BTG PLC BTG ZYTIGA receives positive opinion in EU

  BTG PLC (BTG) - ZYTIGA receives positive opinion in EU

RNS Number : 5065R
BTG PLC
20 November 2012




BTG plc: Janssen announces that ZYTIGA^® has received a positive opinion in
the EU for treating chemo-naïve mCRPC patients



London, UK, 20 November 2012: BTG plc (LSE: BTG), the specialist healthcare
company, notes the announcement by Janssen-Cilag International NV (Janssen)
that the Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European
Medicines Agency (EMA) has granted a positive opinion recommending approval of
the oral, once-daily medication ZYTIGA^® (abiraterone acetate)for use in
combination with prednisone or prednisolone in the treatment of metastatic
castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), in adult men who are
asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic after failure of androgen deprivation
therapy and in whom chemotherapy is not yet clinically indicated. The full
text of the announcement follows.



ZYTIGA^® RECEIVES POSITIVE REGULATORY RECOMMENDATION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION FOR
TREATMENT OF METASTATIC CASTRATION-RESISTANT PROSTATE CANCER BEFORE
CHEMOTHERAPY



Beerse, Belgium, 19^th November 2012. Janssen-Cilag International NV (Janssen)
announced today that the Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP)
of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has granted a positive opinion
recommending approval of the oral, once-daily medication ZYTIGA^® (abiraterone
acetate) for use in combination with prednisone or prednisolone in the
treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), in adult
men who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic after failure of androgen
deprivation therapy and in whom chemotherapy is not yet clinically
indicated.^i If endorsed by the European Commission, the recommendation would
expand the indication for ZYTIGA^®, which is currently approved for use in
combination with prednisone/prednisolone to treat men with mCRPC whose disease
has progressed on or after a docetaxel-based chemotherapy regimen.



In February 2012 an Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) unanimously
recommended unblinding the Phase III COU-AA-302 study ^ii on which this CHMP
recommendation is based after a pre-specified analysis found statistically
significant differences in radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) and a
strong trend in overall survival (OS) favouring ZYTIGA^®. Based on these
results, the IDMC also recommended that patients in the control arm be offered
treatment with ZYTIGA^®. Patients in the ZYTIGA arm also demonstrated a
statistically significant difference in all the secondary endpoints compared
to the control arm.



The CHMP is the committee responsible for the scientific assessment of
products seeking centralised marketing authorisation throughout the European
Union. The CHMP's positive opinion is now referred for approval to the
European Commission. Janssen anticipates receiving the regulatory decision
from the Commission in early 2013.



Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman, Janssen Europe, Middle-East, Africa,
commented, "This positive opinion brings us a step closer to being able to
offer ZYTIGA^® to advanced cancer patients earlier in the course of their
disease and fills a previously unmet medical need.If approved,the expanded
indication will provide a welcome new option for patients with
castration-resistant prostate cancer. It could not only give men a chance of
extended survival, but may also delay the need for chemotherapy and help to
improve their quality of life."



-ENDS-



NOTES TO EDITORS



About the COU-AA-302 study ^ii



Study COU-AA-302 is a Phase III, international, randomised, double-blind,
placebo controlled study which evaluated ZYTIGA^® plus prednisone/prednisolone
compared to placebo plus prednisone/prednisolone in 1,088 asymptomatic or
mildly symptomatic men with mCRPC who had not received prior chemotherapy.
Patients were randomised 1:1 to receive either abiraterone acetate (ZYTIGA^®)
1,000 milligrams (mg) administered orally once daily plus
prednisone/prednisolone 5 mg administered twice daily or placebo plus
prednisone/prednisolone 5 mg administered twice daily. The co-primary
endpoints of the study are radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) and
overall survival (OS).



This is the first randomised study to demonstrate a rPFS benefit and an OS
trend in this patient population. The COU-AA-302 results were presented at the
48th Annual Meeting of theAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology(ASCO) in
June 2012.



The data demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in rPFS in the
abiraterone acetate plus prednisone/prednisolone arm (ZYTIGA^® arm) of the
study compared to the placebo plus prednisone/prednisolone (control) arm. The
median rPFS in the control arm was 8.3 months but had not yet been reached in
the ZYTIGA^® arm at the time of the final analysis for rPFS (N=251 vs. 150,
respectively). These results reached statistical significance with a p value
<0.0001 and a hazard Ratio (HR) of 0.43, with a 95% confidence interval (CI):
[0.35, 0.52].



Additionally, treatment with ZYTIGA^® plus prednisone/prednisolone resulted in
a longer overall survival than with placebo; HR=0.752; 95% CI: 0.606;
0.934(median overall survival in the ZYTIGA^® arm was not reached because
progression events occurred more slowly in the ZYTIGA^® arm compared to the
control arm, in which median overall survival was 27.2 months; HR=0.75; 95%
CI: [0.61, 0.93], p=0.0097). At the time of the interim analysis, statistical
significance was not reached.



Secondary Endpoints ^ii



Treatment with ZYTIGA^® plus prednisone also demonstrated significant
improvements in secondary study endpoints compared to the control arm,
specifically, longer time until:



· Opiate use for cancer pain: the median time in the ZYTIGA^® arm was not
reached and was 23.7 months in the control arm (HR=0.69; 95% CI: [0.57, 0.83];
p=0.0001).

· Initiation of cytotoxic chemotherapy for prostate cancer: 25.2 months
for the ZYTIGA^® arm vs. 16.8 months for the control arm (HR=0.58 [95% CI:
0.49, 0.69]; p<0.0001).

· Deterioration in performance status: 12.3 months for the ZYTIGA^® arm
vs. 10.9 months for the control arm (HR=0.82; 95% CI: [0.71, 0.94]; p=0.0053)
for an increase in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance
score of one point or more. The ECOG performance score is a standard measure
used to assess functional status of a patient and is often used to determine
prognosis and appropriate treatment.

· PSA progression: 11.1 months for the ZYTIGA^® arm vs. 5.6 months for
the control arm (HR=0.49; 95% CI: [0.42, 0.57], p<0.0001), based on The
Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Working Group (PCWG2) criteria.



Safety Findings ^ii



Patients in the ZYTIGA^® arm of the study experienced more grade 3 and grade 4
adverse events than those in the control arm, including cardiac disorders (6%
vs. 3%) and hypertension (4% vs. 3%), as well as increases in alanine
aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (5.4% vs. 0.8% and
3.0% vs. 0.9%, respectively). Fatigue was the most common adverse event
observed in the study.



About metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer



Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer occurs when cancer has
metastasised (spread) beyond the prostate to other parts of the body and the
disease progresses despite serum testosterone below castrate levels. ^iii



The prostate is a gland in men that produces part of the seminal fluid and is
located around the urethra (under the bladder). In some cases, cancer of the
prostate can grow slowly. However, depending on factors including
characteristics specific to the patient and the tumour, prostate cancer also
can grow very quickly and spread widely. ^iv



In 2008, an estimated 370,000 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in
Europe, and nearly 90,000 men died from the disease. ^v



About ZYTIGA^® vi



Since its approval in 2011, ZYTIGA^® has been approved in more than 60
countries worldwide, many thousands of men have received treatment with it,
and it is quickly becoming one of the cornerstones of our oncology offerings.



ZYTIGA^® is the only approved therapy that inhibits production of androgen,
which fuels prostate cancer growth, via inhibiting the CYP17 enzyme complex
present at three sources: the testes, adrenals and the tumour itself.



ZYTIGA^® in combination with prednisone/prednisolone was approved by the
European Medicines Agency (EMA) in September 2011, for the treatment of
metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) in adult men whose
disease has progressed on or after a docetaxel-based chemotherapy regimen.



ZYTIGA^® in combination with prednisone was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) in April 2011 for the treatment of men with metastatic
castration-resistant prostate cancer who have received prior chemotherapy
containing docetaxel.



In June 2012, Janssen simultaneously submitted a supplemental New Drug
Application (sNDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ZYTIGA^®
and a type II variation to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Both
applications are intended to extend the use of ZYTIGA^® administered with
prednisone or prednisoloneto include the treatment of adult men with
metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who are asymptomatic or mildly
symptomatic after failure of androgen deprivation therapy and in whom
chemotherapy is not yet clinically indicated. 



Important Safety Information^vi



DOSAGE & ADMINISTRATION:



In adults, the recommended dose of ZYTIGA^® is 1000 mg (4 tablets) single
daily dose. It must not be taken with food as this increases systemic exposure
to abiraterone (take dose at least two hours after eating; no food for at
least one hour post-dose). Tablets should be swallowed whole with water and
taken with the recommended dose of prednisone or prednisolone (10 mg daily).
In the event of a missed daily dose, treatment should be resumed the following
day with the usual daily dose.



Medical castration with LHRH analogue should be continued during treatment in
patients not surgically castrated.



Renal impairment: No dose adjustment is required, however caution is advised
as there is no previous experience in patients with prostate cancer and severe
renal impairment.



Hepatotoxicity: If hepatotoxicity develops (serum ALT or AST above five times
the upper limit of normal), stop treatment immediately until liver function
returns to baseline; restart ZYTIGA^® at 500 mg (2 tablets) once daily and
monitor serum transaminases at least every two weeks for three months and
monthly thereafter (see full prescribing information). If hepatotoxicity
recurs at the reduced dose, stop treatment. If severe hepatotoxicity develops
(ALT or AST 20 times the upper limit of normal), discontinue ZYTIGA^® and do
not restart.



Hepatic impairment: No dose adjustment is required in mild cases (Child-Pugh
Class A). In moderate cases (Child-Pugh Class B) systemic exposure is
increased by approximately four times after a single oral dose of 1,000mg. In
moderate cases (Child-Pugh Class B) there is no clinical data for multiple
doses and treatment with ZYTIGA^® should be cautiously assessed and the
benefit clearly should outweigh the possible risks. It should not be used in
patients with severe hepatic impairment.



CONTRAINDICATIONS:



ZYTIGA^® is contraindicated in women who are pregnant or may potentially be
pregnant, in people hypersensitive to the active substance or any excipients
and in people with severe hepatic impairment [Child-Pugh Class C].



SPECIAL WARNINGS & PRECAUTIONS:



Mineralocorticoid excess-related: ZYTIGA® may cause hypertension, hypokalaemia
and fluid retention due to mineralocorticoid excess from CYP17 inhibition.
Reduced incidence and severity is associated with corticosteroid
administration. Caution is required in patients whose underlying medical
conditions might be compromised by hypertension, hypokalaemia (those on
cardiac glycosides), or fluid retention (those with heart failure), severe or
unstable angina pectoris, recent myocardial infarction or ventricular
arrhythmia and those with severe renal impairment. Caution is advised in
patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. The phaseIII studies
conducted with ZYTIGA excluded patients with uncontrolled hypertension,
clinically significant heart disease as evidenced by myocardial infarction, or
arterial thrombotic events in the past 6months, severe or unstable angin, or
a left ventricular ejection fraction below50% or NYHA ClassIII or IV heart
failure (study 301) or Class II to IV heart failure (study 302). Control of
hypertension and correction of hypokalaemia should be done in advance of and
during treatment with ZYTIGA^®. Before treating patients with a significant
risk of congestive heart failure (e.g. a history of cardiac failure,
uncontrolled hypertension or cardiac events such as ischaemic heart disease)
consider obtaining an assessment of cardiac function (e.g. echocardiogram).
Before treatment with ZYTIGA, cardiac failure should be treated and cardiac
function optimised. Blood pressure, serum potassium and fluid retention should
be monitored before treatment and at least monthly thereafter; for patients
with significant risk of congestive heart failure, monitor every two weeks for
the first three months.



Hepatotoxicity: Marked increases in liver enzymes leading to treatment
discontinuation or dose modification occurred in controlled clinical studies.
Serum transaminases should be measured before treatment with ZYTIGA^® and
every two weeks for the first three months, and then monthly. If
symptoms/signs suggest hepatotoxicity, serum transaminases should be
immediately measured. At any time if serum ALT or AST is above five times the
upper limit of normal, treatment should be stopped and liver function
monitored. Treatment can be restarted after liver function returns to
baseline; using a reduced dose (see above). There is no clinical data in
patients with active or symptomatic viral hepatitis.



Corticosteroid withdrawal: Adrenocortical insufficiency should be monitored
for if prednisone or prednisolone is withdrawn. An increased dose of
corticosteroids may be indicated before/during and after a stressful
situation. Mineralocorticoid excess should be monitored for if ZYTIGA^® is
continued after corticosteroids withdrawn.



Bone density: Decreased bone density may be accentuated by treatment with
ZYTIGA^® plus glucocorticoid.



Prior use of ketoconazole: Lower response rates to ZYTIGA^® may occur in
patients previously treated with ketoconazole for prostate cancer.



Hyperglycaemia: The use of glucocorticoids could increase hyperglycaemia,
therefore blood sugar should be measured frequently in patients with diabetes.



Use with chemotherapy: The safety and efficacy of concomitant use of ZYTIGA
with cytotoxic chemotherapy has not been established.



Intolerance to excipients: ZYTIGA^® should not be taken by patients with
galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose
malabsorption. Sodium content should be taken into account for those on
controlled sodium diet.



Potential risks: Anaemia and sexual dysfunction may occur in men with
metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer including those undergoing
treatment with ZYTIGA.



SIDE EFFECTS:



Most common: urinary tract infection, hypokalaemia, hypertension, peripheral
oedema



Common:hypertriglyceridaemia, cardiac failure (including congestive heart
failure, left ventricular dysfunction and decreased ejection fraction), angina
pectoris, arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, increased alanine
aminotransferase, fractures (includes all fractures with the exception of
pathological fracture), dyspepsia, haematuria and rash.



Uncommon: adrenal insufficiency.



Refer to SmPC for other side effects.



FERTILITY/ PREGNANCY/ LACTATION:ZYTIGA^® should not be used in women. It is
not known whether abiraterone or its metabolites are present in semen. A
condom is required if the patient is engaged in sexual activity with a
pregnant woman. If the patient is engaged in sexual activity with a woman of
childbearing potential, a condom is required along with another effective
contraceptive method. Abiraterone affected fertility in male and female rats,
but these effects were fully reversible



INTERACTIONS:



Use ZYTIGA^® with caution alongside with drugs activated by or metabolised by
CYP2D6 particularly when there is a narrow therapeutic index e.g. metoprolol,
propranolol, desipramine, venlafaxine, haloperidol, risperidone, propafenone,
flecanide, codeine, oxycodone and tramadol. Dose reduction for those
metabolised by CYP2D6 should be considered. ZYTIGA is an inhibitor of CYP2C8
(in vitro data); Medicinal products metabolised by CYP2C8 include paclitaxel
and repaglinide. There are no clinical data on the use of ZYTIGA^® with drugs
that are substrates of CYP2C8. ZYTIGA is CYP3A4 substrate (in vitro data);
avoid or use with caution with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g. ketoconazole,
itraconazole, clarithromycin, atazanavir, nefazodone, saquinavir,
telithromycin, ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, voriconazole) or inducers
(e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampicin, rifabutin, rifapentine,
phenobarbital). Food increases systemic exposure to abiraterone (see above).





For further information please contact:



BTG                                             FTI Consulting
Andy Burrows, Director of Investor Relations    Ben Atwell
+44 (0)20 7575 1741; Mobile: +44 (0)7990 530605 +44 (0)20 7831 3113
Rolf Soderstrom, Chief Financial Officer
+44 (0)20 7575 0000



About BTG

BTG is an international specialist healthcare company that is developing and
commercialising products targeting critical care, cancer and other disorders.
The company has diversified revenues from sales of its own marketed products
and from royalties on partnered products, and is seeking to acquire new
programmes and products to develop and market to specialist physicians. For
further information about BTG please visit our website at www.btgplc.com.



i.
http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Summary_of_opinion/human/002321/WC500134841.pdf
[last accessed November 2012]

ii. Ryan C.J et al. Interim analysis (IA) results of COU-AA-302, a
randomized, phase III study of abiraterone acetate (AA) in chemotherapy-naive
patients (pts) with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). J
Clin Oncol 30, 2012 (suppl; abstr LBA4518)

iii. Hotte SJ, Saad F. Current management of castrate-resistant prostate
cancer. Curr Oncol. 2010 September; 17(Supplement 2): S72-S79.

iv. Mayo Clinic. "Prostate Cancer."
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prostate-cancer/DS00043. [Last accessed
November 2012].

v. http://globocan.iarc.fr/factsheet.asp [last accessed November 2012]

vi. ZYTIGA^® summary of product characteristics 2012





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           The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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