Prescribing Information: EPCLUSA
Gilead’s New Hepatitis C Drug Approved by FDA, Priced at $74,760
Gilead has set a list price of $74,760 for a 12-week course of treatment, Chief Executive Officer John Milligan said by telephone. That’s lower than the list prices of its best-selling treatments Sovaldi, at $84,000, and Harvoni, $94,500. The Foster City, California-based company has been criticized in the past for the costs of its drugs.
FDA Press Release
FDA Approves Epclusa for Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection
First regimen to treat all six major HCV genotypes
“This approval offers a management and treatment option for a wider scope of patients with chronic hepatitis C,” said Edward Cox, M.D., director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Hepatitis C is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver that can lead to diminished liver function or liver failure. There are at least six distinct HCV genotypes, or strains, which are genetically distinct groups of the virus. Knowing the genotype helps inform treatment recommendations and the duration of treatment. Approximately 75 percent of Americans with HCV have genotype 1; 20-25 percent have genotypes 2 or 3; and a small numbers of patients are infected with genotypes 4, 5 or 6. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HCV infection becomes chronic in approximately 75 to 85 percent of cases. Patients who suffer from chronic HCV infection over many years may have complications, such as bleeding, jaundice (yellowish eyes or skin), fluid accumulation in the abdomen, infections, liver cancer and death.
The safety and efficacy of Epclusa for 12 weeks was evaluated in three Phase III clinical trials of 1,558 subjects without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis (mild cirrhosis). Results demonstrated that 95–99 percent of patients who received Epclusa had no virus detected in the blood 12 weeks after finishing treatment, suggesting the patients’ infections had been cured. The safety and efficacy of Epclusa was also evaluated in a clinical trial of 267 subjects with decompensated cirrhosis (moderate to severe cirrhosis), of whom 87 subjects received Epclusa in combination with ribavirin for 12 weeks, and 94 percent of these patients had no virus detected in the blood 12 weeks after finishing treatment.
The most common side effects of Epclusa include headache and fatigue. Epclusa and ribavirin combination regimens are contraindicated for patients for whom ribavirin is contraindicated.
Epclusa carries a warning for patients and health care providers that serious slowing of the heart rate (symptomatic bradycardia) and cases requiring pacemaker intervention have been reported when amiodarone is used with sofosbuvir in combination with another HCV direct-acting antiviral. Co-administration of amiodarone with Epclusa is not recommended. Epclusa also carries a warning not to use with certain drugs that may reduce the amount of Epclusa in the blood which could lead to reduced efficacy of Epclusa.
Epclusa was reviewed under the FDA’s priority review program, which provides for an expedited review of drugs that treat serious conditions and, if approved, would provide significant improvement in safety or effectiveness.
Epclusa is manufactured and marketed by Gilead Sciences, Inc., of Foster City, California.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency is also responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
June 28, 2016 - 10:25 a.m.
Gilead's Press Release
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves Gilead's Epclusa® (Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir) for the Treatment of All Genotypes of Chronic Hepatitis C
Date(s): 28-Jun-2016 10:25 AM
- Epclusa is the First and Only All-Oral, Pan-genotypic Single Tablet Regimen for Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Gilead's Third Sofosbuvir-Based Regimen -
"The approval of Epclusa represents an important step forward in the global effort to control and potentially eliminate HCV as it provides a safe, simple and effective cure for the majority of HCV-infected patients, regardless of genotype," said Ira Jacobson, MD, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York City and a principal investigator in the Epclusa clinical trials. "Building on the established backbone of sofosbuvir, Epclusa demonstrated consistently high cure rates across all genotypes, including among patients with genotype 2 and 3, who traditionally have required ribavirin or other multi-pill regimens."
The FDA granted Epclusa a Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy designation, which is given to investigational medicines that may offer major advances in treatment over existing options.
Epclusa's approval is supported by data from four international Phase 3 studies, ASTRAL-1, ASTRAL-2, ASTRAL-3 and ASTRAL-4. In the ASTRAL-1, ASTRAL-2 and ASTRAL-3 studies, 1,035 patients with genotype 1-6 chronic HCV infection, without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis received 12 weeks of Epclusa. The ASTRAL-4 study randomized 267 patients with genotype 1-6 HCV infection, with decompensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh B), to receive 12 weeks of Epclusa with or without RBV or 24 weeks of Epclusa. The primary endpoint for all studies was SVR12.
Of the 1,035 patients treated with Epclusa for 12 weeks in the ASTRAL-1, ASTRAL-2 and ASTRAL-3 studies, 1,015 (98 percent) achieved SVR12. In ASTRAL-4, patients with decompensated cirrhosis receiving Epclusa with RBV for 12 weeks achieved a high SVR12 rate (94 percent) compared to those who received Epclusa for 12 weeks or 24 weeks (83 percent and 86 percent, respectively).
Headache and fatigue were the most common adverse reactions (=10 percent) experienced by HCV-infected patients treated with Epclusa in ASTRAL-1, ASTRAL-2 and ASTRAL-3 and occurred at a similar or higher frequency in placebo-treated patients. In the 87 HCV-infected patients with decompensated cirrhosis treated with Epclusa and ribavirin in the ASTRAL-4 study, fatigue, anemia, nausea, headache, insomnia and diarrhea were the most common adverse reactions (=10 percent). Two and four patients treated with Epclusa and Epclusa with RBV respectively discontinued treatment due to adverse events.
"Today's approval represents a significant advance for patients with HCV genotypes 2 and 3, who previously required more complex and costly regimens," said John Milligan, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Gilead. "As the first and only pan-genotypic cure for hepatitis C, Epclusa has the potential to eliminate the need for genotype testing, which can be a barrier to treatment in certain resource-constrained settings. We look forward to making Epclusa available to patients around the world as quickly as possible."
Epclusa should not be administered with ribavirin in patients for whom ribavirin is contraindicated. See below for Important Safety Information for Epclusa.
U.S. Patient Support Program
To assist eligible hepatitis C patients in the United States with access to Epclusa, Gilead has added the medicine to its Support Path® (www.MySupportPath.com) program. The program consists of an integrated offering of support services for patients and providers, among them:
- Call center staffed with associates trained to help patients and their providers with insurance-related needs.
- Education and support, including a 24/7 nursing support service line.
- The Epclusa Co-pay Coupon Programs, which provide co-pay assistance for eligible patients with private insurance who need assistance paying for out-of-pocket medication costs. Most patients will pay no more than $5 per co-pay.
- The Support Path Patient Assistance Program, which will provide Epclusa at no charge for eligible patients with no other insurance options.
To learn more about Support Path for Epclusa, please visit www.MySupportPath.com or call 1-855-769-7284 between 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.
The prevalence of HCV genotypes varies regionally throughout the world. In resource-limited settings genotype testing can often be costly or unreliable, posing yet another barrier to treatment. As a pan-genotypic therapeutic option, Epclusa eliminates the need for genotype testing and has the potential to accelerate access to treatment for patients worldwide.
Gilead is committed to helping enable access to Epclusa around the world. Gilead works with a network of regional business partners, generic licensing partners, the Medicines Patent Pool and other stakeholders to expand treatment globally. Epclusa is already licensed to Gilead's 11 Indian manufacturing partners who may now begin production and distribution of a generic version of this medicine for 101 developing countries.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
If EPCLUSA is used in combination with ribavirin (RBV), all contraindications, warnings and precautions, and adverse reactions to RBV also apply. Refer to RBV prescribing information.
Warnings and Precautions
Risk of Serious Symptomatic Bradycardia When Sofosbuvir Is Coadministered with Amiodarone and Another HCV Direct Acting Antiviral: Amiodarone is not recommended for use with EPCLUSA due to the risk of symptomatic bradycardia, particularly in patients also taking beta blockers or with underlying cardiac comorbidities and/or with advanced liver disease. In patients without alternative, viable treatment options, cardiac monitoring is recommended. Patients should seek immediate medical evaluation if they develop signs or symptoms of bradycardia.
Risk of Reduced Therapeutic Effect Due to Concomitant Use of EPCLUSA with P-gp Inducers and/or Moderate to Potent Inducers of CYP2B6, CYP2C8 or CYP3A4: Rifampin, St. John's wort, and carbamazepine are not recommended for use with EPCLUSA as they may significantly decrease sofosbuvir and/or velpatasvir plasma concentrations.
The most common adverse reactions (=10%, all grades) with EPCLUSA were headache and fatigue; and when used with RBV in decompensated cirrhotics were fatigue, anemia, nausea, headache, insomnia, and diarrhea.
Coadministration of EPCLUSA is not recommended with topotecan due to increased concentrations of topotecan.
Coadministration of EPCLUSA is not recommended with proton-pump inhibitors, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifapentine, efavirenz, and tipranavir/ritonavir due to decreased concentrations of sofosbuvir and/or velpatasvir.
Consult the full Prescribing Information for EPCLUSA for more information on potentially significant drug interactions, including clinical comments.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company's mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. Gilead has operations in more than 30 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including risks that physicians and patients may not see advantages of Epclusa over other therapies and may therefore be reluctant to prescribe the product, and the risk that payers may be reluctant to approve or provide reimbursement for the product. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks are described in detail in Gilead's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead, and Gilead assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.
U.S. Full Prescribing Information for Epclusa is available at www.gilead.com.
Epclusa is a registered trademark of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies.
For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company's website at www.gilead.com, follow Gilead on Twitter (@GileadSciences) or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or 1-650-574-3000.
LinksLast month Healio published; ASTRAL studies: New combination yields encouraging patient-reported outcomes from patient-reported data presented at Digestive Disease Week 2016.
HCV Advocate - The Breakdown
The Phase 3 clinical trials—ASTRAL-1, ASTRAL-2, and ASTRAL-3. There were 1,035 of whom 116 patients received placebo (sugar pills). There were 267 people in the ASTRAL-4 trial—this trial included the patients with genotypes 1 through 6 with decompensated cirrhosis. There was not a breakdown by genotype. The breakdown is here, from HCV Advocate.
New England Journal Of Medicine
ASTRAL 1-4 results published in the December 2015 issue of New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) *or free online @ NATAP
New England Journal Of Medicine
Full Text - Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir for HCV Genotype 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 Infection
New England Journal Of Medicine - Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir for HCV Genotype 2 and 3 Infection
Full Text NEJM Article @ NATAP
New England Journal Of Medicine - Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir for HCV in Patients with Decompensated Cirrhosis
Full Text NEJM Article @ NATAP
In addition this article; Hepatitis C treatment studies from NEJM: Closer to One Size for All written by Donald Jensen, MD., provides a nice summary of each study.
EASL 2016 Coverage
On-Treatment HCV RNA as a Predictor of SVR12 in Patients With Genotype 1-6 HCV Infection Treated With Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir for 12 Weeks: An Analysis of the ASTRAL-1, ASTRAL-2, and ASTRAL-3 Studies - (04/26/16)
Resistance Analysis in 1284 Patients With Genotype 1-6 HCV Infection Treated With Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir in the Phase 3 ASTRAL-1, ASTRAL-2, ASTRAL-3, and ASTRAL-4 Studies - (04/15/16)
Drug-Drug Interaction Profile of Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir Fixed-Dose Combination - 4/21/16
Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir in Combination With Ribavirin for 24 Weeks Is Effective Retreatment for Patients Who Failed Prior NS5A-Containing DAA Regimens: Results of the Retreatment Study - (04/15/16)
Complete EASL coverage @ NATAP