Allergan and Richter Announce Positive Topline Results from Third of Three Pivotal Trials of Cariprazine in Bipolar I Depression

Published: Apr 03, 2018

DUBLIN and BUDAPEST, Hungary, April 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Allergan, Inc. (NYSE: AGN), a leading global pharmaceutical company, and Gedeon Richter Ltd., today announced positive topline results for RGH-MD-53, a Phase 3 study of cariprazine for the treatment of adults with major depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (bipolar I depression). The companies announced in December 2017 positive topline results for the second pivotal trial (RGH-MD-54) of cariprazine in the treatment of bipolar I depression. In that trial both cariprazine 1.5mg and 3mg were statistically greater than placebo.

The efficacy of cariprazine in the treatment of bipolar I depression has been demonstrated in three positive pivotal trials, including RGH-MD-53, RGH-MD-54 and RGH-MD-56. Allergan plans to include data from all three pivotal trials in the Company's Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the second half of 2018. Cariprazine is currently approved in the U.S. under the brand name VRAYLAR® for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults, and acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in adults.

"We are very pleased with the results of our third pivotal study, which reinforce the wealth of data supporting cariprazine as a potential treatment in adults with bipolar depression" said David Nicholson, Chief Research & Development Officer at Allergan. "Bipolar depression is often difficult to treat and can be extremely debilitating for patients. At Allergan, we are committed to developing treatments that address unmet needs facing people living with mental illness and are looking forward to submitting an sNDA for cariprazine for patients suffering with bipolar I depression."

For RGH-MD-53, the primary and key secondary efficacy endpoints were met for the cariprazine 1.5 mg dose group. Cariprazine 1.5 mg showed a significantly greater improvement than placebo for the change from baseline to week 6 on both the primary efficacy parameter the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score (p=0.0417, LSMD -2.5), as well as the key secondary parameter, Clinical Global Impression Scale-Severity (CGI-S) (p=0.0417, LSMD -0.3). Cariprazine 3 mg showed a numerical improvement over placebo for both the primary (p=0.1051, LSMD -1.8) and secondary parameters (p=0.1370, LSMD -0.2), but did not reach statistical significance.

"Treating bipolar depression can be very difficult given the few therapies available to manage these symptoms of bipolar I disorder. Further, there are a limited number of products available to help treat the full range of bipolar disorder - from mania through depression," said Gary Sachs, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "This data is encouraging for patients and the broader psychiatry community, as it demonstrates cariprazine's potential in treating the full spectrum of the disorder."

In this study, 493 patients were randomized (1:1:1) to placebo, cariprazine 1.5 mg and cariprazine 3 mg treatment groups to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of cariprazine in patients with bipolar I depression. Cariprazine was generally well tolerated in the trial. The overall incidence of patients who experienced adverse events was 51 percent for the cariprazine 1.5 and 3 mg dose groups, and 46 percent for the placebo group. The majority of adverse events were mild to moderate and led to discontinuation in approximately 5 percent of cariprazine treated patients versus 3 percent of placebo treated patients. The most commonly reported adverse events in the cariprazine groups were akathisia, restlessness, nausea, and fatigue.

"Today's positive results provide further support for the therapeutic value of cariprazine, one of our flagship products. We are encouraged by the findings, which mark a major step forward in making this promising treatment option available for patients suffering from bipolar depression," added Dr. István Greiner, Research Director of Gedeon Richter Plc.

About Cariprazine in Bipolar I Depression

RGH-MD-56 was a Phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical trial in adult patients with bipolar I depression. A total of 584 patients were randomized to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of cariprazine 0.75 mg, 1.5 mg and 3 mg compared to placebo in the treatment of outpatients with bipolar I depression. Patients underwent a no-drug screening period of approximately 7-14 days, followed by 8 weeks of double-blind treatment (primary endpoint was 6-weeks) and a 1-week, no investigational product safety follow-up period.

RGH-MD-53 and RGH-MD-54 were identical Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multicenter, fixed-dose clinical trials in adult patients with bipolar I depression. Patients were randomized in both studies aiming to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of cariprazine 1.5 mg and 3 mg compared to placebo in outpatients with bipolar I depression. Patients underwent a no-drug screening period of approximately 7-14 days, followed by 6 weeks of double-blind treatment and a 1-week, no investigational product safety follow-up period.

About VRAYLAR® (cariprazine)

VRAYLAR is an oral, once daily atypical antipsychotic approved for the acute treatment of adult patients with manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, with a recommended dose range of 3 to 6 mg/day, and for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults, with a recommended dose range of 1.5 to 6 mg/day.

While the mechanism of action of VRAYLAR in schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder is unknown, the efficacy of VRAYLAR could be mediated through a combination of partial agonist activity at central dopamine D? and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors and antagonist activity at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors. Pharmacodynamic studies with cariprazine have shown that it acts as a partial agonist with high binding affinity at dopamine D3, dopamine D2, and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors. Cariprazine demonstrated up to ~8-fold greater in vitro affinity for dopamine D3 vs D2 receptors. Cariprazine also acts as an antagonist at serotonin 5-HT2B and 5-HT2A receptors with high and moderate binding affinity, respectively as well as it binds to the histamine H1 receptors. Cariprazine shows lower binding affinity to the serotonin 5-HT2C and α1A- adrenergic receptors and has no appreciable affinity for cholinergic muscarinic receptors. The clinical significance of these in vitro data is unknown.

VRAYLAR was discovered and co-developed by Gedeon Richter Plc and is licensed by Allergan, in the U.S. and Canada. For more than a decade both companies have conducted over 20 clinical trials enrolling thousands of patients worldwide to evaluate the efficacy and safety of cariprazine for patients suffering from a broad range of mental health illnesses.

Visit www.vraylar.com for more information.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

                WARNING: INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED
                                              PSYCHOSIS



     Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an
      increased risk of death. VRAYLAR is not approved for treatment of patients with dementia-
                                          related psychosis
                                          -----------------

Contraindication: VRAYLAR is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity. Reactions have included rash, pruritus, urticaria, and events suggestive of angioedema.

Cerebrovascular Adverse Reactions, Including Stroke: In clinical trials with antipsychotic drugs, elderly subjects with dementia had a higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse reactions, including fatalities vs placebo. VRAYLAR is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): NMS, a potentially fatal symptom complex, has been reported with antipsychotic drugs. NMS may cause hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, delirium, and autonomic instability. Additional signs may include elevated creatine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis), and acute renal failure. Manage with immediate discontinuation, intensive symptomatic treatment, and monitoring.

Tardive Dyskinesia (TD): Risk of developing TD (a syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements) and the likelihood it will become irreversible may increase with the duration of treatment and the cumulative dose. The syndrome can develop after a relatively brief treatment period, even at low doses, or after treatment discontinuation. If signs and symptoms of TD appear, drug discontinuation should be considered.

Late-Occurring Adverse Reactions: Adverse events may first appear several weeks after initiation of VRAYLAR, probably because plasma levels of cariprazine and its major metabolites accumulate over time. As a result, the incidence of adverse reactions in short-term trials may not reflect the rates after longer term exposures. Monitor for adverse reactions, including extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) or akathisia, and patient response for several weeks after starting VRAYLAR and after each dosage increase. Consider reducing the dose or discontinuing the drug.

Metabolic Changes: Atypical antipsychotics have caused metabolic changes, such as:

  • Hyperglycemia and Diabetes Mellitus: Hyperglycemia, in some cases associated with ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. Assess fasting glucose before or soon after initiation of treatment, and monitor periodically during long-term treatment.
  • Dyslipidemia: Atypical antipsychotics cause adverse alterations in lipids. Before or soon after starting an antipsychotic, obtain baseline fasting lipid profile and monitor periodically during treatment.
  • Weight Gain: Weight gain has been observed with VRAYLAR. Monitor weight at baseline and frequently thereafter.

Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis: Leukopenia/neutropenia have been reported with antipsychotics, including VRAYLAR. Agranulocytosis (including fatal cases) has been reported with other antipsychotics. Monitor complete blood count in patients with pre-existing low white blood cell count (WBC)/absolute neutrophil count or history of drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia. Discontinue VRAYLAR at the first sign of a clinically significant decline in WBC and in severely neutropenic patients.

Orthostatic Hypotension and Syncope: Atypical antipsychotics cause orthostatic hypotension and syncope, with the greatest risk during initial titration and with dose increases. Monitor orthostatic vital signs in patients predisposed to hypotension and in those with cardiovascular/cerebrovascular diseases.

Falls: VRAYLAR may cause somnolence, postural hypotension, motor and sensory instability, which may lead to falls and, consequently, fractures, or other injuries. For patients with diseases, conditions, or medications that could exacerbate these effects, complete fall risk assessments when initiating antipsychotics and recurrently for patients on long-term therapy.

Seizures: Use VRAYLAR with caution in patients with history of seizures or with conditions that lower the seizure threshold.

Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment: Somnolence was reported with VRAYLAR. Caution patients about performing activities requiring mental alertness (eg, operating hazardous machinery or a motor vehicle).

Body Temperature Dysregulation: Use VRAYLAR with caution in patients who may experience conditions that increase body temperature (eg, strenuous exercise, extreme heat, dehydration, or concomitant anticholinergics).

Dysphagia: Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotics. Antipsychotic drugs, including VRAYLAR, should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration.

Drug Interactions: Strong CYP3A4 inhibitors increase VRAYLAR concentrations, so VRAYLAR dose reduction is recommended. Concomitant use with CYP3A4 inducers is not recommended.

Adverse Reactions: In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥5% and at least twice the rate of placebo) are listed below:

  • Schizophrenia: The incidences within the recommended dose range (VRAYLAR 1.5 - 3 mg/day and 4.5 - 6 mg/day vs placebo) were: EPS (15%, 19% vs 8%) and akathisia (9%, 13% vs 4%)
  • Bipolar mania: The incidences within the recommended dose range (VRAYLAR 3 - 6 mg/day vs placebo) were: EPS (26% vs 12%), akathisia (20% vs 5%), dyspepsia (7% vs 4%), vomiting (10% vs 4%), somnolence (7% vs 4%), and restlessness (7% vs 2%)

Please also see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.

About Richter

Gedeon Richter Plc. (www.richter.hu), headquartered in Budapest/Hungary, is a major pharmaceutical company in Central Eastern Europe, with an expanding direct presence in Western Europe, in China and in Latin America. Having reached a market capitalisation of EUR 4.1 billion (US$ 4.9 billion) by the end of 2017, Richter's consolidated sales were approximately EUR 1.4 billion (US$ 1.6 billion) during the same year. The product portfolio of Richter covers many important therapeutic areas, including Women's Healthcare, Central Nervous System, and Cardiovascular areas. Having the largest R&D unit in Central Eastern Europe, Richter's original research activity focuses on CNS disorders. With its widely acknowledged steroid chemistry expertise, Richter is a significant player in the Women's healthcare field worldwide. Richter is also active in biosimilar product development.

About Allergan plc

Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a bold, global pharmaceutical company and a leader in a new industry model - Growth Pharma. Allergan is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceutical, device, biologic, surgical and regenerative medicine products for patients around the world.

Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products for the central nervous system, eye care, medical aesthetics and dermatology, gastroenterology, women's health, urology and anti-infective therapeutic categories.

Allergan is an industry leader in Open Science, a model of research and development, which defines our approach to identifying and developing game-changing ideas and innovation for better patient care. With this approach, Allergan has built one of the broadest development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry.

Allergan's success is powered by our global colleagues' commitment to being Bold for Life. Together, we build bridges, power ideas, act fast and drive results for our customers and patients around the world by always doing what is right.

With commercial operations in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives every day.

For more information, visit Allergan's website at www.Allergan.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

Statements contained in this press release that refer to future events or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Allergan's current perspective on existing trends and information as of the date of this release. Actual results may differ materially from Allergan's current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Allergan's business. These factors include, among others, the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of FDA approvals or actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance of and continued demand for Allergan's products; the impact of uncertainty around timing of generic entry related to key products, including RESTASIS®, on our financial results; uncertainty associated with financial projections, projected cost reductions, projected synergies, restructurings, increased costs, and adverse tax consequences; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Allergan's periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Allergan's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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