THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced that the Phase 3 DESCARTES (Durable Effect of PCSK9 Antibody CompARed wiTh PlacEbo Study) study evaluating the long-term 52-week safety and efficacy of evolocumab for the treatment of high cholesterol met its primary endpoint of percent reduction from baseline in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) at week 52. The mean percent reduction in LDL-C, or "bad" cholesterol, was consistent with the results observed in the 52-week analysis of the Phase 2 OSLER (Open Label Study of Long TERm Evaluation Against LDL-C) study.
Evolocumab is an investigational fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), a protein that reduces the liver's ability to remove LDL-C from the blood.1
The DESCARTES study evaluated safety, tolerability and efficacy in 901 patients with high LDL-C and a range of cardiovascular risk. Background lipid-lowering therapy was optimized to one of four treatment groups (diet alone; diet plus atorvastatin 10 mg; diet plus atorvastatin 80 mg; and diet plus atorvastatin 80 mg plus ezetimibe 10 mg) for individual patients based on their LDL-C and cardiovascular risk. Patients with a fasting LDL-C ≥ 75 mg/dL were then randomized to receive monthly subcutaneous evolocumab 420 mg or placebo in combination with background lipid-lowering therapy.
Evolocumab significantly reduced LDL-C, as measured by the accepted standard, preparative ultracentrifugation, from baseline at week 52 compared to placebo. LDL-C reduction at week 12 was consistent with the long-term efficacy at week 52.
Safety was balanced across treatment groups. The most common adverse events (> 5 percent in evolocumab) were nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, influenza and back pain.
"Data from the Phase 3 DESCARTES study of evolocumab add to the promising safety and efficacy data we recently saw in the MENDEL-2 study and 52-week Phase 2 OSLER study," said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "These data contribute to the growing body of research suggesting that evolocumab may offer a new treatment option for patients with dyslipidemia."
Details of the DESCARTES study results will be submitted to a future medical conference and for publication.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 71 million American adults have high LDL-C.2 Elevated LDL-C is recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.3-4
DESCARTES Study Design
DESCARTES (Durable Effect of PCSK9 Antibody CompARed wiTh PlacEbo Study) is a Phase 3 randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to evaluate the long-term (52-week) safety, tolerability and efficacy of evolocumab in patients with hyperlipidemia at risk for cardiovascular disease. Background lipid-lowering therapy was optimized to one of four treatment groups (diet alone; diet plus atorvastatin 10 mg; diet plus atorvastatin 80 mg; and diet plus atorvastatin 80 mg plus ezetimibe 10 mg) for individual patients based on their LDL-C and cardiovascular risk according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP ATP) III risk categories. After optimization, patients were maintained on therapy for at least four weeks. A total of 901 patients with a fasting LDL-C ≥ 75 mg/dL were then randomized and received monthly subcutaneous evolocumab 420 mg or placebo in combination with background lipid-lowering therapy.
The primary endpoint was percent change from baseline in LDL-C, measured by the accepted standard, preparative ultracentrifugation, after 52 weeks of treatment. Secondary efficacy endpoints included the percent change from baseline in LDL-C and LDL-C response (LDL-C <70 mg/dL [1.8 mmol/L]) at week 52, percent change from baseline in LDL-C and total cholesterol (TC) at week 12, and percent change from baseline at week 52 in TC, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C), apolipoprotein B (ApoB), TC/HDL-C ratio, ApoB/apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1) ratio, lipoprotein(a), triglycerides, HDL-C and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C).
About PROFICIO: The Evolocumab Clinical Trial Program
PROFICIO, which stands for the Program to Reduce LDL-C and Cardiovascular Outcomes Following Inhibition of PCSK9 In Different POpulations, is a large and comprehensive clinical trial program evaluating evolocumab. Phase 3 clinical trials for evolocumab are currently underway and build upon the Phase 2 studies.
The Phase 3 program includes 13 trials, with a combined planned enrollment of more than 28,000 patients. The Phase 3 studies will evaluate evolocumab administered every two weeks and monthly in multiple patient populations, including in combination with statins in patients with hyperlipidemia (LAPLACE-2), in patients with hyperlipidemia who cannot tolerate statins (GAUSS-2), as a stand-alone treatment in patients with hyperlipidemia (MENDEL-2), and in patients whose elevated cholesterol is caused by genetic disorders called heterozygous (RUTHERFORD-2) and homozygous (TESLA and TAUSSIG) familial hypercholesterolemia.
Five studies of evolocumab will provide long-term safety and efficacy data. These include FOURIER (Further Cardiovascular OUtcomes Research with PCSK9 Inhibition in Subjects with Elevated Risk), which will assess whether treatment with evolocumab in combination with statin therapy compared to placebo and statin therapy reduces recurrent cardiovascular events in approximately 22,500 patients with cardiovascular disease, DESCARTES (Durable Effect of PCSK9 Antibody CompARed wiTh PlacEbo Study) in patients with hyperlipidemia at risk for cardiovascular disease, and GLAGOV (GLobal Assessment of Plaque ReGression with a PCSK9 AntibOdy as Measured by IntraVascular Ultrasound), which will determine the effect of evolocumab on coronary atherosclerosis in approximately 950 patients undergoing cardiac catheterization.
Additional information about clinical trials of evolocumab can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Evolocumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9).1 PCSK9 is a protein that targets LDL receptors for degradation and thereby reduces the liver's ability to remove LDL-C, or "bad" cholesterol, from the blood.5 Evolocumab, being developed by Amgen scientists, is designed to bind to PCSK9 and inhibit PCSK9 from binding to LDL receptors on the liver surface. In the absence of PCSK9, there are more LDL receptors on the surface of the liver to remove LDL-C from the blood.1
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be the world's largest independent biotechnology company, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
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1. Amgen Data on File, Investigator Brochure.
2. CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vital Signs: Prevalence, Treatment, and Control of High Levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol --- United States, 1999--2002 and 2005-2008. February 4, 2011. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6004a5.htm?s_cid=mm6004a5_w. Accessed November 2013.
3. American Heart Association (2012). Why cholesterol matters. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/WhyCholesterolMatters/Why-Cholesterol-Matters_UCM_001212_Article.jsp. Accessed November 2013.
4. World Health Organization. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2010. Geneva, 2011.
5. Abifadel M, et al. Mutations in PCSK9 cause autosomal dominant hypercholesterolemia. Nat Genet 2003;34:154-156.