Basel, 26 April 2013
Roche gains CHMP positive opinion for RoACTEMRA for children living with a rare form of arthritis in Europe
Medicine Offers a New Option for the Treatment of Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (PJIA)
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that the EU Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a positive opinion for RoACTEMRA (tocilizumab) for the treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA) in patients two years of age or older who have responded inadequately to previous treatment with methotrexate (MTX). RoACTEMRA, known as ACTEMRA outside Europe, can be given alone or in combination with MTX in people with PJIA.
PJIA is a form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disease of childhood.1 JIA affects approximately 100 in every 100,000 children2 of which PJIA accounts for around 30 percent.3 PJIA is characterised by inflammation in five or more joints within the first six months of the disease and most commonly affects the small joints in the body such as the hands and feet.3
“Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a rare debilitating condition in children that worsens over time,” said Hal Barron, M.D., chief medical officer and head, Global Product Development. “The positive opinion is a first step towards offering RoACTEMRA to doctors and parents of children aged two or older to help improve the signs and symptoms of this often painful disease.”
About the CHERISH Study
The expanded indication for RoACTEMRA was based on positive data from the Phase III CHERISH study in children with PJIA, which had an open label phase, followed by a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled withdrawal phase. The study demonstrated that patients treated with RoACTEMRA experienced clinically meaningful improvement in signs and symptoms of PJIA. A total of 91 percent of patients taking RoACTEMRA plus MTX and 83 percent of patients taking RoACTEMRA alone achieved an ACR 30 response at week 16 compared to baseline. In the randomised double-blind placebo-controlled withdrawal phase of the trial, RoACTEMRA-treated patients experienced significantly fewer disease flares compared to placebo-treated patients [26 percent (21/82) vs. 48 percent (39/81)].
The safety data collected to date for RoACTEMRA in PJIA patients is consistent with that observed in previous studies in RoACTEMRA-treated patients.4 In the CHERISH study, infections were the most common adverse events (AEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs) over 40-weeks. Laboratory abnormalities known to occur with RoACTEMRA were also observed in this study, including decreases in white blood cell counts and platelet counts, and elevation in ALT and AST liver enzyme levels.
About RoACTEMRA® (tocilizumab)
RoACTEMRA is the first humanised interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist monoclonal antibody approved for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have had an inadequate response to one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The extensive RoACTEMRA clinical development programme included five Phase III clinical studies and enrolled more than 4,000 people with RA in 41 countries. In addition, RoACTEMRA is also approved for the treatment of active systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in patients two years of age and older.
RoACTEMRA is part of a co-development agreement with Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. and has been approved in Japan since June 2005. RoACTEMRA is approved in the European Union, and several other countries, including the United States, China, India, Brazil, Switzerland and Australia.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, infectious diseases, inflammation, metabolism and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2012 Roche had over 82,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.
All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.
1.Beukelman, T et al. 2011 American College of Rheumatology Recommendations for the Treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Initiation and Safety Monitoring of Therapeutic Agents for the Treatment of Arthritis and Systemic Features. Arthritis Care & Research. 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222233/. Accessed April 2, 2013.
2.Woo, P. Systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: diagnosis, management, and outcome. Nature Clinical Practice: Rheumatology. 2006. 2:1.
3.Macaubas,Claudia et all. Oligoarticular and polyarticular JIA: epidemiology and pathogenesis. Nature Reviews. 2009 vl 5.
4.De Benedetti F, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2011; 70 (Suppl. 3):67.