Amgen And Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Announce Initiation Of Landmark Study In Rheumatoid Arthritis
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., and RADNOR, Penn., October 17, 2002 - Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE)day announced the initiation of the largest clinical trial to date to evaluate the impact of a Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) inhibitor in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the United States. This second phase of a 10,000-patient study known as RADIUS (Rheumatoid Arthritis DMARD Intervention and Utilization Study) will compare the safety, efficacy and treatment patterns of 5,000 RA patients treated with ENBREL (etanercept) with that of 5,000 patients treated with a variety of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in the first phase.
"This study will improve the quality of information on which practicing rheumatologists base their treatment decisions," said Dr. Allan Gibofsky, professor of medicine and public health at the Weill Cornell Medical College and an independent advisor to the study.
RADIUS will evaluate patients who meet American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for RA, and who require a change or addition of a new DMARD. ENBREL will be used in eligible patients either as monotherapy or in addition to the patient's current DMARD treatment. Investigators in over 450 study sites will conduct the study and data will be collected for at least five years.
"Rheumatologists have treated over 129,000 patients with ENBREL and have four years of post-marketing experience, so they are already very familiar with its benefits in treating RA and with its proven long-term safety profile," said Dr. Daniel Burge, Amgen's vice president of clinical research. "We are excited to draw from this experience and learn more about the use of ENBREL in a real world setting."
The drug used to initiate RADIUS 2 was produced in a new manufacturing facility for ENBREL located in Rhode Island. This facility is under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
ENBREL is the only fully human, soluble TNF receptor approved to reduce the signs and symptoms and inhibit the structural damage in patients with moderately to severely active RA, and to reduce the signs and symptoms of active arthritis in patients with psoriatic arthritis. ENBREL is the only biologic therapy approved for first line treatment of RA patients, and can be used alone.
ENBREL acts by binding TNF, one of the dominant inflammatory cytokines or regulatory proteins that play an important role in both normal immune function and the cascade of reactions that causes the inflammatory process of psoriatic arthritis and RA. The binding of ENBREL to TNF renders the bound TNF biologically inactive, resulting in significant reduction in inflammatory activity.
Important Treatment Considerations
SINCE THE PRODUCT WAS FIRST INTRODUCED, SERIOUS INFECTIONS, SOME INVOLVING DEATH, HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN PATIENTS USING ENBREL. MANY OF THESE INFECTIONS OCCURRED IN PATIENTS WHO WERE PRONE TO INFECTIONS, SUCH AS THOSE WITH ADVANCED OR POORLY CONTROLLED DIABETES. RARE CASES OF TUBERCULOSIS HAVE ALSO BEEN REPORTED. ENBREL SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED IN PATIENTS WITH SERIOUS INFECTIONS. DO NOT START ENBREL IF YOU HAVE AN INFECTION OF ANY TYPE OR IF YOU HAVE AN ALLERGY TO ENBREL OR ITS COMPONENTS. ENBREL SHOULD BE USED WITH CAUTION IN PATIENTS PRONE TO INFECTION. CONTACT YOUR PHYSICIAN IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ENBREL OR INFECTIONS.
There have been reports of serious nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis, seizures, or inflammation of the nerves of the eyes. Tell your doctor if you have ever had any of these disorders or if you develop them after starting ENBREL (etanercept). There have also been rare reports of serious blood disorders, some involving death. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. It is unclear if ENBREL has caused these nervous system or blood disorders. If your doctor confirms serious blood problems, you may need to stop using ENBREL.
The most frequent adverse events in placebo-controlled RA clinical trials involving 349 adults were injection site reactions (ISR) (37%), infections (35%), and headache (17%). Only the rate of ISR was higher than that of placebo. The most frequent adverse events in a methotrexate-controlled clinical trial of 415 adults with early-stage RA were infections (64%), ISR (34%), and headache (24%). Of these, only the rate of ISR was higher than that of methotrexate. In all 1,197 RA patients studied, malignancies were rare (1%).
Adverse events in the psoriatic arthritis trial were similar to those reported in RA clinical trials.
Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, market ENBREL in North America. Other Wyeth affiliates market ENBREL outside of North America. Immunex Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen, manufactures ENBREL. Additional information about ENBREL, including full Prescribing Information, can be found on the Web site sponsored by the companies at www.enbrel.com or by calling toll free 888-4ENBREL (888-436-2735).
Amgen is a global biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets important human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular biology.
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, has leading products in the areas of women's health care, cardiovascular disease, central nervous system, inflammation, hemophilia, oncology and vaccines. Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The Company's major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve significant risks and uncertainties, including those discussed below and more fully described in the Securities and Exchange Commission reports filed by Amgen, including our most recent Form 10-Q. Amgen conducts research in the biotechnology/ pharmaceutical field where movement from concept to product is uncertain; consequently, there can be no guarantee that any particular product candidate will be successful and become a commercial product.
Furthermore, our research, testing, pricing, marketing and other operations are subject to extensive regulation by domestic and foreign government regulatory authorities. In addition, sales of our products are affected by reimbursement policies imposed by third party payors, including governments, private insurance plans and managed care providers. These government regulations and reimbursement policies may affect the development, usage and pricing of our products.
In addition, while we routinely obtain patents for our products and technology, the protection offered by our patents and patent applications may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented by our competitors.
Because forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from current results expected by Amgen. Amgen is providing this information as of October 17, 2002, and expressly disclaims any duty to update information contained in this press release.
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Amgen Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Rebecca Hamm (media) Douglas Petkus (media)
Cary Rosansky (investors) Justin Victoria (investors)
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