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Keating G.M.,Adis 41 Centorian Drive
Drugs | Year: 2014

Afatinib (Gilotrif™, Giotrif®) is an orally administered, irreversible inhibitor of the ErbB family of tyrosine kinases. Afatinib downregulates ErbB signalling by covalently binding to the kinase domains of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) 2 and HER4, resulting in irreversible inhibition of tyrosine kinase autophosphorylation; it also inhibits transphosphorylation of HER3. Afatinib is approved as monotherapy for the treatment of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI)-naïve adults with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with activating EGFR mutations in the EU, and for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC whose tumours have EGFR exon 19 deletions or exon 21 (L858R) substitution mutations as detected by a US FDA-approved test in the US. In two randomized, open-label, multinational phase III trials, progression-free survival was significantly prolonged with afatinib compared with pemetrexed plus cisplatin (LUX-Lung 3) or gemcitabine plus cisplatin (LUX-Lung 6) in treatment-naïve patients with advanced NSCLC with activating EGFR mutations. The objective response rate was significantly higher with afatinib than with pemetrexed plus cisplatin or gemcitabine plus cisplatin, and patient-reported outcomes for symptoms such as cough and dyspnoea and certain health-related quality of life measures significantly favoured afatinib versus pemetrexed plus cisplatin or gemcitabine plus cisplatin. Afatinib also showed efficacy in EGFR TKI-naïve patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and activating EGFR mutations who had received no more than one prior chemotherapy regimen for advanced disease, according to the results of the noncomparative, multinational, phase II LUX-Lung 2 trial. Oral afatinib had a manageable tolerability profile. EGFR-mediated adverse events (e.g. diarrhoea, rash/acne) were generally managed using dose reduction and delays. In conclusion, afatinib is a valuable new option for use in treatment-naïve or EGFR TKI-naïve patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and activating EGFR mutations. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


McKeage K.,Adis 41 Centorian Drive
Drugs | Year: 2013

Omalizumab (Xolair®) is a subcutaneously administered monoclonal antibody that targets circulating free IgE and prevents its interaction with the high-affinity IgE receptor (FCεRI), thereby interrupting the allergic cascade. In the EU, the drug is approved as add-on therapy in adults, adolescents and children aged ≥6 years with severe persistent allergic asthma. In well designed clinical trials, add-on omalizumab significantly reduced the asthma exacerbation rate (primary endpoint) compared with placebo in adults, adolescents and children with severe persistent allergic asthma. Furthermore, add-on omalizumab reduced the need for inhaled corticosteroids in adults and adolescents, and improved asthma control and symptoms, and asthma-related quality of life in all age groups. The efficacy of omalizumab was also demonstrated in the real-world setting, with add-on therapy leading to reduced rates of hospitalizations, emergency room visits and unscheduled doctor's visits, as well as improvements in asthma symptom scores and the physician's overall assessment of treatment response. More data are needed to determine the optimum duration of treatment, and currently the duration is at the discretion of the treating physician. Omalizumab was generally well tolerated in clinical trials; the most common adverse event was transient injection-site reactions. In cost-utility analyses modelled over a life-time horizon, add-on omalizumab was cost effective compared with standard therapy, with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios falling within generally accepted willingness-to-pay thresholds. Thus, in difficult-to-treat patients with severe persistent allergic asthma, omalizumab provides a valuable treatment option. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Plosker G.L.,Adis 41 Centorian Drive
Drugs | Year: 2014

Sitagliptin (Januvia®, Xelevia™, Glactiv®, Tesavel®) is an orally administered, potent and highly selective inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) and was the first agent of its class to be approved for use in the management of adults with type 2 diabetes. Numerous randomized placebo- or active comparator-controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of sitagliptin in terms of improving glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes, including its use as monotherapy, initial combination therapy (usually with fixed-dose combinations of sitagliptin/metformin), or add-on therapy to metformin or to other antihyperglycaemic drugs, with or without metformin. The primary endpoint of the clinical trials was the reduction from baseline in glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), although sitagliptin also showed beneficial effects for other endpoints, such as the proportion of patients who achieved target HbA1c, and reductions from baseline in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels and 2-h postprandial glucose (PPG) levels. Sitagliptin was generally well tolerated in clinical trials, had a low risk of hypoglycaemia (although this depends on background therapy) and had a neutral effect on body weight. Despite concerns regarding a possible increased risk of rare pancreatic adverse events (e.g. pancreatitis) with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)-based therapies, such as GLP-1 receptor agonists and DPP-4 inhibitors, no causal association has been found; regulators in Europe recently conducted a review of available data, concluding that there is little evidence that these drugs could cause pancreatic inflammation or pancreatic cancer. A similar review is planned in the USA and postmarketing surveillance will continue. Thus, oral sitagliptin is an effective and generally well tolerated treatment option for the management of patients with type 2 diabetes. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Deeks E.D.,Adis 41 Centorian Drive
Drugs | Year: 2014

The HIV integrase inhibitor elvitegravir is now available as a single-agent tablet (Vitekta®) in the EU, where it is indicated for once-daily oral use, in combination with a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor (PI) and other antiretrovirals, for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults without known mutations associated with resistance to elvitegravir. The drug has potent anti-HIV activity and a well characterized resistance profile, although cross resistance with raltegravir is observed. When used in combination with ritonavir-boosted PI-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) in treatment-experienced adults in a randomized, double-blind, phase III trial, once-daily elvitegravir was associated with virological suppression noninferior to that seen with twice-daily raltegravir after 48 weeks' treatment, and such benefits were largely maintained at 96 weeks. Moreover, in an open-label extension of this study, in which all patients received an elvitegravir regimen, virological suppression continued to be observed in most patients at 144 weeks. Elvitegravir is generally well tolerated, with diarrhoea and nausea being the most common tolerability issues. Thus, single-agent elvitegravir extends the treatment options available for use in the ritonavir-boosted PI-based ART regimens of adults infected with HIV-1 and has the convenience of once-daily administration. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Cobicistat (Tybost™) is a mechanism-based inhibitor of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A enzymes that is indicated in the EU as a pharmacokinetic enhancer (i.e. booster) of the HIV-1 protease inhibitors (PIs) atazanavir and darunavir in adults. Cobicistat has a lower potential for off-target drug interactions than the standard boosting agent ritonavir, due to its more selective inhibition of CYP3A and lower likelihood for enzymatic induction, and is devoid of anti-HIV activity. When used to boost darunavir or atazanavir in healthy volunteers, oral cobicistat 150 mg once daily provided bioequivalent PI exposure to that seen with oral ritonavir 100 mg once daily (i.e. low-dose ritonavir). Moreover, in treatment-naïve adults infected with HIV-1 participating in a large, double-blind, phase III trial, an atazanavir-based antiretroviral regimen boosted with cobicistat 150 mg once daily provided a high rate of virological suppression after 48 weeks of therapy that was noninferior to that seen with low-dose ritonavir boosting. Cobicistat was generally well tolerated in this study, with a tolerability profile similar to that of ritonavir. Cobicistat may increase serum creatinine levels (possibly via inhibition of proximal renal tubular cell transporters) and thus reduce estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR), although it does not appear to affect actual GFR. The drug is more soluble than ritonavir, making coformulation easier, and fixed-dose formulations combining cobicistat with darunavir and atazanavir are in development. Thus, cobicistat is an emerging alternative to ritonavir for the pharmacokinetic enhancement of PIs in adults with HIV-1 infection. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Keating G.M.,Adis 41 Centorian Drive
CNS Drugs | Year: 2013

The opioid system modulator nalmefene (Selincro®) is approved in the EU for as-needed use to reduce alcohol consumption in alcohol-dependent adults with a high drinking risk level. This article reviews the efficacy and tolerability of as-needed oral nalmefene in the treatment of alcohol dependence, as well as summarizing its pharmacological properties. In two randomized, double-blind, multinational trials (ESENSE 1 and ESENSE 2), as-needed nalmefene significantly reduced the number of heavy drinking days (in both trials) and total alcohol consumption (in ESENSE 1) at month 6. In the randomized, double-blind, multinational SENSE trial, as-needed nalmefene significantly improved both of these endpoints at month 13, but not at month 6. As-needed nalmefene had a greater beneficial effect in the target population (i.e. alcohol-dependent patients with at least a high drinking risk level at screening and randomization), with post hoc analyses revealing significant reductions in both the number of heavy drinking days and total alcohol consumption at month 6 (in ESENSE 1 and ESENSE 2) and at month 13 (in SENSE). Oral nalmefene was generally well tolerated in patients with alcohol dependence, with the most commonly occurring adverse events including nausea, insomnia and dizziness. In conclusion, as-needed nalmefene provides an important new option for use in the treatment of alcohol dependence. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Oral everolimus (Afinitor®) in combination with exemestane is indicated for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) 2-negative advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women after failure of treatment with letrozole or anastrozole (in the USA) or after recurrence of progression following a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor (AI) in women without symptomatic visceral disease (in the EU). Everolimus, a selective inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), inhibits the downstream signalling events of the mTOR pathway. This review summarizes the pharmacology of everolimus and reviews its efficacy and tolerability when administered in combination with exemestane in postmenopausal women with oestrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer refractory to nonsteroidal AIs. In the well-designed BOLERO-2 study, the addition of everolimus to exemestane was shown to significantly prolong progression-free survival in this patient population. However, treatment-emergent adverse events and treatment discontinuations occurred more frequently with combination therapy than with exemestane alone, suggesting a need for careful benefit/risk assessment prior to initiating therapy. Mature survival data from this study are awaited and additional studies would help to further demonstrate the benefit of combination therapy. Nevertheless, current evidence suggests that everolimus plus exemestane combination therapy may be a useful treatment option in patients with postmenopausal hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative, advanced breast cancer refractory to nonsteroidal AIs. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Hoy S.M.,Adis 41 Centorian Drive
Drugs | Year: 2013

Oral lorcaserin (BELVIQ®), a selective serotonin 5-HT 2C receptor agonist, is indicated in the US as an adjunct to diet and exercise in the chronic weight management of obese adults, or overweight adults with at least one weight-related comorbidity (e.g. dyslipidaemia, hypertension, type 2 diabetes). This article reviews the pharmacological properties, therapeutic efficacy and tolerability of oral lorcaserin in this patient population. In three large randomized, double-blind, multicentre studies, oral lorcaserin was more effective than placebo in the management of obese and overweight adults with or without type 2 diabetes mellitus. Following 12 months' therapy, significantly higher proportions of lorcaserin than placebo recipients achieved a ≥5 and ≥10 % reduction from baseline in their bodyweight and a significant between-group difference favouring lorcaserin over placebo was observed for the change from baseline in bodyweight. Moreover, among patients who had achieved a ≥5 % reduction in their bodyweight after 12 months' therapy with lorcaserin, a significantly higher proportion who received lorcaserin for a further 12 months than those who switched to placebo maintained ≥5 % weight loss at 24 months. In general, oral lorcaserin was well tolerated in clinical studies, with hypoglycaemia and headache the most frequently reported adverse events in those with or without type 2 diabetes, respectively. According to a pooled analysis, the risk of US-FDA-defined valvulopathy with lorcaserin is generally low and not statistically significantly different from placebo. From these and other data, the FDA has concluded that lorcaserin is unlikely to elevate the risk of valvulopathy. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Sanford M.,Adis 41 Centorian Drive
Drugs | Year: 2013

Mirabegron (YM178, Myrbetriq™, Betanis®, Betmiga™) is a β3-adrenergic receptor agonist approved in several countries for the symptomatic treatment of adults with overactive bladder syndrome. In three 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multinational trials in patients with overactive bladder syndrome, oral mirabegron 25 or 50 mg once daily significantly reduced the adjusted mean number of incontinence episodes per 24 h (in patients with incontinence at baseline) and the adjusted mean number of micturition episodes per 24 h (in full trial populations) [coprimary endpoints]. Across trials, mirabegron 50 mg once daily also consistently significantly reduced urgency episodes and increased the volume of urine voided per micturition, generally in association with improved health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) and treatment satisfaction. Based on descriptive analyses from a 12-month trial, once-daily mirabegron 50 mg and tolterodine extended-release (ER) 4 mg were both efficacious in reducing urinary symptoms and improving HR-QOL. Mirabegron was generally well tolerated in the trials. Over 12 weeks, the adverse event rate with mirabegron 50 mg once daily was similar to that with placebo. During 12 months of treatment, 2.8 % of mirabegron 50 mg once daily recipients reported dry mouth compared with 8.6 % with tolterodine ER 4 mg once daily recipients. Mirabegron 50 mg once daily carries a low risk of QT interval prolongation. Thus, mirabegron is an efficacious new treatment for overactive bladder syndrome with a favourable tolerability profile. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


A liquid formulation of sodium oxybate (Alcover®), the sodium salt of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), is approved in Italy and Austria for use in alcohol withdrawal syndrome and for the maintenance of abstinence in alcohol dependence. This article reviews the efficacy and tolerability of sodium oxybate in alcohol withdrawal syndrome and in the maintenance of abstinence in alcohol dependence, as well as summarizing its pharmacological properties. Results of randomized controlled trials indicate that sodium oxybate was at least as effective as diazepam and clomethiazole in patients with alcohol withdrawal syndrome, rapidly alleviating symptoms, and was at least as effective as naltrexone or disulfiram in the maintenance of abstinence in alcohol-dependent patients. Sodium oxybate was generally well tolerated. The risk of sodium oxybate abuse is generally low when it is administered to alcohol-dependent patients at its approved dosage, under the supervision of a designated family member and with continuous strict medical surveillance. However, certain patient groups, such as patients with alcohol dependence and borderline personality disorder or who are in remission from heroin or cocaine addiction, may not be suitable candidates for sodium oxybate therapy because of an increased risk of abuse. In conclusion, sodium oxybate is a useful option for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome and for the maintenance of abstinence in alcohol dependence. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

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