In a New Clinical Study, Enbrel Taken Once Weekly Significantly Reduced Pain and Inflammation and Improved Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., and COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., June 19, 2003 - Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE), today announced that patients receiving ENBREL. (etanercept) 50 mg once weekly for the treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a new clinical study experienced significant improvements in function and pain that were comparable to those receiving the currently approved dose (25 mg twice weekly), and significantly better than those receiving placebo. The data were presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual Congress of Rheumatology in Lisbon, Portugal.
The multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled study randomized 434 patients based on a 4:3:1 allocation to receive either ENBREL 50 mg (2 x 25 mg doses) once weekly, ENBREL 25 mg twice weekly, or placebo for eight weeks. The primary endpoint, a 20 percent improvement in signs and symptoms of RA (known as an ACR 20 response) after eight weeks, was achieved by 50 percent of patients treated once weekly with ENBREL, 49 percent of patients treated twice weekly with ENBREL and 19 percent of patients in the placebo group.
Patients' functional status was assessed using the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). In addition, patient-reported measures assessing global status and pain were evaluated.
At week eight, improvement in HAQ was comparable for patients receiving either ENBREL dose, and significantly better than patients receiving placebo.
The average improvement from baseline in pain as reported by patients with ENBREL once weekly (33.4%) and ENBREL twice weekly (27.0%) was comparable, and higher than placebo (-19.3%). Average improvement from baseline in patient global scores showed similar results with ENBREL once weekly (26.8%), ENBREL twice weekly (26.7%) versus placebo (0.2%).
Adverse events, such as injection site reactions, infections, and headache, were similar to those reported in previous clinical trials of ENBREL. Only injection site reactions occurred more frequently in the ENBREL groups.
The most frequent adverse events in placebo-controlled RA clinical trials (n=349) 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 trial (n=415) were infections (64%), ISR (34%), and headache (24%). Only the rate of ISR was higher than that of methotrexate.
A supplemental Biologics License Application seeking to expand the labeling of ENBREL to include once-weekly dosing is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
More than two million Americans suffer from RA, a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and limitation in the motion and function of multiple joints. If left untreated, or under-treated, RA can produce serious destruction of one or more joints, which frequently leads to permanent disability and significant decline in quality of life.
ENBREL is the only fully human anti-TNF receptor approved for use to reduce the signs and symptoms of active arthritis in patients with psoriatic arthritis, and to reduce the signs and symptoms and inhibit the structural damage in patients with moderately to severely active RA. ENBREL is the only biologic therapy approved to treat newly diagnosed RA patients, and can be used alone. It is also approved to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active polyarticular-course juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) in patients as young as four years of age who have had an inadequate response to disease-modifying medicines.
Physicians have become familiar with the benefits and proven long-term tolerability profile of ENBREL. It has been used to treat over 180,000 patients worldwide across all indications since becoming commercially available four years ago.
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.
Individual results may vary. In medical studies, ENBREL worked for about two out of three adults with RA.
Since the product was first introduced, the following have been reported in patients using ENBREL:
- Many occurred in people prone to infection, such as those with advanced or poorly controlled diabetes
- Some serious infections were fatal
- Rare cases of tuberculosis
- Do not start ENBREL if you have an infection or are allergic to ENBREL or its components
- Tell your doctor if you are prone to infection
- Stop ENBREL if a serious infection occurs
- Contact your doctor if you have questions about ENBREL or develop an infection
• 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.
• Rare reports of serious blood disorders (some fatal)
- Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness
• The incidence of cancer has not increased with extended exposure to ENBREL and is similar to the expected rate.
• ENBREL can also cause injection site reactions.
• In a medical study of patients with JRA, infections, headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea occurred more frequently than in adults.
- The kinds of infections reported were generally mild and similar to those usually seen in children
- Other serious adverse reactions were reported rarely, including serious infections (2%) and depression/personality disorder (1%)
Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, market ENBREL in North America. Wyeth markets 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 (NASDAQ: AMGN) 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 (NYSE: WYE) 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 nonprescription 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.
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Justin Victoria (investors)