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Amgen (AMGN)'s Heart Failure Drug Ivabradine Wins Fast Track Status From The FDA


4/18/2014 8:01:01 AM

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April 18, 2014 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted fast track designation for investigational ivabradine for patients with chronic heart failure (HF). Ivabradine is an oral drug that inhibits the If current (‘funny’ current) in the sinoatrial node, the body’s cardiac pacemaker.1 The designation is an important milestone and Amgen looks forward to working closely with the FDA to potentially bring this treatment option to patients with chronic HF in the U.S.

Fast track designation is a process designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need. The designation allows for such options as eligibility for priority review, if relevant criteria are met, more frequent meetings with FDA, and rolling review, which means that a drug company can submit completed sections of its Biological License Application (BLA) or New Drug Application (NDA) for review by FDA, rather than waiting until every section of the application is completed before the entire application can be reviewed. The BLA or NDA review otherwise usually does not begin until the drug company has submitted the entire application to the FDA. Fast track designation does not change the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) approval date or time clock for the FDA to approve a drug.2

Through a collaboration with Servier, Amgen has rights to commercialize ivabradine in the U.S. and plans to file for FDA approval in Q2 2014. Developed by Servier, ivabradine was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as PROCORALAN® in 2005 for the symptomatic treatment of stable angina and in 2012 for chronic HF in patients with elevated heart rates.

About 26 million people have HF worldwide, including approximately 5.1 million people in the U.S.3,4 Projections show that by 2030, the prevalence of HF will increase 25 percent from 2013 estimates.4 Despite currently available treatments, prognosis is poor.4,5

Forward-Looking Statements

This statement contains forward-looking statements that are based on the current expectations and beliefs of Amgen Inc. and its subsidiaries (Amgen or us) and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial metrics, expected legal, arbitration, political, regulatory or clinical results or practices, customer and prescriber patterns or practices, reimbursement activities and outcomes and other such estimates and results. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, including those discussed below and more fully described in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports filed by Amgen Inc., including Amgen Inc.'s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. Please refer to Amgen Inc.'s most recent Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K for additional information on the uncertainties and risk factors related to our business. Unless otherwise noted, Amgen is providing this information as of April 15, 2014, and expressly disclaims any duty to update information contained in this statement.

No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those we project. Discovery or identification of new product candidates or development of new indications for existing products cannot be guaranteed and movement from concept to product is uncertain; consequently, there can be no guarantee that any particular product candidate or development of a new indication for an existing product will be successful and become a commercial product. Further, preclinical results do not guarantee safe and effective performance of product candidates in humans. The complexity of the human body cannot be perfectly, or sometimes, even adequately modeled by computer or cell culture systems or animal models. The length of time that it takes for us and our partners to complete clinical trials and obtain regulatory approval for product marketing has in the past varied and we expect similar variability in the future. We develop product candidates internally and through licensing collaborations, partnerships and joint ventures. Product candidates that are derived from relationships may be subject to disputes between the parties or may prove to be not as effective or as safe as we may have believed at the time of entering into such relationship. Also, we or others could identify safety, side effects or manufacturing problems with our products after they are on the market. Our business may be impacted by government investigations, litigation and product liability claims. If we fail to meet the compliance obligations in the corporate integrity agreement between us and the U.S. government, we could become subject to significant sanctions. We depend on third parties for a significant portion of our manufacturing capacity for the supply of certain of our current and future products and limits on supply may constrain sales of certain of our current products and product candidate development.

In addition, sales of our products (including products of our wholly-owned subsidiaries) are affected by the reimbursement policies imposed by third-party payers, including governments, private insurance plans and managed care providers and may be affected by regulatory, clinical and guideline developments and domestic and international trends toward managed care and healthcare cost containment as well as U.S. legislation affecting pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement. Government and others' regulations and reimbursement policies may affect the development, usage and pricing of our products. In addition, we compete with other companies with respect to some of our marketed products as well as for the discovery and development of new products. We believe that some of our newer products, product candidates or new indications for existing products, may face competition when and as they are approved and marketed. Our products may compete against products that have lower prices, established reimbursement, superior performance, are easier to administer, or that are otherwise competitive with our products. In addition, while Amgen and its partners routinely obtain patents for their products and technology, the protection of our products offered by patents and patent applications may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented by our or our partners' competitors and there can be no guarantee of our or our partners' ability to obtain or maintain patent protection for our products or product candidates. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to produce commercially successful products or maintain the commercial success of our existing products. Our stock price may be affected by actual or perceived market opportunity, competitive position, and success or failure of our products or product candidates. Further, the discovery of significant problems with a product similar to one of our products that implicate an entire class of products could have a material adverse effect on sales of the affected products and on our business and results of operations. Our efforts to integrate the operations of companies we have acquired may not be successful.

The scientific information discussed in this statement related to our product candidates is preliminary and investigative. Such product candidates are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and no conclusions can or should be drawn regarding the safety or effectiveness of the product candidates.

References

1. DiFrancesco D and Camm JA. Heart rate lowering by specific and selective I(f) current inhibition with ivabradine: a new therapeutic perspective in cardiovascular disease. Drugs. 2004;64(16):1757–1765.

2. Food and Drug Administration. For Consumers: Fast Track, Breakthrough Therapy, Accelerated Approval and Priority Review. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forpatientadvocates/speedingaccesstoimportantnewtherapies/ucm128291.htm. Accessed April 2014.

3. López-Sendón, J. The heart failure epidemic. MEDICOGRAPHIA. 2011;33(4):363-369.

4. Go, AS et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics--2013 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circ. 2013;127:e6-e245.

5. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What is Heart Failure? Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hf/. Accessed April 2014.

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