FDA expands approval of Vertex' cystic fibrosis medicine to treat children aged 12 to <24 months

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved KALYDECO® (ivacaftor) to include use in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) ages 12 to <24 months who have at least one mutation in their cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene that is responsive to KALYDECO based on clinical and/or in vitro assay data.

"Cystic fibrosis is a chronic, progressive disease that is present at birth, with symptoms often occurring in infancy," said Reshma Kewalramani, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Vertex. "With today's approval, parents and physicians now have a medicine to treat the underlying cause of CF in patients as young as one year of age. We are excited about the progress of our portfolio and continue to support additional research on the potential benefit of early intervention with all of our medicines, with the goal of bringing a treatment to all people living with CF."

This FDA approval is based on data from the ongoing Phase 3 open-label safety study (ARRIVAL) of 25 children with CF aged 12 to <24 months who have one of 10 mutations in the CFTR gene (G551D, G178R, S549N, S549R, G551S, G1244E, S1251N, S1255P, G1349D or R117H). The study demonstrated a safety profile consistent with that observed in previous Phase 3 studies of older children and adults; most adverse events were mild or moderate in severity, and no patient discontinued due to adverse events. Two patients had elevated liver enzymes greater than eight times the upper limit of normal, but continued to receive KALYDECO after a dose interruption. The most common adverse events (≥30%) were cough (74%), pyrexia (37%), elevated aspartate aminotransferase (37%), elevated alanine aminotransferase (32%) and runny nose (32%). Four serious adverse events were observed in two patients.

Mean baseline sweat chloride for the children in this study was 104.1 mmol/L (n=14). Following 24 weeks of treatment with KALYDECO, the mean sweat chloride level was 33.8 mmol/L (n=14). In the 10 subjects with paired sweat chloride samples at baseline and week 24, there was a mean absolute change of -73.5 mmol/L. These data were presented at the 41st European Cystic Fibrosis Society (ECFS) Conference in June 2018 and published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine (Volume 6, No 7, July 2018).

"I'm very excited about the approval of ivacaftor in children ages 12 to less than 24 months as this is the first regulatory approval of a CFTR modulator in this age group," said Margaret Rosenfeld, M.D., MPH, Seattle Children's Research Institute and Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. "The premise of newborn screening for CF is to intervene very early in the course of disease with the goal of improving long term outcomes, so this is a significant milestone for parents and caregivers of young children with CF."

KALYDECO was already approved in the U.S. for the treatment of CF in patients ages 2 and older who have one of 38 ivacaftor-responsive mutations in the CFTR gene based on clinical and/or in vitro assay data. Vertex submitted a Marketing Authorization Application for a line extension (ages 12 to <24 months) to the European Medicines Agency with a decision anticipated in the first half of 2019.​

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