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Amgen Comments on PCSK9 Patent Litigation in Germany

Our ability to invent and deliver new medicines that benefit patients and society depends on meaningful patent protection, which enables the significant investments in drug development and clinical trials needed to help treat and prevent serious disease.

Today, the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany ruled in favor of Amgen, confirming that Sanofi-Aventis’ Praluent® (alirocumab) infringes an Amgen patent that covers a class of antibodies that significantly lowers patients’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, by inhibiting a human protein called PCSK9. The Court ruling means that Amgen may now prohibit Sanofi-Aventis from producing, marketing, distributing or selling Praluent in Germany.

Amgen plans to enforce the Court’s decision against Praluent in Germany. We are committed to facilitating a smooth transition to Repatha® (evolocumab) for patients currently taking Praluent who wish to continue taking a PCSK9 inhibitor. Our priority is to ensure continuous care for patients in need of a PCSK9 inhibitor. Therefore, we are not at this time seeking removal of existing Praluent supplies available at hospitals and pharmacies.

We are also committed to working closely with prescribing doctors and all partners in the German healthcare system to provide clear information and facilitate an open dialogue. This is to help ensure all parties are kept informed, disruption is kept to a minimum and ultimately all patients who need Repatha are able to access it. 

Repatha is the first PCSK9 inhibitor approved worldwide to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol and the risk of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. Amgen scientists were instrumental in deciphering the role of PCSK9 and its inhibition in the body and were the first in the world to invent this class of therapeutic antibodies. Repatha is approved in Europe for the same uses in which Praluent is approved and is available for patients who currently take Praluent.

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:

  • in combination with a statin or statin with other lipid-lowering therapies in patients unable to reach LDL‑C goals with the maximum tolerated dose of a statin or,
  • alone or in combination with other lipid-lowering therapies in patients who are statin-intolerant, or for whom a statin is contraindicated.

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:

  • in combination with the maximum tolerated dose of a statin with or without other lipid-lowering therapies or,
  • alone or in combination with other lipid-lowering therapies in patients who are statin-intolerant, or for whom a statin is contraindicated.

Posology

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
This medicinal product is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification of new safety information. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions.

Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients.

Special Warnings and Precautions: Renal impairment: There is limited experience with Repatha in patients with severe renal impairment (defined as eGFR < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2). Repatha should be used with caution in patients with severe renal impairment. Hepatic impairment: In patients with moderate hepatic impairment, a reduction in total evolocumab exposure was observed that may lead to a reduced effect on LDLC 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 allergic reactions. Sodium content: Repatha contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, i.e. it is essentially 'sodium-free'.

Interactions: No formal drug-drug interaction studies have been conducted for Repatha. No studies on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics interaction between Repatha and lipid-lowering drugs 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, rash, nausea, back pain, arthralgia, 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. 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.

Please see full EU Prescribing Information for additional information.

Important U.S. Product Information

Repatha is a PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9) inhibitor antibody indicated:

  • to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and coronary revascularization in adults with established cardiovascular disease.
  • as an adjunct to diet, alone or in combination with other lipid-lowering therapies (e.g., statins, ezetimibe), for treatment of adults with primary hyperlipidemia (including heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia [HeFH]) to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
  • as an adjunct to diet and other LDL-lowering therapies (e.g., statins, ezetimibe, LDL apheresis) in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) who require additional lowering of LDL-C.

The safety and effectiveness of Repatha have not been established in pediatric patients with HoFH who are younger than 13 years old or in pediatric patients with primary hyperlipidemia or HeFH.

Important U.S. Safety Information

Contraindication: Repatha is contraindicated in patients with a history of a serious hypersensitivity reaction to Repatha. Serious hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema have occurred in patients treated with Repatha.

Allergic reactions: Hypersensitivity reactions (e.g. angioedema, rash, urticaria) have been reported in patients treated with Repatha, including some that led to discontinuation of therapy. If signs or symptoms of serious allergic reactions occur, discontinue treatment with Repatha, treat according to the standard of care, and monitor until signs and symptoms resolve.

Adverse reactions: The most common adverse reactions (>5% of patients treated with Repatha and occurring more frequently than placebo) were: nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, influenza, back pain, and injection site reactions. 

From a pool of the 52-week trial and seven 12-week trials: Local injection site reactions occurred in 3.2% and 3.0% of Repatha-treated and placebo-treated patients, respectively. The most common injection site reactions were erythema, pain, and bruising.

Allergic reactions occurred in 5.1% and 4.7% of Repatha-treated and placebo-treated patients, respectively. The most common allergic reactions were rash (1.0% versus 0.5% for Repatha and placebo, respectively), eczema (0.4% versus 0.2%), erythema (0.4% versus 0.2%), and urticaria (0.4% versus 0.1%).

The most common adverse reactions in the Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (>5% of patients treated with Repatha and occurring more frequently than placebo) were: diabetes mellitus (8.8% Repatha, 8.2% placebo), nasopharyngitis (7.8% Repatha, 7.4% placebo), and upper respiratory tract infection (5.1% Repatha, 4.8% placebo).    

Among the 16,676 patients without diabetes mellitus at baseline, the incidence of new-onset diabetes mellitus during the trial was 8.1% in patients assigned to Repatha compared with 7.7% in those assigned to placebo.  

Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HoFH): The adverse reactions that occurred in at least two patients treated with Repatha and more frequently than placebo were: upper respiratory tract infection, influenza, gastroenteritis, and nasopharyngitis.

Immunogenicity: Repatha is a human monoclonal antibody. As with all therapeutic proteins, there is a potential for immunogenicity with Repatha. 

Please contact Amgen Medinfo at 800-77-AMGEN (800-772-6436) or 844-REPATHA (844-737-2842) regarding Repatha® availability or find more information, including full Prescribing Information, at www.amgen.com and www.Repatha.com.