BEERSE, Belgium, September 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Approval marks a new biologic treatment with alternative mechanism for
complex inflammatory disease
Janssen-Cilag International NV ("Janssen") announced today that the European Commission has approved the use of STELARA (ustekinumab), alone or in combination with methotrexate, for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis in adult patients when the response to previous non-biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy has been inadequate.
The decision from the European Commission follows a positive opinion recommending the use of STELARA from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in July 2013. STELARA is the first in a new class of biologics now available for patients living with active psoriatic arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease characterised by joint swelling and tenderness, periarticular tissue inflammation (enthesitis, inflammation of the site where ligaments or tendons insert into the bones, and dactylitis, inflammation of an entire digit, e.g., finger or toe, often called "sausage digit"), as well as psoriasis. The disease affects approximately 4.2 million people across Europe,- and there is currently no cure.
"The European Commission approval of STELARA for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis brings an important new therapeutic option to patients and marks the first treatment approved for this devastating and complex disease since the introduction of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha agents," said Jerome A. Boscia, M.D., Vice President, Head of Immunology Development, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. "Data from the Phase 3 clinical program, one of the largest conducted for a biologic to date in psoriatic arthritis, showed STELARA effective in improving symptoms and signs of active psoriatic arthritis in anti-TNF-alpha naÏve and experienced patients. We believe STELARA will play a critically important role in the treatment of this chronic disease moving forward."
The European Commission provided approval based on a review of data from two pivotal Phase 3 multicenter, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of ustekinumab, a fully human anti-interleukin (IL)-12/23p40 monoclonal antibody, administered subcutaneously, in patients with active psoriatic arthritis (PSUMMIT I and PSUMMIT II). The trials evaluated the efficacy and safety of subcutaneously administered STELARA 45 mg or 90 mg at weeks 0, 4 and then every 12 weeks. The trials included patients diagnosed with active psoriatic arthritis who had at least five tender and five swollen joints and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels of at least 0.3 mg/dL despite previous treatment with conventional therapies. PSUMMIT II also included patients who had previously experienced treatment with TNF inhibitors. The primary endpoints for both studies were the proportion of patients demonstrating at least a 20 percent improvement in arthritis signs and symptoms (American College of Rheumatology [ACR] 20) at week 24. Secondary endpoints at week 24 were: improvements in Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) scores, a 50 or 70 percent improvement in arthritis signs and symptoms (ACR 50 or ACR 70) and at least a 75 percent improvement in psoriatic skin lesions as measured by the Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI 75) in patients with at least three percent body surface area involvement with psoriasis at baseline. The studies also captured improvements in enthesitis and dactylitis scores for patients with enthesitis and/or dactylitis at baseline.