Heart attacks are often the result of vulnerable plaque ruptures.1,2,3,4,5 Key features of vulnerable plaques are a large lipid core with a thin fibrous cap that serves as a wall or barrier around the plaque to keep it intact.6 The HUYGENS study assessed whether Repatha, in addition to optimized statin therapy, could increase the thickness of the fibrous caps, to ultimately improve a feature of plaque stability.
The HUYGENS study met its primary endpoint, with Repatha in addition to optimized statin therapy increasing fibrous cap thickness by 42.7 um in comparison with an increase of 21.5 um (75% increase versus 39%) on optimized statin therapy alone (p=0.01), as measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Thus, the addition of Repatha improved this feature twice as well as statins alone. Repatha also improved all of the study's secondary endpoints, including decreasing the maximum lipid arc by -57.5° versus -31.4° (p=0.01), as measured by OCT.
"The majority of acute coronary syndrome events are caused by plaque rupture, and those
Results from the randomized, double-blind 52-week study in ACS patients on optimized statin therapy demonstrate that Repatha treatment, initiated within a week after the ACS event, reduced LDL-C from 140 to 28 mg/dL (-80%) versus reductions from 142 to 87 mg/dL (-39%) with statin optimization alone. No new safety risks were identified. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events (>3%) were angina pectoris, myalgia, hypertension, diarrhea, fatigue and cough.
While HUYGENS did not evaluate cardiovascular outcomes, the results build on the growing body of evidence already supporting the clinical profile of Repatha. The HUYGENS study results add relevant insights to the science of plaque biology and contribute to our understanding of the important benefits of initiating Repatha after a heart attack. Fifty clinical trials, conducted with over 47,000 patients randomized to Repatha or placebo, have demonstrated the clinical benefits of Repatha, which include reduction in myocardial infarction and stroke, rapid (within four weeks) and dramatic LDL-C lowering over the long term (median 2.2 years), and consistent safety over a five-year treatment period generally consistent with the FOURIER study.7
About the Data
Previous studies include GLAGOV which showed Repatha, when added to optimal statin therapy, reduced plaque burden by decreasing plaque atheroma volume in patients with CAD.8 This was the first study to demonstrate that lowering LDL-C levels through PCSK9 inhibition reduces atherosclerotic plaque burden.
HUYGENS demonstrated that Repatha in addition to optimized statin therapy, in comparison with optimized statin therapy alone, significantly improved a key feature of plaque stability in patients with CAD by increasing the fibrous cap thickness. HUYGENS may offer mechanistic insight for the CV event reduction seen in the FOURIER outcomes study.9
About Amgen in the Cardiovascular Therapeutic Area
Building on more than three decades of experience in developing biotechnology medicines for patients with serious illnesses, Amgen is dedicated to addressing important scientific questions to advance care and improve the lives of patients with cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.10
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.
About Repatha® (evolocumab)
Repatha is a human monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9). Repatha binds to PCSK9 and inhibits circulating PCSK9 from binding to the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor (LDLR), preventing PCSK9-mediated LDLR degradation and permitting LDLR to recycle back to the liver cell surface. By inhibiting the binding of PCSK9 to LDLR, Repatha increases the number of LDLRs available to clear LDL from the blood, thereby lowering LDL-C levels.
Repatha is approved in 76 countries, including the U.S., Japan, China and in all 27 countries that are members of the European Union. Applications in other countries are pending.
Repatha® is a PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) inhibitor antibody indicated:
The safety and effectiveness of Repatha® have not been established in pediatric patients with HoFH
Please see full Prescribing Information.
Important EU Product Information
In Europe, Repatha is approved for use in:
Hypercholesterolaemia and mixed dyslipidaemia
Repatha is indicated in adults with primary hypercholesterolaemia (heterozygous familial and non–familial) or mixed dyslipidaemia, as an adjunct to diet:
Homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia
Repatha is indicated in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over with homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia in combination with other lipid-lowering therapies.
Established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
Repatha is indicated in adults with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke or peripheral arterial disease) to reduce cardiovascular risk by lowering LDL-C levels, as an adjunct to correction of other risk factors:
Primary hypercholesterolaemia and mixed dyslipidaemia in adults
The recommended dose of Repatha is either 140 mg every two weeks or 420 mg once monthly; both doses are clinically equivalent.
Homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over
The initial recommended dose is 420 mg once monthly. After 12 weeks of treatment, dose frequency can be up–titrated to 420 mg once every 2 weeks if a clinically meaningful response is not achieved. Patients on apheresis may initiate treatment with 420 mg every two weeks to correspond with their apheresis schedule.
Established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in adults
The recommended dose of Repatha is either 140 mg every two weeks or 420 mg once monthly; both doses are clinically equivalent.
Important Safety Information
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients.
Special Warnings and Precautions: Traceability: In order to improve the traceability of biological medicinal products, the name and the batch number of the administered product should be clearly recorded. Hepatic impairment: In patients with moderate hepatic impairment, a reduction in total evolocumab exposure was observed that may lead to a reduced effect on LDL-C reduction. Therefore, close monitoring may be warranted in these patients. Patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C) have not been studied. Repatha should be used with caution in patients with severe hepatic impairment. Dry natural rubber: The needle cover of the glass pre-filled syringe and of the pre-filled pen is made from dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause severe allergic reactions. Sodium content: Repatha contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, i.e. it is essentially 'sodium-free'.
Interactions: No interaction studies have been performed. No studies on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics interaction between Repatha and lipid-lowering medicinal products other than statins and ezetimibe have been conducted.
Fertility, Pregnancy and Lactation: There are no or limited amount of data from the use of Repatha in pregnant women. Repatha should not be used during pregnancy unless the clinical condition of the woman requires treatment with evolocumab. It is unknown whether evolocumab is excreted in human milk. A risk to breastfed newborns/infants cannot be excluded. No data on the effect of evolocumab on human fertility are available.
Undesirable Effects: The following common (> 1/100 to < 1/10) adverse reactions have been reported in pivotal, controlled clinical studies: influenza, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, hypersensitivity, rash, headache, nausea, back pain, arthralgia, myalgia, injection site reactions. Please consult the SmPC for a full description of undesirable effects.
Pharmaceutical Precautions: Store in a refrigerator (2 degrees C – 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Keep the pre-filled syringe or the pre-filled pen in the original carton in order to protect from light. Keep the cartridge in the original carton in order to protect from light and moisture. If removed from the refrigerator, Repatha may be stored at room temperature (up to 25 degrees C) in the original carton and must be used within 1 month.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the current expectations and beliefs of Amgen. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements on the outcome, benefits and synergies of collaborations, or potential collaborations, with any other company, including Adaptive Biotechnologies (including statements regarding such collaboration's, or our own, ability to discover and develop fully-human neutralizing antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 to potentially prevent or treat COVID-19), BeiGene, Ltd., or the Otezla® (apremilast) acquisition, including anticipated Otezla sales growth and the timing of non-GAAP EPS accretion, as well as estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial metrics, expected legal, arbitration, political, regulatory or clinical results or practices, customer and prescriber patterns or practices, reimbursement activities and outcomes, effects of pandemics or other widespread health problems such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business, outcomes, progress, or effects relating to studies of Otezla as a potential treatment for COVID-19, and other such estimates and results. Forward-looking statements 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 annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent periodic reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. Unless otherwise noted, Amgen is providing this information as of the date of this news release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those we project. Discovery or identification of new product candidates or development of new indications for existing products cannot be guaranteed and movement from concept to product is uncertain; consequently, there can be no guarantee that any particular product candidate or development of a new indication for an existing product will be successful and become a commercial product. Further, preclinical results do not guarantee safe and effective performance of product candidates in humans. The complexity of the human body cannot be perfectly, or sometimes, even adequately modeled by computer or cell culture systems or animal models. The length of time that it takes for us to complete clinical trials and obtain regulatory approval for product marketing has in the past varied and we expect similar variability in the future. Even when clinical trials are successful, regulatory authorities may question the sufficiency for approval of the trial endpoints we have selected. We develop product candidates internally and through licensing collaborations, partnerships and joint ventures. Product candidates that are derived from relationships may be subject to disputes between the parties or may prove to be not as effective or as safe as we may have believed at the time of entering into such relationship. Also, we or others could identify safety, side effects or manufacturing problems with our products, including our devices, after they are on the market.
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CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
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9 Sabatine MS, De Ferrari GM, Giugliano RP, et al. Clinical Benefit of Evolocumab by Severity and Extent of Coronary Artery Disease: Analysis From FOURIER.
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