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CHMP Recommends Approval of Lilly's Baricitinib for the Treatment of Adults with Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis

·13 min read

Positive Opinion is the First Regulatory Action for Baricitinib as an Atopic Dermatitis Medicine

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) and Incyte (NASDAQ:INCY) announced today that the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion for baricitinib for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD) who are candidates for systemic therapy.

This opinion marks the first step toward European regulatory approval for baricitinib (marketed as OLUMIANT®) for patients with AD. If approved, baricitinib would become the first JAK inhibitor indicated to help treat patients with AD. The CHMP opinion is now referred for action to the European Commission, which grants approval in the European Union. A final decision is expected from the European Commission in the next one-two months.

"Due to the limited treatment options currently available for adult patients with AD, we're excited to further explore baricitinib's potential benefit for patients," said Patrik Jonsson, Lilly senior vice president and president of Lilly Bio-Medicines. "At Lilly, we aspire to elevate treatment standards for patients with dermatologic conditions. Today's CHMP opinion brings us closer to providing a new medicine for adults living with AD in Europe."

The positive opinion was based on Lilly's Phase 3 BREEZE-AD clinical development program for baricitinib evaluating the medicine's potential to treat AD including BREEZE-AD1 and BREEZE-AD2, monotherapy studies investigating the efficacy and safety of baricitinib in moderate to severe AD patients; BREEZE-AD4, a study evaluating the efficacy and safety of baricitinib in combination with topical corticosteroids in patients with moderate to severe AD who have failed or who are intolerant to, or have contraindications to cyclosporine; and BREEZE-AD7, a study evaluating the efficacy and safety of baricitinib in combination with topical corticosteroids in patients with moderate to severe AD.

"Patients living with AD face difficulties on a daily basis, and this CHMP opinion marks an important milestone in providing adult AD patients with a new potential treatment option," said Prof. Thomas Bieber, M.D., Ph.D., M.D.R.A., Professor of Dermatology and Allergy, University Hospital in Bonn, Germany.

OLUMIANT® is already approved in more than 70 countries as a treatment for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Lilly has exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights for baricitinib and certain follow-on compounds for patients with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases under a license and collaboration agreement with Incyte.

Information on the previously approved EU OLUMIANT indication (Rheumatoid Arthritis) can be found here.

Indication and Usage for OLUMIANT (baricitinib) tablets (in the United States) for RA patients

OLUMIANT® (baricitinib) 2-mg is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist therapies. Limitation of Use: Not recommended for use in combination with other JAK inhibitors, biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), or with potent immunosuppressants such as azathioprine and cyclosporine.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR OLUMIANT (baricitinib) TABLETS

WARNING: SERIOUS INFECTIONS, MALIGNANCY, AND THROMBOSIS

SERIOUS INFECTIONS: Patients treated with Olumiant are at risk for developing serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death. Most patients who developed these infections were taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or corticosteroids. If a serious infection develops, interrupt Olumiant until the infection is controlled. Reported infections include:

  • Active tuberculosis (TB), which may present with pulmonary or extrapulmonary disease. Test patients for latent TB before initiating Olumiant and during therapy. If positive, start treatment for latent infection prior to Olumiant use.

  • Invasive fungal infections, including candidiasis and pneumocystosis. Patients with invasive fungal infections may present with disseminated, rather than localized, disease.

  • Bacterial, viral, and other infections due to opportunistic pathogens.

Carefully consider the risks and benefits of Olumiant prior to initiating therapy in patients with chronic or recurrent infection.

Closely monitor patients for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with Olumiant including the possible development of TB in patients who tested negative for latent TB infection prior to initiating therapy.

MALIGNANCIES: Lymphoma and other malignancies have been observed in patients treated with Olumiant.

THROMBOSIS: Thrombosis, including deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), has been observed at an increased incidence in patients treated with Olumiant compared to placebo. In addition, there were cases of arterial thrombosis. Many of these adverse events were serious and some resulted in death. Patients with symptoms of thrombosis should be promptly evaluated.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

SERIOUS INFECTIONS: The most common serious infections reported with Olumiant included pneumonia, herpes zoster and urinary tract infection. Among opportunistic infections, tuberculosis, multidermatomal herpes zoster, esophageal candidiasis, pneumocystosis, acute histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, cytomegalovirus and BK virus were reported with Olumiant. Some patients have presented with disseminated rather than local disease and were often taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or corticosteroids. Avoid Olumiant in patients with an active, serious infection, including localized infections. Consider the risks and benefits of treatment prior to initiating Olumiant in patients:

  • with chronic or recurrent infection

  • who have been exposed to TB

  • with a history of a serious or an opportunistic infection

  • who have resided or traveled in areas of endemic tuberculosis or endemic mycoses; or

  • with underlying conditions that may predispose them to infection.

Closely monitor patients for infections during and after Olumiant treatment. Interrupt Olumiant if a patient develops a serious infection, an opportunistic infection, or sepsis. Do not resume Olumiant until the infection is controlled.

Tuberculosis Before initiating Olumiant evaluate and test patients for latent or active infection and treat patients with latent TB with standard antimycobacterial therapy. Olumiant should not be given to patients with active TB. Consider anti-TB therapy prior to initiating Olumiant in patients with a history of latent or active TB in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed, and for patients with a negative test for latent TB but who have risk factors for TB infection. Monitor patients for TB during Olumiant treatment.

Viral ReactivationViral reactivation, including cases of herpes virus reactivation (e.g., herpes zoster), were reported in clinical studies with Olumiant. If a patient develops herpes zoster, interrupt Olumiant treatment until the episode resolves.

The impact of Olumiant on chronic viral hepatitis reactivation is unknown. Screen for viral hepatitis in accordance with clinical guidelines before initiating Olumiant.

MALIGNANCY AND LYMPHOPROLIFERATIVE DISORDERS: Malignancies were observed in Olumiant clinical studies. Consider the risks and benefits of Olumiant prior to initiating therapy in patients with a known malignancy other than a successfully treated non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) or when considering continuing Olumiant in patients who develop a malignancy. NMSCs were reported in patients treated with Olumiant. Periodic skin examination is recommended for patients who are at increased risk for skin cancer.

THROMBOSIS: Thrombosis, including DVT and PE, has been observed at an increased incidence in Olumiant-treated patients compared to placebo. In addition, arterial thrombosis events in the extremities have been reported in clinical studies with Olumiant. Many of these adverse events were serious and some resulted in death. There was no clear relationship between platelet count elevations and thrombotic events. Use Olumiant with caution in patients who may be at increased risk of thrombosis. If clinical features of DVT/PE or arterial thrombosis occur, evaluate patients promptly and treat appropriately.

GASTROINTESTINAL PERFORATIONS: Gastrointestinal perforations have been reported in Olumiant clinical studies, although the role of JAK inhibition in these events is not known. Use Olumiant with caution in patients who may be at increased risk for gastrointestinal perforation (e.g., patients with a history of diverticulitis). Promptly evaluate patients who present with new onset abdominal symptoms for early identification of gastrointestinal perforation.

LABORATORY ABNORMALITIES:

NeutropeniaOlumiant treatment was associated with an increased incidence of neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count [ANC] <1000 cells/mm3) compared to placebo. Avoid initiation or interrupt Olumiant treatment in patients with an ANC <1000 cells/mm3. Evaluate at baseline and thereafter according to routine patient management.

LymphopeniaAbsolute lymphocyte count (ALC) <500 cells/mm3 were reported in Olumiant clinical trials. Lymphocyte counts less than the lower limit of normal were associated with infection in patients treated with Olumiant, but not placebo. Avoid initiation or interrupt Olumiant treatment in patients with an ALC <500 cells/mm3. Evaluate at baseline and thereafter according to routine patient management.

AnemiaDecreases in hemoglobin levels to <8 g/dL were reported in Olumiant clinical trials. Avoid initiation or interrupt Olumiant treatment in patients with hemoglobin <8 g/dL. Evaluate at baseline and thereafter according to routine patient management.

Liver Enzyme ElevationsOlumiant treatment was associated with increased incidence of liver enzyme elevation compared to placebo. Increases of ALT ≥5x upper limit of normal (ULN) and increases of AST ≥10x ULN were observed in patients in Olumiant clinical trials.

Evaluate at baseline and thereafter according to routine patient management. Promptly investigate the cause of liver enzyme elevation to identify potential cases of drug-induced liver injury. If increases in ALT or AST are observed and drug-induced liver injury is suspected, interrupt Olumiant until this diagnosis is excluded.

Lipid ElevationsTreatment with Olumiant was associated with increases in lipid parameters, including total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Assess lipid parameters approximately 12 weeks following Olumiant initiation. Manage patients according to clinical guidelines for the management of hyperlipidemia.

VACCINATIONS: Avoid use of live vaccines with Olumiant. Update immunizations in agreement with current immunization guidelines prior to initiating Olumiant therapy.

HYPERSENSITIVITY: Reactions such as angioedema, urticaria, and rash that may reflect drug sensitivity have been observed in patients receiving Olumiant, including serious reactions. If a serious hypersensitivity reaction occurs, promptly discontinue Olumiant while evaluating the potential causes of the reaction.

ADVERSE REACTIONS
Most common adverse reactions include: upper respiratory tract infections (16.3%, 11.7%), nausea (2.7%, 1.6%), herpes simplex (0.8%, 0.7%) and herpes zoster (1.0%, 0.4%) for Olumiant 2 mg and placebo, respectively.

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

PREGNANCY AND LACTATION: No information is available to support the use of Olumiant in pregnancy or lactation. Advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with Olumiant.

HEPATIC AND RENAL IMPAIRMENT: Olumiant is not recommended in patients with severe hepatic impairment or in patients with severe renal impairment.

Please click to access full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning about Serious infections, Malignancies, and Thrombosis, and Medication Guide.

BA HCP ISI 09JUL2020

About OLUMIANT®

OLUMIANT is a once-daily, oral JAK inhibitor approved in the U.S. for the treatment of adults with moderately- to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more TNF inhibitor therapies, and approved outside of the U.S. for patients with moderately- to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more DMARDs.1 There are four known JAK enzymes: JAK1, JAK2, JAK3 and TYK2. JAK-dependent cytokines have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.2 OLUMIANT has greater inhibitory potency at JAK1, JAK2 and TYK2 relative to JAK3; however, the relevance of inhibition of specific JAK enzymes to therapeutic effectiveness is not currently known.1 OLUMIANT is approved in more than 70 countries. OLUMIANT is developed by Lilly under license from Incyte Corporation.

About Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (AD), or atopic eczema, is a chronic, relapsing skin disease characterized by intense itching, dry skin and inflammation that can be present on any part of the body.3 AD is a heterogeneous disease both biologically and clinically, but may be characterized by chronic symptoms of itch, redness and skin damage that are often punctuated with episodic, sometimes unpredictable, flares or exacerbations.4,5 AD affects approximately one-three percent of adults worldwide.6

Moderate to severe AD is characterized by intense itching, resulting in visibly damaged skin.7 Like other chronic inflammatory diseases, AD is immune-mediated and involves a complex interplay of immune cells and inflammatory cytokines.8

About Lilly in Dermatology
By following the science through unchartered territory, we continue Lilly's legacy of delivering innovative medicines that address unmet needs and have significant impacts on people's lives around the world. Skin-related diseases are more than skin deep. We understand the devastating impact this can have on people's lives. At Lilly, we are relentlessly pursuing a robust dermatology pipeline to provide innovative, patient-centered solutions so patients with skin-related diseases can aspire to live life without limitations.

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global health care leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at lilly.com and lilly.com/newsroom.

About Incyte
Incyte is a Wilmington, Delaware-based, global biopharmaceutical company focused on finding solutions for serious unmet medical needs through the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary therapeutics. For additional information on Incyte, please visit Incyte.com and follow @Incyte.

P-LLY

This press release contains forward-looking statements (as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) about OLUMIANT (baricitinib) as a treatment for patients with atopic dermatitis and reflects Lilly's and Incyte's current beliefs. However, as with any pharmaceutical product, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of development and commercialization. Among other things, there can be no guarantee that OLUMIANT will receive additional regulatory approvals, or that it will be commercially successful. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see Lilly's and Incyte's most recent respective Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Lilly and Incyte undertake no duty to update forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release.

1 Olumiant Prescribing Information, 2020.
2 Walker JG and Smith MD. J Rheumatol. 2005;32;1650-1653.
3 Zuberbier T, Orlow SJ, Paller AS, et al. Patient perspectives on the management of atopic dermatitis. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2006;118: 226-32.
4 Thijs JL, Strickland I, Bruijnzeel-Koomen C, et. al. Moving toward endotypes in atopic dermatitis: identification of patient clusters based on serum biomarker analysis. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2017.
5 Langan SM, Thomas KS, Williams HC. What is meant by "flare" in atopic dermatitis? A systematic review and proposal. Arch Dermatol. 2006;142:1190-1196.
6 Nutten S. Atopic dermatitis: global epidemiology and risk factors. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2015;66(suppl 1): 8-16.
7 Yosipovitch G, Papoiu AD. What causes itch in atopic dermatitis? Current Allergy and Asthma Reports. 2008;8:306-311.
8 Weidinger, S, Novak, N. Atopic dermatitis. The Lancet Volume 387. 2016;10023:1109-1122.

Refer to:
Kristen Porter Basu; basu_kristen_porter@lilly.com; 317-447-2199 (media)
Kevin Hern; hern_kevin_r@lilly.com; 317-277-1838 (investors)
Catalina Loveman; cloveman@incyte.com; +1-302-498-6171 (Incyte media)
Michael Booth, DPhil; mbooth@incyte.com; +1-302-498-5914 (Incyte investors)

Eli Lilly and Company logo. (PRNewsFoto, Eli Lilly and Company) (PRNewsfoto/Eli Lilly and Company)
Eli Lilly and Company logo. (PRNewsFoto, Eli Lilly and Company) (PRNewsfoto/Eli Lilly and Company)
Incyte logo. (PRNewsFoto/Eli Lilly and Company) (PRNewsfoto/Eli Lilly and Company)
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