FDA Approves Skytrofa (lonapegsomatropin-tcgd) for the Once-Weekly Treatment of Pediatric Growth Hormone Deficiency
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Aug. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND), a biopharmaceutical company that utilizes its innovative TransCon technologies to potentially create new treatments that make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Skytrofa (lonapegsomatropin-tcgd) for the treatment of pediatric patients one year and older who weigh at least 11.5 kg (25.4 lb) and have growth failure due to inadequate secretion of endogenous growth hormone (GH).
As a once-weekly injection, Skytrofa is the first FDA approved product that delivers somatropin (growth hormone) by sustained release over one week.
“Today’s approval represents an important new choice for children with GHD and their families, who will now have a once-weekly treatment option. In the pivotal head-to-head clinical trial, once-weekly Skytrofa demonstrated higher annualized height velocity at week 52 compared to somatropini,” said Paul Thornton, M.B. B.Ch., MRCPI, a clinical investigator and pediatric endocrinologist in Fort Worth, Texas. “This once-weekly treatment could reduce treatment burden and potentially replace the daily somatropin therapies, which have been the standard of care for over 30 years.”
Growth hormone deficiency is a serious orphan disease characterized by short stature and metabolic complications. In GHD, the pituitary gland does not produce sufficient growth hormone, which is important not only for height but also for a child’s overall endocrine health and development.
The approval includes the new Skytrofa® Auto-Injector and cartridges which, after first removed from a refrigerator, allow families to store the medicine at room temperature for up to six months. With a weekly injection, patients switching from injections every day can experience up to 86 percent fewer injection days per year.
“Skytrofa is the first product using our innovative TransCon technology platform that we have developed from design phase through non-clinical and clinical development, manufacturing and device optimization, and out to the patients. It reflects our commitment and dedication to addressing unmet medical needs by developing a pipeline of highly differentiated proprietary products across multiple therapeutic areas,” said Jan Mikkelsen, Ascendis Pharma’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are grateful to the patients, caregivers, clinicians, clinical investigators, and our employees, who have all contributed to bringing this new treatment option to children in the U.S. with GHD.”
In connection with the commercialization of Skytrofa, the company is committed to offering a full suite of patient support programs, including educating families on proper injection procedures for Skytrofa as the first once-weekly treatment for children with GHD.
“It is wonderful that patients and their families now have the option of a once-weekly growth hormone therapy,” said Mary Andrews, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of the MAGIC Foundation, a global leader in endocrine health, advocacy, education, and support. “GHD is often overlooked and undertreated in our children and managing it can be challenging for families. We are excited about this news as treating GHD is important, and children have a short time to grow.”
The FDA approval of Skytrofa was based on results from the phase 3 heiGHt Trial, a 52-week, global, randomized, open-label, active-controlled, parallel-group trial that compared once-weekly Skytrofa to daily somatropin (Genotropin®) in 161 treatment-naïve children with GHDii. The primary endpoint was, AHV at 52 weeks for weekly Skytrofa and daily hGH treatment groups. Other endpoints included adverse events, injection-site reactions, incidence of anti-hGH antibodies, annualized height velocity, change in height SDS, proportion of subjects with IGF-1 SDS (0.0 to +2.0), PK/PD in subjects < 3 years, and preference for and satisfaction with Skytrofa.
At week 52, the treatment difference in AHV was 0.9 cm/year (11.2 cm/year for Skytrofa compared with 10.3 cm/year for daily somatropin) with a 95 percent confidence interval [0.2, 1.5] cm/year. The primary objective of non-inferiority in AHV was met for Skytrofa in this trial and further demonstrated a higher AHV at week 52 for lonapegsomatropin compared to daily somatropin, with similar safety, in treatment-naïve children with GHD.
No serious adverse events or discontinuations related to Skytrofa were reported. Most common adverse reactions (≥ 5%) in pediatric patients include: infection, viral (15%), pyrexia (15%), cough (11%), nausea and vomiting (11%), hemorrhage (7%), diarrhea (6%), abdominal pain (6%), and arthralgia and arthritis (6%)ii. In addition, both arms of the study reported low incidences of transient, non-neutralizing anti-hGH binding antibodies and no cases of persistent antibodies.
Skytrofa is a human growth hormone indicated for the treatment of pediatric patients 1 year and older who weigh at least 11.5 kg and have growth failure due to inadequate secretion of endogenous growth hormone (GH).
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Skytrofa is contraindicated in patients with:
- Acute critical illness after open heart surgery, abdominal surgery or multiple accidental trauma, or if you have acute respiratory failure due to the risk of increased mortality with use of pharmacologic doses of somatropin.
- Hypersensitivity to somatropin or any of the excipients in Skytrofa. Systemic hypersensitivity reactions have been reported with post-marketing use of somatropin products.
- Closed epiphyses for growth promotion.
- Active malignancy.
- Active proliferative or severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
- Prader-Willi syndrome who are severely obese, have a history of upper airway obstruction or sleep apnea or have severe respiratory impairment due to the risk of sudden death.
- Glucocorticoids: Skytrofa may reduce serum cortisol concentrations which may require an increase in the dose of glucocorticoids.
- Oral Estrogen: Oral estrogens may reduce the response to Skytrofa. Higher doses of Skytrofa may be required.
- Insulin and/or Other Hypoglycemic Agents: Skytrofa may decrease insulin sensitivity. Patients with diabetes mellitus may require adjustment of insulin or hypoglycemic agents.
- Cytochrome P450-Metabolized Drugs: Somatropin may increase cytochrome P450 (CYP450)-mediated antipyrine clearance. Carefully monitor patients using drugs metabolized by CYP450 liver enzymes in combination with Skytrofa.
You are encouraged to report side effects to FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects to Ascendis Pharma at 1-844-442-7236.
About Skytrofa (lonapegsomatropin-tcgd)
Skytrofa is a once-weekly prodrug designed to deliver somatropin over a one-week period. The released somatropin has the same 191 amino acid sequence as daily somatropin.
Skytrofa single-use, prefilled cartridges are available in nine dosage strengths, allowing for convenient dosing flexibility. They are designed for use only with the Skytrofa Auto-Injector and may be stored at room temperature for up to six months. The recommended dose of Skytrofa for treatment-naïve patients and patients switching from daily somatropin is 0.24 mg/kg body weight, administered once weekly. The dose may be adjusted based on the child’s weight and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) SDS.
Skytrofa has been studied in over 300 children with GHD across the Phase 3 program which consists of the heiGHt Trial (for treatment-naïve patients), the fliGHt Trial (for treatment-experienced patients), and the enliGHten Trial (an ongoing long-term extension trial). Patients who completed the heiGHt Trial or the fliGHt Trial were able to continue into the enliGHten Trial and some have been on Skytrofa for over four years.
Skytrofa is being evaluated for pediatric GHD in Phase 3 trials in Japan and Greater China, including the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Ascendis Pharma is also conducting the global Phase 3 foresiGHt Trial in adults with GHD. Skytrofa has been granted orphan designation for GHD in both the U.S. and Europe.
About TransCon™ Technologies
TransCon refers to “transient conjugation.” The proprietary TransCon platform is an innovative technology to create new therapies that are designed to potentially optimize therapeutic effect, including efficacy, safety and dosing frequency. TransCon molecules have three components: an unmodified parent drug, an inert carrier that protects it, and a linker that temporarily binds the two. When bound, the carrier inactivates and shields the parent drug from clearance. When injected into the body, physiologic conditions (e.g., pH and temperature) initiate the release of the active, unmodified parent drug in a predictable manner. Because the parent drug is unmodified, its original mode of action is expected to be maintained. TransCon technology can be applied broadly to a protein, peptide or small molecule in multiple therapeutic areas, and can be used systemically or locally.
About Ascendis Pharma A/S
Ascendis Pharma is applying its innovative platform technology to build a leading, fully integrated biopharma company focused on making a meaningful difference in patients’ lives. Guided by its core values of patients, science and passion, the company utilizes its TransCon technologies to create new and potentially best-in-class therapies.
Ascendis Pharma currently has a pipeline of multiple independent endocrinology rare disease and oncology product candidates in development. The company continues to expand into additional therapeutic areas to address unmet patient needs.
Ascendis is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, with additional facilities in Heidelberg and Berlin, Germany, in Palo Alto and Redwood City, California, and in Princeton, New Jersey.
Please visit www.ascendispharma.com (for global information) or www.ascendispharma.us (for U.S. information).
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding Ascendis’ future operations, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to (i) Ascendis’ expectations regarding the potential benefits of Skytrofa, (ii) Ascendis’ expectations regarding the projected timing of commercial availability in U.S. of Skytrofa and the Skytrofa® Auto-Injector, (iii) Ascendis’ expectations regarding a full suite of patient support programs, (iv) Ascendis’ ability to apply its platform technology to build a leading, fully integrated biopharma company, (v) Ascendis’ product pipeline and expansion into additional therapeutic areas and (vi) Ascendis’ expectations regarding its ability to utilize its TransCon technologies to create new and potentially best-in-class therapies. Ascendis may not actually achieve the plans, carry out the intentions or meet the expectations or projections disclosed in the forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions, expectations and projections disclosed in the forward-looking statements. Various important factors could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements that Ascendis makes, including the following: dependence on third party manufacturers to supply Skytrofa, the Skytrofa® Auto-Injector and other study drug for commercial sales and clinical studies; unforeseen safety or efficacy results in its Skytrofa program or other programs; unforeseen expenses related to commercialization of Skytrofa and the development of Skytrofa or other development programs, selling, general and administrative expenses, other research and development expenses and Ascendis’ business generally; delays in the development of Skytrofa or other development programs related to manufacturing, regulatory requirements or other unforeseen delays; Ascendis’ ability to obtain additional funding, if needed, to support its business activities and the effects on its business of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Ascendis’ business in general, see Ascendis’ Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 10, 2021 and Ascendis’ current and future reports filed with, or submitted to, the SEC. Forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future in-licensing, collaborations, acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures, or investments that Ascendis may enter into or make. Ascendis does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
Source: Ascendis Pharma
Posted: August 2021
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