CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, today announced that positive new brain volume data from an ongoing clinical study of Lemtrada® (alemtuzumab) will be presented at the 68th American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting. In addition, new data from an exploratory study will be presented which demonstrate the impact of Lemtrada on retinal nerve fibers.
Lemtrada Investigational Brain Volume Data: Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients treated with interferon beta-1a in CARE-MS I and II for two years who switched to Lemtrada in the extension study experienced a reduced rate of brain volume loss over the next three years.
Median yearly brain volume loss in interferon beta-1a treated patients in year two in CARE-MS I (-0.50%) and CARE-MS II (-0.33%) was reduced in years one, two and three after switching to Lemtrada (CARE-MS I: -0.07%, -0.13%, -0.09%; CARE-MS II: 0.02%, -0.05%, -0.14%).
Lemtrada Investigational Retinal Data: A measurable improvement in retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness was seen in 26 Lemtrada-treated RRMS patients. Over two years, the change in average RNFL thickness for all eyes was +1.5 micrometers (95% CI 0.2, 2.9; p=0.032). The observed thickening of retinal fibers may reflect protection of retinal axons in these patients.
“The Lemtrada data being presented at AAN from the ongoing extension study demonstrating slowed brain volume loss over three years are consistent with sustained effects seen in prior clinical, imaging and atrophy analyses,” said Dr. Anthony Traboulsee, Associate Professor of Neurology and Medical Director of the UBC Hospital MS Clinic of Vancouver Coastal Health. “In addition, given the critical importance of neuroprotection in the treatment of MS, the retinal nerve fiber data are also exciting and support further investigation.”
In clinical trials, serious side effects associated with Lemtrada included infusion-associated reactions, autoimmune disorders (such as thyroid disease, autoimmune cytopenias, and nephropathies), infections and pneumonitis. Risk management programs incorporating education and monitoring help support early detection and management of key identified and potential risks. The most common side effects of Lemtrada are rash, headache, pyrexia, nasopharyngitis, nausea, urinary tract infection, fatigue, insomnia, upper respiratory tract infection, herpes viral infection, urticaria, pruritus, thyroid gland disorders, fungal infection, arthralgia, pain in extremity, back pain, diarrhea, sinusitis, oropharyngeal pain, paresthesia, dizziness, abdominal pain, flushing, and vomiting. (See Important Safety Information below.)
About Lemtrada® (alemtuzumab)
Lemtrada is approved in more than 50 countries, with additional marketing applications under review by regulatory authorities globally. Lemtrada is supported by a comprehensive and extensive clinical development program that involved nearly 1,500 patients worldwide and 5,400 patient-years of follow-up.
In CARE-MS I, Lemtrada was significantly more effective than interferon beta-1a at reducing annualized relapse rates; the difference observed in slowing disability progression did not reach statistical significance. In CARE-MS II, Lemtrada was significantly more effective than interferon beta-1a at reducing annualized relapse rates, and accumulation of disability was significantly slowed in patients given Lemtrada vs. interferon beta-1a.
The precise mechanism by which alemtuzumab exerts its therapeutic effects in MS is unknown. Alemtuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets CD52, a protein abundant on T and B cells. Circulating T and B cells are thought to be responsible for the damaging inflammatory process in MS. Lemtrada depletes circulating T and B lymphocytes after each treatment course. Lymphocyte counts then increase over time with a reconstitution of the lymphocyte population that varies for the different lymphocyte subtypes.
Genzyme holds the worldwide rights to alemtuzumab and has responsibility for its development and commercialization in multiple sclerosis. Bayer Healthcare receives contingent payments based on global sales revenue.
Lemtrada® (alemtuzumab) U.S. Indication
LEMTRADA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Because of its risks, LEMTRADA is generally used in people who have tried 2 or more MS medicines that have not worked well enough. It is not known if LEMTRADA is safe and effective for use in children under 17 years of age.
Do not receive LEMTRADA if you are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
LEMTRADA can cause serious side effects including:
Serious autoimmune problems: Some people receiving LEMTRADA develop a condition where the immune cells in your body attack other cells or organs in the body (autoimmunity), which can be serious and may cause death. Serious autoimmune problems may include:
• Immune thrombocytopenia, which is when reduced platelet counts in your blood cause severe bleeding that, if not treated, may cause life-threatening problems. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms: easy bruising; bleeding from a cut that is hard to stop; heavier menstrual periods than normal; bleeding from your gums or nose that is new or takes longer than usual to stop; small, scattered spots on your skin that are red, pink, or purple
• Kidney problems called anti-glomerular basement membrane disease, which can, if untreated, lead to severe kidney damage, kidney failure that needs dialysis, a kidney transplant, or death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms: blood in the urine (red or tea-colored urine); swelling of legs or feet; coughing up blood
It is important for you to have blood and urine tests before you receive, while you are receiving and every month, for 4 years or longer, after you receive your last LEMTRADA infusion.
Serious infusion reactions: LEMTRADA can cause serious infusion reactions that may cause death. Serious infusion reactions may happen while you receive, or up to 24 hours or longer after you receive LEMTRADA.
• You will receive your infusion at a healthcare facility with equipment and staff trained to manage infusion reactions, including serious allergic reactions, and urgent heart or breathing problems. You will be watched while you receive, and for 2 hours or longer after you receive, LEMTRADA. If a serious infusion reaction happens while you are receiving LEMTRADA, your infusion may be stopped.
Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms of a serious infusion reaction during the infusion, and after you have left the healthcare facility:
• swelling in your mouth or throat
• trouble breathing
• fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
• chest pain
To lower your chances of getting a serious infusion reaction, your healthcare provider will give you a medicine called corticosteroids before your first 3 infusions of a treatment course. You may also be given other medicines before or after the infusion to try to reduce your chances of having these reactions or to treat them after they happen.
Certain cancers: Receiving LEMTRADA may increase your chance of getting some kinds of cancers, including thyroid cancer, skin cancer (melanoma), and blood cancers called lymphoproliferative disorders and lymphoma. Call your healthcare provider if you have the following symptoms that may be a sign of thyroid cancer:
• new lump
• swelling in your neck
• pain in front of neck
• hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away
• trouble swallowing or breathing
• cough that is not caused by a cold
Have your skin checked before you start receiving LEMTRADA and each year while you are receiving treatment to monitor for symptoms of skin cancer.
Because of risks of autoimmunity, infusion reactions, and some kinds of cancers, LEMTRADA is only available through a restricted program called the LEMTRADA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program.
Thyroid problems: Some patients taking LEMTRADA may get an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms:
• excessive sweating
• unexplained weight loss
• eye swelling
• fast heartbeat
• unexplained weight gain
• feeling cold
• worsening tiredness
Low blood counts (cytopenias): LEMTRADA may cause a decrease in some types of blood cells. Some people with these low blood counts have increased infections. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of cytopenias such as:
• chest pain
• yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
• dark urine
• fast heartbeat
Serious infections: LEMTRADA may cause you to have a serious infection while you receive and after receiving a course of treatment. Serious infections may include:
• Herpes viral infections. Some people taking LEMTRADA have an increased chance of getting herpes viral infections. Take any medicines as prescribed by your healthcare provider to reduce your chances of getting these infections.
• Tuberculosis. Your healthcare provider should check you for tuberculosis before you receive LEMTRADA.
• Hepatitis. People who are at high risk of, or are carriers of, hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) may be at risk of irreversible liver damage.
These are not all the possible infections that could happen while on LEMTRADA. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have symptoms of a serious infection such as fever or swollen glands. Talk to your healthcare provider before you get vaccinations after receiving LEMTRADA. Certain vaccinations may increase your chances of getting infections.
Swelling of lung tissue (pneumonitis): Some people have had swelling of the lung tissue while receiving LEMTRADA. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have the following symptoms:
• shortness of breath
• chest pain or tightness
• coughing up blood
Before receiving LEMTRADA, tell your healthcare provider if you:
• are taking a medicine called Campath® (alemtuzumab)
• have bleeding, thyroid, or kidney problems
• have HIV
• have a recent history of infection
• have received a live vaccine in the past 6 weeks before receiving LEMTRADA or plan to receive any live vaccines. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if your vaccine is a live vaccine
• are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. LEMTRADA may harm your unborn baby. You should use birth control while receiving LEMTRADA and for 4 months after your course of treatment
• are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you should receive LEMTRADA or breastfeed. You should not do both.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. LEMTRADA and other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take medicines that increase your chance of getting infections, including medicines used to treat cancer or to control your immune system.
The most common side effects of LEMTRADA include:
• thyroid problems
• swelling of your nose and throat
• urinary tract infection
• feeling tired
• trouble sleeping
• upper respiratory infection
• herpes viral infection
• fungal infection
• joint pain
• pain in your arms or legs
• back pain
• sinus infection
• mouth pain or sore throat
• tingling sensation
• stomach pain
• sudden redness in face, neck, or chest
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of LEMTRADA.
You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit http://www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Sanofi Genzyme focuses on developing specialty treatments for debilitating diseases that are often difficult to diagnose and treat, providing hope to patients and their families. Learn more at www.sanofigenzyme.com.
Sanofi® is a registered trademark of Sanofi. Genzyme® and Lemtrada® are registered trademarks of Genzyme Corporation. All rights reserved.
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