U.S. Food & Drug Administration Grants Priority Review of Maribavir for the Treatment of Post-Transplant Recipients With Cytomegalovirus Infection in Those Resistant and/or Refractory to Prior Anti-CMV Treatment
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) (“Takeda”) today announced that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted a New Drug Application (NDA) for maribavir for the treatment of CMV infection in those that are refractory with or without resistance (R/R), in solid organ transplant (SOT) or hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients.
This is an inflection year for Takeda’s pipeline with up to six regulatory submissions and four potential approvals anticipated by the end of fiscal year 2021. The maribavir NDA acceptance is Takeda’s fourth new molecular entity accepted for regulatory review in six months, following the FDA submissions of TAK-721 for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis, mobocertinib for the treatment of EGFR Exon20 insertion mutation positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, and the European Medicines Agency submission of the Company’s dengue vaccine candidate (TAK-003), which is being investigated for the prevention of dengue due to any dengue virus serotype in individuals ages four to 60.
“CMV is one of the most common viral infections experienced by transplant recipients, and current antiviral treatment options are limited, and physicians have to engage in a careful balance of viral clearance and side effect management that can impact patient care and transplant outcomes,” said Obi Umeh, MD, Vice President and Maribavir Global Program Leader, Takeda. “If approved, maribavir has the potential to change the treatment landscape for post-transplant CMV, and the acceptance of this regulatory application is an important milestone on maribavir’s path forward.”
The application is based on the pivotal Phase 3 TAK-620-303 (SOLSTICE) trial, results of which were presented at the 2021 Transplantation & Cellular Therapy (TCT) Meetings Digital Experience, with subgroup analysis presented during the Presidential Symposium 47th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT).
“CMV infection puts transplant recipients at an increased risk of disease, such as pneumonia or gastrointestinal disease. It can also increase the risk of graft rejection, opportunistic co-infections, and in some cases, even death,” said Michael Boeckh, M.D., Ph.D., Head, Infectious Disease Sciences Program at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutch “The results of the SOLSTICE trial are promising and show that maribavir may help with post-transplant CMV viremia, including cases of drug-resistance for which there is an unmet need.”
Maribavir has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA for treatment of clinically significant CMV viremia and disease in at-risk patients. The FDA has also granted maribavir Breakthrough Therapy Designation as a treatment for CMV infection and disease in transplant patients resistant or refractory to prior therapy. These designations do not guarantee that the FDA will approve maribavir for the treatment of CMV infections in transplant patients, and the timing of any such approval is uncertain.
CMV is a beta herpesvirus that commonly infects humans; serologic evidence of prior infection can be found in 40%-100% of various adult populations.2 CMV typically resides latent and asymptomatic in the body but may reactivate during periods of immunosuppression. Serious disease may occur in individuals with compromised immune systems, which includes patients who receive immunosuppressants associated with various types of transplants including hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) or solid organ transplant (SOT).3,4 Out of the estimated 200,000 adult transplants per year, CMV is one of the most common viral infections experienced by transplant recipients, with an estimated incidence rate between 16-56% in SOT recipients and 30-70% in HCT recipients.4–9
In transplant recipients, reactivation of CMV can lead to serious consequences including loss of the transplanted organ and, in extreme cases, can be fatal.10,11 Existing therapies to treat posttransplant CMV infections may demonstrate serious side effects that require dose adjustments or may fail to adequately suppress viral replication.12–14 Additionally, existing therapies may require or prolong hospitalization due to administration.12,13
Maribavir, an orally bioavailable anti-CMV compound, is the only antiviral agent presently in Phase 3 development for the treatment of post-transplant patients with CMV in SOT or HCT. Maribavir is an investigational treatment that has not been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA) or any other regulatory authorities. Maribavir is the only CMV antiviral drug that targets and inhibits the UL97 protein kinase and its natural substrates.1,15–17
Maribavir has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the European Commission as a treatment of CMV disease in patients with impaired cell mediated immunity and by the FDA for treatment of clinically significant CMV viremia and disease in at-risk patients. Orphan status is granted to certain investigational medicines intended for the treatment or prevention of a rare, life-threatening disease. The FDA has also granted maribavir Breakthrough Therapy Designation as a treatment for CMV infection and disease in transplant patients resistant or refractory to prior therapy. Breakthrough Therapy Designation expedites the development and review of investigational treatments for serious conditions with preliminary clinical evidence indicating that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy. These designations do not guarantee that the EMA or FDA will approve maribavir for the treatment of CMV infections in transplant patients, and the timing of any such approval is uncertain.
About Takeda’s SOLSTICE Trial
The TAK-620-303 (SOLSTICE) trial (NCT02931539) is a multicenter, randomized, open-label, active-controlled trial comparing treatment with either maribavir or investigator assigned treatment, IAT, (conventional antiviral therapy) in hematopoietic cell transplant and solid organ transplant recipients with CMV infection refractory, with or without resistance, to one or a combination of the conventional antiviral therapies: ganciclovir, valganciclovir, foscarnet or cidofovir. Patients underwent a 2-week screening period, followed by randomization 2:1 to maribavir (n=235) (400 mg) or IAT (n=117) for an 8-week treatment period, plus 12 weeks of follow-up.
The trial’s primary endpoint was defined as the proportion of patients who achieved confirmed CMV viremia clearance (plasma CMV DNA <137 IU/mL in two consecutive tests ≥5 days apart at central laboratory) compared to IAT at the end of Study Week 8. The key secondary endpoint was defined as achievement of CMV viremia clearance and symptom control at end of Study Week 8, maintained through Study Week 16.
About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502/NYSE: TAK) is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to discover and deliver life-transforming treatments, guided by our commitment to patients, our people and the planet. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Genetics and Hematology, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people’s lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries. For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com.
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*The difference in proportion of responders between treatment groups was obtained using Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel (CMH) weighted average across all strata and tested using stratum-adjusted CMH method, with transplant type and baseline plasma CMV DNA concentration as two stratification factors
† Refractory defined as documented failure to achieve >1 log10 decrease in CMV DNA level in whole blood or plasma after a 14 day or longer treatment period with IV ganciclovir/oral valganciclovir, IV foscarnet, or IV cidofovir
‡ Resistant defined as refractory CMV and documentation of >1 CMV genetic mutations associated with resistance to ganciclovir, valganciclovir, foscarnet, and/or cidofovir
Marty F. A Phase 3 Randomized Study of Maribavir (MBV) Versus Investigator-Assigned Antiviral Therapy (IAT) for the Treatment (Tx) of Refractory/Resistant (R/R) Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection in Hematopoietic Cell Transplant (HCT) or Solid Organ Transplant (SOT) Recipients. In: The 2021 TCT Meetings Digital Experience. ; 2021.
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