Healthcare Industry News: Multiple Myeloma
News Release - May 10, 2010
Takeda to Co-Promote VELCADE(R) (bortezomib) for Injection in JapanCAMBRIDGE, Mass. & OSAKA, Japan--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda,” TSE:4502) and its wholly owned subsidiary Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company (“Millennium”) today announced that Takeda has entered into a co-promotion agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K. (“Janssen Pharma”) for VELCADE® (bortezomib) for Injection, a treatment for patients with multiple myeloma. Janssen Pharma launched VELCADE in Japan in 2006, where it is approved for relapsed multiple myeloma. VELCADE is currently approved in more than 90 countries and has treated more than 160,000 patients worldwide. In 2009, global sales were in excess of $1 billion.
The co-promotion is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of FY2010. Takeda will receive a percentage of sales (based on certain conditions specified in the contract) as a co-promotion fee. Other financial conditions of the agreement are not disclosed. Takeda’s market-leading oncology sales force will join with Janssen’s sales team to promote VELCADE. This newly combined promotion effort will significantly expand the share-of-voice of VELCADE among practitioners who prescribe VELCADE in Japan, the second largest global pharmaceutical market.
“This collaboration will help maximize the potential of VELCADE in a critically important market,” said Deborah Dunsire, M.D., CEO, Millennium. “Oncology is an area of strategic growth for Takeda, and this co-promotion is one of several recent events that underscores our commitment to this therapeutic area.”
“The co-promotion for VELCADE as well as the approval of Vectibix last month strengthens our oncology franchise in the Japanese market,” said Yasuhiko Yamanaka, a member of the board, senior vice president, Pharmaceutical Marketing Division of Takeda. “This enhanced effort enables our sales force to reach out to a larger group of healthcare providers in order to potentially benefit patients with multiple myeloma.”
In April 2010, Takeda received approval for Vectibix® (panitumumab) for the treatment of advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer in Japan. In February, MEPACT® (mifamurtide), a novel drug for the treatment of high-grade, resectable, non-metastatic osteosarcoma, was introduced in Europe.
Millennium is responsible for commercialization of VELCADE in the U.S. where the drug is the market leader for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma and the only therapy in this indication with a demonstrated overall survival benefit in its label. VELCADE is co-developed by Millennium and Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, a unit of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., and approved in 92 countries worldwide. Janssen-Cilag is responsible for commercialization in Europe and the rest of the world. Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K. is responsible for commercialization in Japan.
Important Safety Information
In the U.S., VELCADE is indicated for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. VELCADE also is indicated for the treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphoma who have received at least one prior therapy. VELCADE is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to bortezomib, boron or mannitol. VELCADE should be administered under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of antineoplastic therapy.
Risks associated with VELCADE therapy include new or worsening peripheral neuropathy, hypotension throughout therapy, cardiac and pulmonary disorders, reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome, gastrointestinal adverse events, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, tumor lysis syndrome and hepatic events. Women of childbearing potential should avoid becoming pregnant while being treated with VELCADE. Nursing mothers are advised not to breastfeed while receiving VELCADE. Cases of severe sensory and motor peripheral neuropathy have been reported. The long-term outcome of peripheral neuropathy has not been studied in mantle cell lymphoma. Acute development or exacerbation of congestive heart failure, and new onset of decreased left ventricular ejection fraction has been reported, including reports in patients with no risk factors for decreased left ventricular ejection fraction. There have been reports of acute diffuse infiltrative pulmonary disease of unknown etiology such as pneumonitis, interstitial pneumonia, lung infiltration and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in patients receiving VELCADE. Some of these events have been fatal. There have been reports of Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS) in patients receiving VELCADE. RPLS is a rare, reversible, neurological disorder which can present with seizure, hypertension, headache, lethargy, confusion, blindness, and other visual and neurological disturbances. VELCADE is associated with thrombocytopenia and neutropenia. There have been reports of gastrointestinal and intracerebral hemorrhage in association with VELCADE. Transfusions may be considered. Complete blood counts (CBC) should be frequently monitored during treatment with VELCADE. Cases of acute liver failure have been reported in patients receiving multiple concomitant medications and with serious underlying medical conditions. Patients who are concomitantly receiving VELCADE and drugs that are inhibitors or inducers of cytochrome P450 3A4 should be closely monitored for either toxicities or reduced efficacy. Patients on oral antidiabetic medication while receiving VELCADE should check blood sugar levels frequently.
Adverse Reaction Data
Safety data from Phase II and III studies of single-agent VELCADE 1.3 mg/m2/dose twice weekly for 2 weeks followed by a 10-day rest period in 1163 patients with previously treated Multiple Myeloma (N=1008, not including the Phase III, VELCADE plus DOXIL® [doxorubicin HCl liposome injection] study) and previously treated mantle cell lymphoma (N=155) were integrated and tabulated. In these studies, the safety profile of VELCADE was similar in patients with Multiple Myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma.
In the integrated analysis, the most commonly reported adverse events were asthenic conditions (including fatigue, malaise and weakness) (64%), nausea (55%), diarrhea (52%), constipation (41%), peripheral neuropathy NEC (including peripheral sensory neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy aggravated) (39%), thrombocytopenia and appetite decreased (including anorexia) (each 36%), pyrexia (34%), vomiting (33%), anemia (29%), edema (23%), headache, paresthesia and dysesthesia and headache (each 22%), dyspnea (21%), cough and insomnia (each 20%), rash (18%), arthralgia (17%), neutropenia and dizziness (excluding vertigo) (each 17%), pain in limb and abdominal pain (each 15%), bone pain (14%), back pain and hypotension (each 13%), herpes zoster, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, myalgia and pneumonia (each 12%), muscle cramps (11%), and dehydration and anxiety (each 10%). Twenty percent (20%) of patients experienced at least 1 episode of ≥Grade 4 toxicity, most commonly thrombocytopenia (5%) and neutropenia (3%). A total of 50% of patients experienced serious adverse events (SAEs) during the studies. The most commonly reported SAEs included pneumonia (7%), pyrexia (6%), diarrhea (5%), vomiting (4%), and nausea, dehydration, dyspnea and thrombocytopenia (each 3%).
In the Phase 3 VELCADE + melphalan and prednisone study, the safety profile of VELCADE in combination with melphalan/prednisone is consistent with the known safety profiles of both VELCADE and melphalan/prednisone. The most commonly reported adverse events for VELCADE in combination with MP vs MP, respectively, were thrombocytopenia (52% vs 47%), neutropenia (49% vs 46%), nausea (48% vs 28%), peripheral neuropathy (47% vs 5%), diarrhea (46% vs 17%), anemia (43% vs 55%), constipation (37% vs 16%), neuralgia (36% vs 1%), leukopenia (33% vs 30%), vomiting (33% vs 16%), pyrexia (29% vs 19%), fatigue (29% vs 26%), lymphopenia (24% vs 17%), anorexia (23% vs 10%), asthenia (21% vs 18%), cough (21% vs 13%), insomnia (20% vs 13%), edema peripheral (20% vs 10%), rash (19% vs 7%), back pain (17% vs 18%), pneumonia (16% vs 11%), dizziness (16% vs 11%), dyspnea (15% vs 13%), headache (14% vs 10%), pain in extremity (14% vs 9%), abdominal pain (14% vs 7%), paresthesia (13% vs 4%), herpes zoster (13% vs 4%), bronchitis (13% vs 8%), hypokalemia (13% vs 7%), hypertension (13% vs 7%), abdominal pain upper (12% vs 9%), hypotension (12% vs 3%), dyspepsia (11% vs 7%), nasopharyngitis (11% vs 8%), bone pain (11% vs 10%), arthralgia (11% vs 15%) and pruritus (10% vs 5%).
For more information about VELCADE clinical trials, patients and physicians can contact the Millennium Medical Product Information Department at 1-866-VELCADE (1-866-835-2233).
Located in Osaka, Japan, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502 ) is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is striving toward better health for individuals and progress in medicine by developing superior pharmaceutical products. Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, www.takeda.com.
Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, a leading biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., markets VELCADE, a first-in-class proteasome inhibitor, and has a robust clinical development pipeline of product candidates. Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. ("Takeda", TSE: 4502) in May, 2008. The Company's research, development and commercialization activities are focused in oncology. Additional information about Millennium is available through its website, www.millennium.com
Editors’ Note: This press release is also available under the Media section of the Company’s website at: www.millennium.com/media.
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