UCB's VIMPAT® (lacosamide) CV now approved by FDA for primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures and expanded pediatric use for people living with epilepsy
-- New approval for VIMPAT® (lacosamide) CV in the U.S. as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures (PGTCS) in patients four years of age and older
-- All three VIMPAT formulations, including injection for intravenous use, are now indicated for the treatment of partial-onset seizures and as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of PGTCS in patients four years of age and older
-- These approvals further help patients with epilepsy who may have had limited treatment options in the past, while reinforcing UCB's leadership in transforming epilepsy care
ATLANTA, Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- UCB, a global pharmaceutical company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved VIMPAT® (lacosamide) CV as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures (PGTCS) in patients four years of age and older and VIMPAT injection for intravenous use in children four years of age and older.1 PGTCS is a type of seizure that occurs all over the brain, affecting both sides of the brain from the start, causing muscles to stiffen and convulsions to occur for up to a few minutes.2
"These approvals underscore UCB's commitment to people living with epilepsy and our focus on finding solutions for specific unmet needs within the epilepsy community," said Mike Davis, Head of U.S. Neurology at UCB. "We are pleased that VIMPAT is now available as a treatment option for people living with primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures on their journey to seizure control."
The PGTCS approval is based, in part, on results of a Phase 3 study recently published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.3 Adjunctive treatment with VIMPAT resulted in a significantly lower risk of developing a second PGTCS during the 24-week treatment period, with the corresponding risk reduction being 45% (p=0.001), and a significantly higher rate of freedom from PGTCS during the treatment period compared with placebo (31.3% vs 17.2%, p=0.011).
People living with generalized tonic-clonic seizures have an increased risk of injury4 and those who experienced three or more in one year had a fifteen-fold increased risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.5
"The treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic (convulsive) seizures is challenging, with about one-third of patients still being refractory while on therapy," said David Vossler, MD, FAAN FACNS FAES, Department of Neurology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. "Bolstered by a wealth of data demonstrating the efficacy and safety of VIMPAT, this new indication gives people suffering from PGTCS a chance at freedom from these seizures, which many have never experienced."
Results from the Phase 3 study showed that VIMPAT was generally tolerated in patients with Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsy (IGE) and PGTCS. The most common adverse reactions (≥10%) reported in patients treated with VIMPAT were dizziness (23%), somnolence (17%), headache (14%), and nausea (10%) compared to 7%, 14%, 10%, and 6%, respectively, of patients who received placebo.
Regarding the expanded pediatric population, VIMPAT tablets and oral solution were already approved to treat partial-onset seizures in adults and children four years and older as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy. VIMPAT injection was previously approved for the treatment of partial-onset seizures only in adult patients (17 years of age and older).
In October 2020, The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued a positive opinion for VIMPAT as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of PGTCS in adults, adolescents and children from four years of age with idiopathic generalized epilepsy.6 Regulatory reviews for use of VIMPAT in the treatment of PGTCS are also underway in Japan and Australia.
Epilepsy is the main symptom of a variety of chronic disorders of the brain. It is the fourth most common neurological condition worldwide and affects approximately 65 million people. Anyone can develop epilepsy; it occurs across all ages, races and genders, and is defined as one or more unprovoked epileptic seizures with a risk of further seizures.7
About UCB in Epilepsy
UCB has a rich heritage in epilepsy with over 20 years of experience in the research and development of anti-epileptic drugs. As a company with a long-term commitment to epilepsy research, our goal is to address unmet medical needs. Our scientists are proud to contribute to advances in the understanding of epilepsy and its treatment. We partner and create super-networks with world-leading scientists and clinicians in academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and other organizations who share our goals. At UCB, we are inspired by patients, and driven by science in our commitment to support patients with epilepsy.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb-usa.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or the central nervous system. With more than 7,600 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of €4.9 billion in 2019. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). Follow us on Twitter: @UCBUSA.
About VIMPAT® (lacosamide) CV in the U.S.1
VIMPAT® was approved in the U.S. in 2008 as an add-on therapy for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in adult patients with epilepsy. VIMPAT was approved as monotherapy for adults in August 2014, and as monotherapy or adjunctive therapy in patients four years of age and older with partial-onset seizures in 2017. VIMPAT is available in three formulations: oral tablets, oral solution, and intravenous (IV) injection.
VIMPAT® is indicated for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in patients 4 years of age and older.
VIMPAT is indicated as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in patients 4 years of age and older.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Suicidal Behavior and Ideation: Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including VIMPAT, increase the risk of suicidal behavior and ideation. Monitor patients taking VIMPAT for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. Advise patients and caregivers to be alert for these behavioral changes and to immediately report them to the healthcare provider.
Dizziness and Ataxia: VIMPAT may cause dizziness and ataxia in adult and pediatric patients. In adult clinical trials for partial-onset seizures, the onset of dizziness and ataxia was most commonly observed during titration. Advise patients not to drive, operate complex machinery, or engage in other hazardous activities until they are familiar with the effects of VIMPAT on their ability to perform such activities.
Cardiac Rhythm and Conduction Abnormalities
PR Interval Prolongation, Atrioventricular Block, and Ventricular Tachyarrhythmia
Dose-dependent prolongations in PR interval with VIMPAT have been observed in clinical studies in adult patients and in healthy volunteers. When VIMPAT is given with other drugs that prolong the PR interval, further PR prolongation is possible.
In the postmarketing setting, there have been reports of cardiac arrhythmias in patients treated with VIMPAT, including bradycardia, AV block, and ventricular tachyarrhythmia, which have rarely resulted in asystole, cardiac arrest, and death. Most, although not all, cases have occurred in patients with underlying proarrhythmic conditions, or in those taking concomitant medications that affect cardiac conduction or prolong the PR interval. These events have occurred with both oral and intravenous routes of administration and at prescribed doses as well as in the setting of overdose.
VIMPAT should be used with caution in patients with underlying proarrhythmic conditions such as known cardiac conduction problems (e.g., marked first-degree AV block, second-degree or higher AV block, and sick sinus syndrome without pacemaker), severe cardiac disease (such as myocardial ischemia or heart failure, or structural heart disease), and cardiac sodium channelopathies (e.g., Brugada Syndrome).
VIMPAT should also be used with caution in patients on concomitant medications that affect cardiac conduction, including sodium channel blockers, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, potassium channel blockers, and medications that prolong the PR interval. In such patients, obtaining an ECG before beginning VIMPAT, and after VIMPAT is titrated to steady-state maintenance dose, is recommended. In addition, these patients should be closely monitored if they are administered VIMPAT through the intravenous route. Patients should be made aware of and report cardiac signs or symptoms to their healthcare provider right away.
Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter
VIMPAT administration may predispose to atrial arrhythmias (atrial fibrillation or flutter), especially in patients with diabetic neuropathy and/or cardiovascular disease.
Syncope: VIMPAT may cause syncope in adult and pediatric patients.
Withdrawal of Antiepileptic Drugs: Gradually withdraw VIMPAT (over a minimum of 1 week) to minimize the potential of increased seizure frequency.
Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS): Also known as multi- organ hypersensitivity, has been reported with antiepileptic drugs, including VIMPAT. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. If signs or symptoms are present, immediately evaluate the patient. Discontinue VIMPAT if an alternative etiology for the signs and symptoms cannot be established.
Risks in Patients with Phenylketonuria: VIMPAT oral solution contains aspartame, a source of phenylalanine, which can be harmful in patients with phenylketonuria (PKU). A 200 mg dose of VIMPAT oral solution (equivalent to 20 mL) contains 0.32 mg of phenylalanine.
Partial-Onset Seizures: In the adult adjunctive therapy placebo-controlled clinical trials for partial-onset seizures, the most frequently seen adverse reaction with VIMPAT was dizziness (31% vs 8% placebo). Other common adverse reactions occurring in ≥10 percent of VIMPAT-treated patients, and greater than placebo, were headache, nausea, and diplopia. In the adult monotherapy clinical trial, adverse reactions were generally similar to those observed and attributed to drug in adjunctive placebo-controlled trials, with the exception of insomnia (observed at a higher rate of ≥2%).
Primary Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures: In the adjunctive therapy placebo-controlled trial for primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, the adverse reactions were generally similar to those that occurred in the partial-onset seizure placebo-controlled trials. The adverse reactions most commonly reported were dizziness, somnolence, headache, and nausea.
Pediatric Patients: Adverse reactions reported in clinical studies of pediatric patients 4 to less than 17 years of age were similar to those seen in adult patients.
Injection: In adult adjunctive therapy clinical trials for partial-onset seizures, adverse reactions with intravenous administration generally were similar to those that occurred with the oral formulation, although intravenous administration was associated with local adverse reactions such as injection site pain or discomfort (2.5%), irritation (1%), and erythema (0.5%). When administering a loading dose, the incidence of CNS adverse reactions, such as dizziness, somnolence, and paresthesia, may be higher with 15-minute administration than over a 30- to 60-minute period. The adverse reactions associated with VIMPAT injection in adult patients with primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures are expected to be similar to those seen in adults with partial-onset seizures. The adverse reactions associated with VIMPAT injection in pediatric patients are expected to be similar to those noted in adults. Infusion times less than 30 minutes were not adequately studied in pediatric patients.
VIMPAT injection is for intravenous use only when oral administration is temporarily not feasible. The loading dose for adult patients should be administered with medical supervision considering the VIMPAT pharmacokinetics and increased incidence of CNS adverse reactions. The use of a loading dose in pediatric patients has not been studied. Dosage adjustments are recommended for patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment or severe renal impairment. Use in patients with severe hepatic impairment is not recommended. Perform dose titration with caution in all patients with renal and/or hepatic impairment.
This press release contains forward-looking statements including, without limitation, statements containing the words "believes", "anticipates", "expects", "intends", "plans", "seeks", "estimates", "may", "will", "continue" and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial information, expected legal, arbitration, political, regulatory or clinical results or practices and other such estimates and results. By their nature, such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions which might cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of UCB, or industry results, to differ materially from those that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important factors that could result in such differences include: changes in general economic, business and competitive conditions, the inability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals or to obtain them on acceptable terms or within expected timing, costs associated with research and development, changes in the prospects for products in the pipeline or under development by UCB, effects of future judicial decisions or governmental investigations, safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, product liability claims, challenges to patent protection for products or product candidates, competition from other products including biosimilars, changes in laws or regulations, exchange rate fluctuations, changes or uncertainties in tax laws or the administration of such laws, and hiring and retention of its employees. There is no guarantee that new product candidates will be discovered or identified in the pipeline, or that new indications for existing products will be developed and approved. Movement from concept to commercial product is uncertain; preclinical results do not guarantee safety and efficacy of product candidates in humans. So far, the complexity of the human body cannot be reproduced in computer models, cell culture systems or animal models. The length of the timing to complete clinical trials and to get regulatory approval for product marketing has varied in the past and UCB expects similar unpredictability going forward. Products or potential products which are the subject of partnerships, joint ventures or licensing collaborations may be subject to disputes between the partners or may prove to be not as safe, effective or commercially successful as UCB may have believed at the start of such partnership. UCB' efforts to acquire other products or companies and to integrate the operations of such acquired companies may not be as successful as UCB may have believed at the moment of acquisition. Also, UCB or others could discover safety, side effects or manufacturing problems with its products and/or devices after they are marketed. The discovery of significant problems with a product similar to one of UCB's products that implicate an entire class of products may have a material adverse effect on sales of the entire class of affected products. Moreover, sales may be impacted by international and domestic trends toward managed care and health care cost containment, including pricing pressure, political and public scrutiny, customer and prescriber patterns or practices, and the reimbursement policies imposed by third-party payers as well as legislation affecting biopharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement activities and outcomes. Finally, a breakdown, cyberattack or information security breach could compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of UCB's data and systems.
Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on any of such forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labelling in any market, or at any particular time, nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be or will continue to be commercially successful in the future.
UCB is providing this information, including forward-looking statements, only as of the date of this press release and expressly disclaims any duty to update any information contained in this press release, either to confirm the actual results or to report or reflect any change in its forward-looking statements with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, unless such statement is required pursuant to applicable laws and regulations.
Additionally, information contained in this document shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any offer, solicitation or sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.
1. VIMPAT® (lacosamide) CV. U.S. Prescribing Information
3. Vossler DG, et al. Efficacy and safety of adjunctive lacosamide in the treatment of primary generalised tonic-clonic seizures: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2020; 91(10):1067-1075
4. Asadi-Pooya AA, Nikseresht A, Yaghoubi E, et al. Physical injuries in patients with epilepsy and their associated risk factors. Seizure 2012;21:165–8. 5
5. DeGiorgio CM, et al. Ranking the leading risk factors for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Front Neurol. 2017;8:473
6. European Medicine Agency: Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/smop/chmp-post-authorisation-summary-positive-opinion-vimpat-ws/1782_en.pdf