FDA Accepts Intercept’s NDA for OCA for the Treatment of Liver Fibrosis Due to NASH and Grants Priority Review
NDA supported by positive interim analysis results from the Phase 3 REGENERATE study demonstrating OCA’s improvement of liver fibrosis without worsening of NASH
NEW YORK, Nov. 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ICPT), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat progressive non-viral liver diseases, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted Intercept’s New Drug Application (NDA) for obeticholic acid (OCA) seeking accelerated approval for the treatment of fibrosis due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and granted priority review. The FDA grants priority review to drugs that have the potential to treat a serious condition and, if approved, would provide a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness.
“If approved, OCA would be the first available therapy for patients with fibrosis due to NASH, a condition that is expected to become the leading cause of liver transplant in the U.S. as soon as 2020,” said Mark Pruzanski, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Intercept. “It is exciting to achieve this critical regulatory milestone that brings us one step closer to our goal of delivering the first approved therapeutic to those living with this devastating disease. From OCA’s prior designation as a Breakthrough Therapy to the grant of priority review today, our work with FDA continues to set an important precedent for the field, and we look forward to working with the agency over the coming months as they review the first NDA in NASH.”
The FDA has assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date of March 26, 2020 for the NDA. In the NDA filing acceptance notification letter, the FDA also indicated that it currently plans to hold an advisory committee meeting to discuss the application. A date for the advisory committee meeting has not been finalized and the timeline for the review of the NDA by the FDA remains subject to change.
OCA is the only investigational therapy to have received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA for NASH with fibrosis. The NDA filing for OCA is supported by positive interim analysis results from the pivotal Phase 3 REGENERATE study in patients with liver fibrosis due to NASH. In the study, OCA 25 mg demonstrated robust improvement in liver fibrosis (by ≥1 stage) with no worsening of NASH at 18 months.
About Liver Fibrosis due to NASH
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a serious progressive liver disease caused by excessive fat accumulation in the liver that induces chronic inflammation, resulting in progressive fibrosis (scarring) that can lead to cirrhosis, eventual liver failure, cancer and death. Advanced fibrosis is associated with a substantially higher risk of liver-related morbidity and mortality in patients with NASH and, as early as 2020, the disease is projected to become the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States. There are currently no medications approved for the treatment of NASH.
About the REGENERATE Study
REGENERATE is a Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study assessing the safety and efficacy of obeticholic acid (OCA) on clinical outcomes in patients with liver fibrosis due to NASH. A pre-specified 18-month analysis was conducted to assess the effect of OCA on liver histology comparing month 18 biopsies with baseline. REGENERATE has completed target enrollment for the clinical outcomes cohort, with more than 2,400 adult NASH patients randomized across 339 qualified centers worldwide, and will continue through clinical outcomes for verification and description of clinical benefit. The end-of-study analysis will evaluate the effect of OCA on all-cause mortality and liver-related clinical outcomes, as well as its long-term safety.
About Accelerated Approval
The FDA grants accelerated approval under subpart H for drugs that address serious or life-threatening illnesses and appear to provide meaningful therapeutic benefit to patients over existing treatments on the basis of an adequate and well-controlled clinical trial demonstrating that the drug has an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. Drugs granted accelerated approval must meet the same standards for safety and effectiveness as those granted traditional approval and are required to be further evaluated on a post-marketing basis. Approval of a drug may be withdrawn by the FDA if clinical benefit cannot be verified or sufficiently demonstrated.
Intercept is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat progressive non-viral liver diseases, including primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Founded in 2002 in New York, Intercept has operations in the United States, Europe and Canada. For more information, please visit www.interceptpharma.com or connect with the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the progress, timing and results of our clinical trials, including our clinical trials for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (“NASH”), the safety and efficacy of our approved product, Ocaliva (obeticholic acid or “OCA”) for primary biliary cholangitis (“PBC”), and our product development candidates, including OCA for NASH, the timing and acceptance of our regulatory filings and the potential approval of OCA for NASH or any other indications in addition to PBC, the timing and potential commercial success of OCA and any other product candidates we may develop and our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected costs, financial guidance, prospects, plans, objectives of management and expected market growth.
These statements constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “potential,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “possible,” “continue” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement except as required by law. These forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions by our management that, although believed to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain and subject to a number of risks. The following represent some, but not necessarily all, of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or those anticipated or predicted by our forward-looking statements: our ability to successfully commercialize Ocaliva for PBC; our ability to maintain our regulatory approval of Ocaliva for PBC in the United States, Europe, Canada, Israel, Australia and other jurisdictions in which we have or may receive marketing authorization; the initiation, timing, cost, conduct, progress and results of our research and development activities, preclinical studies and clinical trials, including any issues, delays or failures in identifying patients, enrolling patients, treating patients, retaining patients, meeting specific endpoints in the jurisdictions in which we intend to seek approval or completing and timely reporting the results of our NASH or PBC clinical trials; our ability to timely and cost-effectively file for and obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates, including the regulatory approval of our NDA for NASH; any advisory committee recommendation that our product candidates, including OCA for NASH, should not be approved or approved only under certain conditions; any determination that the regulatory applications and subsequent information we submit for our product candidates, including OCA for NASH, do not contain adequate clinical or other data or meet applicable regulatory requirements for approval; conditions that may be imposed by regulatory authorities on our marketing approvals for our products and product candidates, such as the need for clinical outcomes data (and not just results based on achievement of a surrogate endpoint), and any related restrictions, limitations and/or warnings contained in the label of any of our products or product candidates; any potential side effects associated with Ocaliva for PBC, OCA for NASH or our other product candidates that could delay or prevent approval, require that an approved product be taken off the market, require the inclusion of safety warnings or precautions, or otherwise limit the sale of such product or product candidate; our ability to establish and maintain relationships with, and the performance of, third-party manufacturers, contract research organizations and other vendors upon whom we are substantially dependent for, among other things, the manufacture and supply of our products, including Ocaliva for PBC and, if approved, OCA for NASH, and our clinical trial activities; our ability to identify, develop and successfully commercialize our products and product candidates, including our ability to timely and successfully launch OCA for NASH, if approved; our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our products and product candidates, including our ability to cost-effectively file, prosecute, defend and enforce any patent claims or other intellectual property rights; the size and growth of the markets for our products and product candidates and our ability to serve those markets; the degree of market acceptance of Ocaliva for PBC and, if approved, OCA for NASH or our other product candidates among physicians, patients and healthcare payors; the availability of adequate coverage and reimbursement from governmental and private healthcare payors for our products, including Ocaliva for PBC and, if approved, OCA for NASH, and our ability to obtain adequate pricing for such products; our ability to establish and maintain effective sales, marketing and distribution capabilities, either directly or through collaborations with third parties; competition from existing drugs or new drugs that become available; our ability to prevent system failures, data breaches or violations of data protection laws; costs and outcomes relating to any disputes, governmental inquiries or investigations, legal proceedings or litigation, including any securities, intellectual property, employment, product liability or other litigation; our collaborators’ election to pursue research, development and commercialization activities; our ability to establish and maintain relationships with collaborators with development, regulatory and commercialization expertise; our need for and ability to generate or obtain additional financing; our estimates regarding future expenses, revenues and capital requirements and the accuracy thereof; our use of cash and short-term investments; our ability to acquire, license and invest in businesses, technologies, product candidates and products; our ability to attract and retain key personnel to manage our business effectively; our ability to manage the growth of our operations, infrastructure, personnel, systems and controls; our ability to obtain and maintain adequate insurance coverage; the impact of general U.S. and foreign economic, industry, market, regulatory or political conditions, including the potential impact of Brexit; and the other risks and uncertainties identified in our periodic filings filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.
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