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Telaprevir EMA Approval Request Submitted in Europe
  Posted on 22/12/2010
Janssen-Cilag is to seek approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for a new investigational treatment for the chronic genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV).
A marketing authorisation application has been submitted for telaprevir, a selective protease inhibitor designed to be used alongside pegylated-interferon and ribavirin, the current standard of care.
The application is based on positive data from phase III clinical trials, which demonstrated the treatment's efficacy in achieving sustained virologic response among patients.
Telaprevir has been accepted by the EMA for accelerated assessment, a status granted to treatments that are thought to be of major public health interest.
Johan Van Hoof, global therapeutic area head for infectious diseases and vaccines at Janssen, said: "The EMA submission for telaprevir is a landmark in the treatment of HCV and demonstrates our dedication to addressing unmet medical needs."
Janssen Seeks European Marketing Authorization for Investigational Hepatitis C Treatment Telaprevir
12 22, 2010
Beerse, Belgium - Janssen-Cilag International NV today announced the submission of a Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for telaprevir, an investigational, oral, direct-acting antiviral for the treatment of chronic genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV), the most common form of the virus.[1] Telaprevir is a potent and selective protease inhibitor (PI), which when combined with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin (the current treatment standard), shows activity in patients that are new to treatment and who have been previously treated but were not cured, including partial responders, relapsers and those who have had little or no response (null responders) to the current standard of treatment.
The EMA has accepted telaprevir for accelerated assessment, which is granted to quicken access to innovative, new medicines of major public-health interest. Tibotec BVBA, a global research and development company with specific experience in virology, is developing telaprevir in collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Tibotec BVBA is an affiliate company of Janssen.
"The EMA submission for telaprevir is a landmark in the treatment of HCV and demonstrates our dedication to addressing unmet medical needs by developing innovative treatments for infectious diseases," said Johan Van Hoof, Global Therapeutic Area Head Infectious Diseases and Vaccines at Janssen. "Above all, it is an important step towards making telaprevir available to people living with HCV."
It is estimated that 170 million people are living with HCV around the world,[2] including more than five million in Europe. [3] Chronic HCV can result in serious long-term health problems, and an estimated 30 percent of patients will develop progressive liver disease, including cirrhosis (damage and scarring of the liver), which places them at risk for liver insufficiency and liver cancer.[4] HCV is the most common cause of liver transplant in Europe.[5] The current standard of care for HCV genotype 1 patients, pegylated-interferon and ribavirin, is administered for 48 weeks and only 40 to 50 percent of genotype 1 patients achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR), defined as achieving undetectable levels of the virus in the blood for six months after completion of treatment, and considered an indicator of cure. Re-treatment with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin in patients who have previously failed this treatment shows only limited success.[6],[7]
The EMA submission is supported by results from three phase 3 studies, which compared telaprevir in combination with the current standard of treatment to the current standard of treatment alone in HCV genotype 1 patients. Results were very positive:
* Significantly higher SVR rates were observed in treatment-naïve patients treated with telaprevir compared to the current standard treatment of pegylated-interferon and ribavirin (75 percent vs. 44 percent) [8]
* The majority of patients were cured by week 24, which is half the duration of therapy with the current standard of treatment8, [9]
* There was a three-fold increase in cure rates (65 percent vs. 17 percent) across all types of previously treated patients who were given telaprevir compared to the current treatment standard, including prior null responders (31 percent vs. 5 percent) 10
* The most common adverse events in the telaprevir-based treatment groups were fatigue, pruritus, nausea, headache, anemia, rash, influenza-like illness, insomnia, fever and diarrhea. The majority of these adverse events were mild to moderate8,9,10
"Current treatment for hepatitis is lengthy and only effective for approximately half of treatment-naïve patients, and even fewer patients who failed previous treatment," commented Stefan Zeuzem, Professor of Medicine and Chief, department of medicine, J W Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt. "If approved, telaprevir would help to significantly improve cure rates and shorten treatment duration for many people living with HCV, compared to current standard treatment."
About the Telaprevir Development Program
To date, more than 2,500 people with HCV genotype 1 have received telaprevir-based therapy (telaprevir combined with the current standard of treatment) as part of Phase 2 studies and the Phase 3 ADVANCE, ILLUMINATE and REALIZE trials.8,9,10 The telaprevir clinical development program is the largest conducted to date for any investigational direct-acting antiviral hepatitis C therapy.
* ADVANCE evaluated telaprevir-based regimens in approximately 1,088 treatment-naïve patients with chronic HCV infection. Data from the ADVANCE trial were presented at the 2010 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) annual meeting in November 2010.8
* ILLUMINATE evaluated the benefits of extending telaprevir-based therapy in 540 treatment-naïve patients whose HCV was undetectable at weeks 4 and 12 of treatment. 322 of these patients were randomized to receive 24 or 48 weeks of treatment, and it was found that there was no benefit to extending treatment to 48 weeks. Data from the ILLUMINATE meeting were presented at AASLD in November 2010.9
* REALIZE evaluated telaprevir-based regimens in approximately 650 treatment-failure HCV patients. Data from the REALIZE trial will likely be published in 2011. [10]
Telaprevir is being developed by Tibotec BVBA, an affiliate company of Janssen, in collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma for the treatment of genotype 1 HCV in combination with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin in both patients who have failed prior treatment and those who have never been treated. Tibotec BVBA has the commercialisation rights for telaprevir in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand, pending approval by the respective regulatory authorities. Vertex will commercialise telaprevir in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has rights to commercialise telaprevir in Japan and certain Far East countries.
About Tibotec BVBA
Tibotec BVBA is a global pharmaceutical and research development company. The Company's main research and development facilities are in Beerse, Belgium with offices in Titusville, NJ and Cork, Ireland. Tibotec is dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative HIV/AIDS and HCV drugs, and anti-infectives for diseases of high unmet medical need.
About Janssen
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson are dedicated to addressing and solving the most important unmet medical needs of our time, including oncology (e.g. multiple myeloma and prostate cancer), immunology (e.g. psoriasis), neuroscience (e.g. schizophrenia, dementia and pain), infectious disease (e.g. HIV/AIDS, HCV and tuberculosis), and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes).
Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop sustainable, integrated healthcare solutions by working side-by-side with healthcare stakeholders, based on partnerships of trust and transparency.
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