THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., March 20, 2015 -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) today announced that an application seeking marketing approval of RepathaTM (evolocumab) for the treatment of high cholesterol has been submitted for review to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan. Repatha is being developed in Japan by Amgen Astellas BioPharma K.K., a joint venture between Amgen and Astellas Pharma Inc., a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Tokyo.
Repatha is an investigational fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), a protein that reduces the liver's ability to remove low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), or "bad" cholesterol, from the blood.1In Japan, LDL-C levels are not adequately controlled for many patients taking statins, nearly half of whom have not reached their LDL-C goal.2,3
"Submitting Repatha for marketing approval in Japan is an important milestone in our strategic partnership alliance with Astellas Pharma as we look forward to accomplishing our common goal of addressing the critical needs of patients with high cholesterol," saidSean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "We look forward to working with regulatory authorities in Japan to provide a new treatment option for patients whose cholesterol is uncontrolled with currently available therapies."
The Japanese New Drug Application for marketing approval for Repatha contains data from approximately 7,200 patients with high cholesterol in 11 Phase 3 trials, including Japanese patients from studies conducted in Japan. Overall, the Phase 3 studies evaluated the safety and efficacy of Repatha in patients with elevated cholesterol on statins with or without other lipid-lowering therapies; patients who cannot tolerate statins; patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH); and patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH), a rare and serious genetic disorder.4
In the U.S., Amgen submitted a Biologics License Application for Repatha for the treatment of high cholesterol to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2014. The FDA's Prescription Drug User Fee Act target action date is Aug. 27, 2015. In the European Union, Amgen submitted a Marketing Authorization Application to the European Medicines Agency via the centralized procedure for Repatha for the treatment of high cholesterol in September 2014.
High cholesterol is the most common form of dyslipidemia, which is an abnormality of cholesterol and/or fats in the blood.5,6 There are approximately 300 million cases of dyslipidemia in the U.S., Japan and Western Europe.7
Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited condition caused by genetic mutations which lead to high levels of LDL-C at an early age,4 and it is estimated that less than one percent of people with FH (heterozygous and homozygous forms) in Japan are diagnosed.8 Patients can have either one of two types of FH.4 Heterozygous FH is the more common type of FH and in Japan, occurs in approximately one in 900 individuals.8,9 It can cause LDL-C levels twice as high as normal (e.g., >190 mg/dL).10 Individuals with HeFH have one altered copy of a cholesterol-regulating gene.10 Homozygous FH is the rare, more severe form, occurring in approximately one in a million individuals.11 It can cause LDL-C levels more than six times as high as normal (e.g., 500-1,000 mg/dL).12,13 An individual with HoFH has two altered copies of cholesterol-regulating genes (one from each parent).4
About RepathaTM (evolocumab)
RepathaTM (evolocumab) is a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9).1PCSK9 is a protein that targets LDL receptors for degradation and thereby reduces the liver's ability to remove LDL-C, or "bad" cholesterol, from the blood.14 Repatha, being developed by Amgen scientists, is designed to bind to PCSK9 and inhibit PCSK9 from binding to LDL receptors on the liver surface. In the absence of PCSK9, there are more LDL receptors on the surface of the liver to remove LDL-C from the blood.1
The trademark Repatha has been filed and is registered in Japan. The FDA has provisionally approved the trade name Repatha.
About Amgen's Commitment to Cardiovascular Disease
Amgen is dedicated to addressing important scientific questions in order to advance care and improve the lives of patients with cardiovascular disease. Through its own research and development efforts and innovative partnerships, Amgen has built a robust cardiology pipeline consisting of several investigational molecules in an effort to address a number of today's important unmet patient needs, such as high cholesterol and heart failure.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial metrics, expected legal, arbitration, political, regulatory or clinical results or practices, customer and prescriber patterns or practices, reimbursement activities and outcomes and other such estimates and results. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, including those discussed below and more fully described in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports filed by Amgen, including Amgen's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. Please refer to Amgen's most recent Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K for additional information on the uncertainties and risk factors related to our business. Unless otherwise noted, Amgen is providing this information as of March 20, 2015, and expressly disclaims any duty to update information contained in this news release.
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CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
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- Amgen Data on File, Investigator Brochure.
- Teramoto T, Sasaki J, Ishibashi S, et al. Executive Summary of the Japan Atherosclerosis Society (JAS) Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Diseases in Japan – 2012 version. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2013;20(6):517-523.
- Teramoto T, Kashiwagi A, Ishibashi S, Daida H. Cross-Sectional Survey to Assess the Status of Lipid Management in High-Risk Patients With Dyslipidemia: Clinical Impact of Combination Therapy With Ezetimibe. Current Therapeutic Research. 2013;73(1-2).
- National Human Genome Research Institute. Learning About Familial Hypercholesterolemia. http://www.genome.gov/25520184. Accessed August 2014.
- World Health Organization. Quantifying Selected Major Risks to Health. In: The World Health Report 2002 - Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Chapter 4: Geneva: World.
- Merck Manuals website.http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine_and_metabolic_disorders/lipid_disorders/dyslipidemia.html. Accessed February 2015.
- National Institute of Health (2009). Federal Register Volume 74 (250). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2009-12-31/html/E9-31072.htm. Accessed February 2015.
- Nordestgaard BG, Chapman MJ, Humphries SE, et al. Familial Hypercholesterolaemia is Underdiagnosed and Undertreated in the General Population: Guidance for Clinicians to Prevent Coronary Heart Disease. Eur Heart J. 2013;34:3478-3490.
- Austin MA, Hutter CM, Zimmern RL., et al. Genetic Causes of Monogenic Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia: a HuGE Prevalence Review. Am J Epidemiol. 2004;160(5):407-420.
- Hopkins PN, Toth PP, Ballantyne CM, et al. Familial Hypercholesterolemias: Prevalence, Genetics, Diagnosis and Screening Recommendations From the National Lipid Association Expert Panel on Familial Hypercholesterolemia. J Clin Lipid. 2011:5(3S):S9-S17.
- Daniels SR, Samuel SG, de Ferranti SD. Pediatric Aspects of Familial Hypercholesterolemias: Recommendations from the National Lipid Association Expert Panel on Familial Hypercholesterolemia. J Clin Lipid. 2011:5(3S):S30-S37.
- Sjouke B, Kusters DM, Kindt I, et al. Homozygous autosomal dominant hypercholesterolaemia in the Netherlands: prevalence, genotype – phenotype relationship, and clinical outcome. Eur Heart J. 2014; Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehu058.Feb. 28, 2014.
- Raal FJ and Santos RD. Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia: Current perspectives on diagnosis and treatment.Atherosclerosis. 2012;223(2):262-268.
- Abifadel M et al. Mutations in PCSK9 cause autosomal dominant hypercholesterolemia. Nat Genet. 2003;34:154-156.