-If approved, more than 1,200 children would be newly eligible for a medicine that could treat the underlying cause of their disease-
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion for the label extension of KAFTRIO® (ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor) in a combination regimen with ivacaftor, for the treatment of children with cystic fibrosis (CF) ages 2 through 5 years old who have at least one F508del mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene.
“KAFTRIO has demonstrated unprecedented clinical benefit for eligible people living with CF,” said Nia Tatsis, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Regulatory and Quality Officer at Vertex. “Treating the underlying cause of CF as early as possible in life has the potential to slow disease progression, which is why we are pleased the CHMP is supportive of expanding the indication for KAFTRIO to patients as young as 2 years.”
In the European Union, KAFTRIO® (ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor) in a combination regimen with ivacaftor is already approved for the treatment of people with CF ages 6 years and older who have at least one copy of the F508del mutation in the CFTR gene.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a rare, life-shortening genetic disease affecting more than 88,000 people globally. CF is a progressive, multi-organ disease that affects the lungs, liver, pancreas, GI tract, sinuses, sweat glands and reproductive tract. CF is caused by a defective and/or missing CFTR protein resulting from certain mutations in the CFTR gene. Children must inherit two defective CFTR genes — one from each parent — to have CF, and these mutations can be identified by a genetic test. While there are many different types of CFTR mutations that can cause the disease, the vast majority of people with CF have at least one F508del mutation. CFTR mutations lead to CF by causing CFTR protein to be defective or by leading to a shortage or absence of CFTR protein at the cell surface. The defective function and/or absence of CFTR protein results in poor flow of salt and water into and out of the cells in a number of organs. In the lungs, this leads to the buildup of abnormally thick, sticky mucus, chronic lung infections and progressive lung damage that eventually leads to death for many patients. The median age of death is in the early 30s.
About KAFTRIO® (ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor) in A Combination Regimen With Ivacaftor
In people with certain types of mutations in the CFTR gene, the CFTR protein is not processed or folded normally within the cell, and this can prevent the CFTR protein from reaching the cell surface and functioning properly. KAFTRIO® (ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor is an oral medicine designed to increase the quantity and function of the CFTR protein at the cell surface. Elexacaftor and tezacaftor work together to increase the amount of mature protein at the cell surface by binding to different sites on the CFTR protein. Ivacaftor, which is known as a CFTR potentiator, is designed to facilitate the ability of CFTR proteins to transport salt and water across the cell membrane. The combined actions of ivacaftor, tezacaftor and elexacaftor help hydrate and clear mucus from the airways.
KAFTRIO® (ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor is approved in the European Union for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients aged 6 years and older who have at least one copy of the F508del mutation in the CFTR gene.
For complete product information, please see the Summary of Product Characteristics that can be found on www.ema.europa.eu.
U.S. INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR TRIKAFTA® (elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and ivacaftor)
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
TRIKAFTA (elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and ivacaftor) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients aged 2 years and older who have at least one copy of the F508del mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene or another mutation that is responsive to treatment with TRIKAFTA. Patients should talk to their doctor to learn if they have an indicated CF gene mutation. It is not known if TRIKAFTA is safe and effective in children under 2 years of age.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Before taking TRIKAFTA, patients should tell their doctor about all of their medical conditions, including if they: are allergic to TRIKAFTA or any ingredients in TRIKAFTA, have kidney problems, have or have had liver problems, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant because it is not known if TRIKAFTA will harm an unborn baby, or are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed because it is not known if TRIKAFTA passes into breast milk.
Patients should tell their doctor about all the medicines they take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. TRIKAFTA may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how TRIKAFTA works. The dose of TRIKAFTA may need to be adjusted when taken with certain medicines. Patients should ask their doctor or pharmacist for a list of these medicines if they are not sure. Patients should especially tell their doctor if they take: antibiotics such as rifampin or rifabutin; seizure medicines such as phenobarbital, carbamazepine, or phenytoin; St. John’s wort; antifungal medicines including ketoconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, or fluconazole; antibiotics including telithromycin, clarithromycin, or erythromycin.
Patients should avoid food or drink that contains grapefruit while taking TRIKAFTA.
TRIKAFTA can cause serious side effects, including:
Liver damage and worsening of liver function in patients with severe liver disease that can be serious and may require transplantation. Liver damage has also happened in patients without liver disease.
High liver enzymes in the blood, which is a common side effect in patients treated with TRIKAFTA. These can be serious and may be a sign of liver injury. The patient’s doctor will do blood tests to check their liver before they start TRIKAFTA, every 3 months during the first year of taking TRIKAFTA, and every year while taking TRIKAFTA. Patients should call their doctor right away if they have any of the following symptoms of liver problems: pain or discomfort in the upper right stomach (abdominal) area; yellowing of the skin or the white part of the eyes; loss of appetite; nausea or vomiting; dark, amber-colored urine.
Serious allergic reactions have happened to patients who are treated with TRIKAFTA. Call your healthcare provider or go to the emergency room right away if you have any symptoms of an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: rash or hives; tightness of the chest or throat or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips and/or tongue; difficulty swallowing; and light-headedness or dizziness.
Abnormality of the eye lens (cataract) has been noted in some children and adolescents treated with TRIKAFTA. If the patient is a child or adolescent, their doctor should perform eye examinations before and during treatment with TRIKAFTA to look for cataracts.
The most common side effects of TRIKAFTA include headache, upper respiratory tract infection (common cold) including stuffy and runny nose, stomach (abdominal) pain, diarrhea, rash, increase in liver enzymes, increase in a certain blood enzyme called creatine phosphokinase, flu (influenza), inflamed sinuses, and increase in blood bilirubin.
Patients should tell their doctor if they have any side effect that bothers them or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of TRIKAFTA. For more information, patients should ask their doctor or pharmacist.
Please click here to see the full U.S. Prescribing Information for TRIKAFTA (elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and ivacaftor).
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases. The company has multiple approved medicines that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) — a rare, life-threatening genetic disease — and has several ongoing clinical and research programs in CF. Beyond CF, Vertex has a robust clinical pipeline of investigational small molecule, mRNA, cell and genetic therapies (including gene editing) in other serious diseases where it has deep insight into causal human biology, including sickle cell disease, beta thalassemia, APOL1-mediated kidney disease, acute and neuropathic pain, type 1 diabetes and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex's global headquarters is now located in Boston's Innovation District and its international headquarters is in London. Additionally, the company has research and development sites and commercial offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry's top places to work, including 13 consecutive years on Science magazine's Top Employers list and one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. For company updates and to learn more about Vertex's history of innovation, visit www.vrtx.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, without limitation, statements made by Nia Tatsis, Ph.D., in this press release and statements regarding our expectations for regulatory approval and a label extension for KAFTRIO (ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor, the estimated number of children eligible for a medicine that can treat the underlying cause of their disease for the first time and our beliefs regarding the benefits of our medicines. While Vertex believes the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are accurate, these forward-looking statements represent the company's beliefs only as of the date of this press release and there are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, among other things, that data from the company’s development programs may not support a label extension for KAFTRIO (ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor, the European Commission may not approve the company’s applications for KAFTRIO (ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor on a timely basis or at all, and other risks listed under the heading “Risk Factors” in Vertex's annual report and in subsequent filings filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available through the company's website at vrtx.com and www.sec.gov. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Vertex disclaims any obligation to update the information contained in this press release as new information becomes available.