplained or clinically significant weight loss, and consider discontinuation of Otezla.
Psoriasis: Body weight loss of 5-10% occurred in 12% (96/784) of patients treated with Otezla and in 5% (19/382) of patients treated with placebo. Body weight loss of ≥10% occurred in 2% (16/784) of patients treated with Otezla compared to 1% (3/382) of patients treated with placebo.
Psoriatic Arthritis: Body weight loss of 5-10% was reported in 10% of patients taking Otezla and in 3.3% of patients taking placebo. Monitor body weight regularly; evaluate unexplained or clinically significant weight loss, and consider discontinuation of Otezla.
Drug Interactions: Apremilast exposure was decreased when Otezla was co-administered with rifampin, a strong CYP450 enzyme inducer; loss of Otezla efficacy may occur. Concomitant use of Otezla with CYP450 enzyme inducers (e.g. rifampin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin) is not recommended.
Psoriasis: Adverse reactions reported in ≥5% of patients were (Otezla%, placebo%): diarrhea (17, 6), nausea (17, 7), upper respiratory tract infection (9, 6), tension headache (8, 4), and headache (6, 4).
Psoriatic Arthritis: Adverse reactions reported in ≥2% of patients taking Otezla, that occurred at a frequency at least 1% higher than that observed in patients taking placebo, for up to 16 weeks (after the initial 5-day titration), were (Otezla%, placebo%): diarrhea (7.7, 1.6); nausea (8.9, 3.1); headache (5.9, 2.2); upper respiratory tract infection (3.9, 1.8); vomiting (3.2, 0.4); nasopharyngitis (2.6, 1.6); upper abdominal pain (2.0, 0.2).
Use in Specific Populations
Pregnancy and Nursing Mothers: Otezla is Pregnancy Category C; it has not been studied in pregnant women. Use during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. It is not known whether apremilast or its metabolites are present in human milk. Caution should be exercised when Otezla is administered to a nursing woman.
Renal Impairment: Otezla dosage should be reduced in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min); for details, see Dosage and Administration, Section 2, in the Full Prescribing Information.
Please click here for Full Prescribing Information.
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated, non-contagious chronic inflammatory skin disorder of unknown cause. The disorder is a chronic recurring condition which 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. An estimated 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis.
About Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a painful, chronic inflammatory disease characterized by pain, stiffness, swelling and tenderness of the joints, inflammation of specific ligaments and tendons, and decrease in physical functioning. It is estimated that nearly 38 million people worldwide have psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis can impact day-to-day activities and has been reported to increase work disability. Common signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints.
Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through next-generation solutions in protein homeostasis, immuno-oncology, epigenetics, immunology and neuro-inflammation. For more information, please visit www.celgene.com. Follow Celgene on Social Media: @Celgene, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.
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Senior Director, Corporate Communications