THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., May 14, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) today announced the submission of a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for denosumab, a subcutaneous RANK Ligand inhibitor. The BLA submission summarizes clinical experience from nearly 6,900 patients across 18 clinical studies, including approximately 5,700 patients with advanced cancer in the three, pivotal, Phase 3, head-to-head trials versus Zometa(R) (zoledronic acid).
Bone metastases, the spread of tumors to the skeleton, are a serious concern for many patients with advanced cancer. When cancer spreads to the bone, the growing cancer cells weaken and destroy the bone around the tumor, often producing serious clinical consequences such as fractures, spinal cord compression, or the need to receive radiation or surgery to bone. These events are collectively called skeletal-related events (SREs). The RANK/RANKL pathway is believed to play a central role in cancer-induced bone destruction, regardless of cancer type. Denosumab is the first therapy to target this important pathway.
"We believe that denosumab will offer substantial benefit to cancer patients suffering from bony metastases," said Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "Denosumab, administered monthly as a 120 mg dose subcutaneously, demonstrated consistently similar or greater efficacy in clinical trials when compared to zolendronic acid, offering the potential to improve on the current standard of care. One potential advantage of denosumab is that dose adjustments resulting from declining renal function are not necessary."
Amgen intends to submit marketing applications shortly in the European Union, Switzerland, Canada and Australia, and also in Japan, working with its licensing partner, Daiichi-Sankyo. Amgen and Daiichi-Sankyo Company, Limited, have a collaboration and license agreement for the development and commercialization of denosumab in Japan.
This BLA represents the second marketing application for denosumab that has been submitted to FDA; denosumab is currently being reviewed under the trade name Prolia(TM) for conditions related to bone loss. For that application, the FDA has set a corresponding Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date of July 25, 2010.
Bone Metastases: Prevalence and Impact
Bone metastases occur in more than 1.5 million patients with cancer worldwide and are most commonly associated with cancers of the prostate, lung, and breast, with incidence rates as high as 75 percent of patients with metastatic disease(i).
The economic burden of U.S. patients with bone metastases is significant and is estimated to be $12.6 billion annually(ii). Patients with bone metastases who experience an SRE incur significantly higher medical costs compared with those who do not experience an SRE(iii).
About Denosumab and Amgen's Research in Bone Biology
Denosumab is the first fully human monoclonal antibody in late stage clinical development that specifically targets RANK Ligand, the essential regulator of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bone). The denosumab development program is the largest ever initiated by Amgen. This broad and deep development program demonstrates Amgen's commitment to researching and delivering pioneering medicines to patients with unmet medical needs. Amgen is studying denosumab in numerous tumor types across the spectrum of cancer-related bone diseases. Over 11,000 patients have been enrolled in the denosumab oncology clinical trials, testing the drug for the reduction of SREs in patients with breast and prostate cancer, as well as other solid tumors and multiple myeloma, for the amelioration of treatment-induced bone loss in patients with non-metastatic breast or prostate cancers, and for its potential to delay bone metastases in prostate cancer.
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit http://www.amgen.com/.
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(i) Coleman RE. Skeletal complications of malignancy.Cancer Suppl.1997: 80(8):1588
(ii) Schulman K and Kohles J. Cancer. 2007;109:2334-2342.
(iii) GVD/Barber ISPOR 2008 Poster; Schulman 2007; Delea et al. 2006.
SOURCE Amgen Inc.