THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) today announced that it will present updated long-term safety and efficacy data for Nplate® (romiplostim) in adult chronic immune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Additionally, Amgen will present the first Nplate study in a pediatric setting as well as in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) at the 2009 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition (Dec. 5 - 8, 2009).
"We are excited to present data on the safety and efficacy of Nplate in the pediatric setting for the first time," said Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "Similar to adults who have chronic ITP, children living with this disease have limited treatment options. We will also present data from a large global study of Nplate as a treatment for thrombocytopenia in patients with MDS."
SELECTED ABSTRACTS OF INTEREST
Abstracts are available and can be viewed on the ASH website at www.hematology.org. Identified below are selected abstracts of interest on Amgen research. Updated data will be presented at the meeting.
Researchers will present five year follow-up results from the ongoing, open-label extension study on the long-term safety and efficacy of Nplate in adult patients with chronic ITP. Chronic ITP is a serious autoimmune disorder characterized by low platelet counts in the blood (thrombocytopenia), which can lead to serious bleeding events. These results support previously presented data which illustrated Nplate sustained platelet counts with extended treatment. Additionally, data regarding pediatric treatment of ITP will be presented, as well as results for Nplate in MDS.
Aranesp® (darbepoetin alfa)
Researchers will also present efficacy and safety data from an independent investigator-led study that is part of the Aranesp Pharmacovigilance program.
About Adult ITP
In patients with chronic ITP, platelets - or blood elements needed to prevent bleeding - are destroyed by the patient's own immune system. Low platelet counts leave adult ITP patients open to sudden serious bleeding events. The risk for serious bleeding events increases when platelet counts drop to less than 30,000 platelets per microliter; normal counts range from 150,000 to 400,000 platelets per microliter. ITP has historically been considered a disease of platelet destruction although recent data suggest that the body's natural platelet production processes in ITP are unable to compensate for low levels of platelets in the blood. Increasing the rate of platelet production may address low platelet levels associated with ITP.
Currently available treatments (i.e., corticosteroids, immunoglobulins) have limited application due to poor tolerability or transient effects. Surgical therapy (removal of the spleen) is also available to adult patients with chronic ITP, but does not work in all cases. Currently, there are approximately 90,000 adult chronic ITP patients in Europe and the United States (U.S.). ITP affects about twice as many adult women as men.
Nplate was the first platelet producer approved in the European Union (EU), Canada, Australia, Russia and the U.S. Nplate was granted approval for chronic ITP by the regulatory bodies in Australia, Canada, Europe, Russia and the U.S. Nplate also has received orphan designation for chronic ITP in the U.S. (2003), the EU (2005), Switzerland (2005) and Japan (2006).
Nplate is the first treatment specifically developed for chronic ITP. It is also being investigated for potential use in pediatric ITP, MDS and chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (CIT).
In the U.S., Nplate is indicated for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic ITP who have had an insufficient response to corticosteroids, immunoglobulins or splenectomy. Nplate should be used only in patients with ITP whose degree of thrombocytopenia and clinical condition increases the risk for bleeding. Nplate should not be used in an attempt to normalize platelet counts.
In the EU, Nplate is indicated for the treatment of splenectomized adult chronic ITP patients who are refractory to other treatments (e.g. corticosteroids, immunoglobulins). Nplate may be considered as a second-line treatment for adult non-splenectomized ITP patients for whom surgery is contra-indicated.
Nplate was named the recipient of the U.S. Prix Galien 2009 "Best Biotechnology Product" award and also received the 2009 Scrip Award for "Best New Drug."
Important U.S. Nplate Safety Information
Serious adverse reactions associated with Nplate in clinical studies were bone marrow reticulin deposition and worsening thrombocytopenia after Nplate discontinuation. Additional risks include bone marrow fibrosis, thrombotic/thromboembolic complications, lack or loss of response to Nplate, and hematological malignancies and progression of malignancy in patients with a pre-existing hematological malignancy or MDS. Nplate is not indicated for the treatment of thrombocytopenia due to MDS or any cause of thrombocytopenia other than chronic ITP.
In the placebo-controlled studies, headache was the most commonly reported adverse drug reaction.
Important EU Nplate Safety Information
The most common side effects are headache, fatigue, arthralgia, myalgia, injection site bruising, injection site pain, peripheral edema, dizziness, muscle spasms, nausea, contusion, diarrhoea, bone marrow disorder, influenza-like illness, insomnia and pruritus.
Reoccurrence of thrombocytopenia and bleeding after cessation of treatment and increased bone marrow reticulin have been associated with romiplostim treatment in the clinical trials. Thrombotic/thromboembolic complications, progression of existing hematopoietic malignancies or MDS, and effects on red and white blood cells are all potential risks associated with romiplostim treatment. As with all therapeutic proteins, patients may develop antibodies to the therapeutic protein.
Aranesp was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2001 for the treatment of anemia associated with CRF for patients on dialysis and patients not on dialysis. In July 2002, the FDA approved weekly dosing of Aranesp for the treatment of anemia caused by concomitantly administered chemotherapy in patients with nonmyeloid malignancies and in March 2006, the FDA approved every-three-week dosing in these patients.
Aranesp is a recombinant erythropoietic protein (a protein that stimulates production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen). Amgen revolutionized the treatment of anemia with the development of recombinant erythropoietin, Epoetin alfa. Building on this heritage, Amgen developed Aranesp, a unique erythropoiesis stimulating protein, which contains two additional sialic acid-containing carbohydrate chains compared to the epoetin alfa molecule and remains in the bloodstream longer than epoetin alfa as demonstrated by its longer half-life.
Aranesp was granted marketing authorization by the European Commission in 2001 for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic renal failure (CRF), also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD), in adults and pediatric subjects 11 years of age or older. In 2002, the European Commission approved Aranesp for the treatment of anemia in adult cancer patients receiving chemotherapy with solid tumors. This patient population was subsequently expanded in 2003 to include treatment of symptomatic anemia in adult cancer patients with non-myeloid malignancies receiving chemotherapy. Approval was granted in 2004 for extended dosing intervals of once-every-three-weeks in the treatment of anemia in adult cancer patients with non-myeloid malignancies who are receiving chemotherapy and up to once-per-month Aranesp administration in the treatment of anemia in CKD patients not on dialysis. In 2006, the Aranesp label was updated to allow CKD patients on dialysis to switch from rHuEPO one to three times a week to Aranesp every two weeks. In 2007, the Aranesp label was updated to allow for treatment of anemia associated with CRF, in all European pediatric patients on dialysis or not on dialysis.
Important Aranesp Safety Information
WARNINGS: INCREASED MORTALITY, SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR and THROMBOEMBOLIC EVENTS, and TUMOR PROGRESSION
Renal failure: Patients experienced greater risks for death and serious cardiovascular events when administered erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) to target higher versus lower hemoglobin levels (13.5 vs. 11.3 g/dL; 14 vs. 10 g/dL) in two clinical studies. Individualize dosing to achieve and maintain hemoglobin levels within the range of 10 to 12 g/dL.
-- ESAs shortened overall survival and/or time-to-tumor progression in clinical studies in patients with breast, non-small cell lung, head and neck, lymphoid, and cervical cancers when dosed to target a hemoglobin of greater than or equal to 12 g/dL.
-- The risks of shortened survival and tumor progression have not been excluded when ESAs are dosed to target a hemoglobin of less than 12 g/dL.
-- To minimize these risks, as well as the risk of serious cardio- and thrombovascular events, use the lowest dose needed to avoid red blood cell transfusions.
-- Use only for treatment of anemia due to concomitant myelosuppressive chemotherapy.
-- ESAs are not indicated for patients receiving myelosuppressive therapy when the anticipated outcome is cure. (This information is specific to the U.S. prescribing information)
-- Discontinue following the completion of a chemotherapy course.
Aranesp is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.
All patients, including patients with cancer or chronic kidney failure:
-- You may get serious heart problems such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and may die sooner if you are treated with Aranesp to a hemoglobin level above 12 g/dL.
-- You may get blood clots at any time while taking Aranesp. If you are receiving Aranesp and you are going to have surgery, talk to your healthcare provider about whether or not you need to take a blood thinner to lessen the chance of blood clots during or following surgery. Clots can form in blood vessels (veins), especially in your leg (deep venous thrombosis or DVT). Pieces of a blood clot may travel to the lungs and block the blood circulation in the lungs (pulmonary embolus).
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
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SOURCE Amgen Inc.
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