Celltrion and Teva Announce FDA Approval of HERZUMA® (trastuzumab-pkrb), a Biosimilar to HERCEPTIN®, for the Treatment of HER2-Overexpressing Breast Cancer for Certain Indications
December 14, 2018 06:31 PM Eastern Standard Time
INCHEON, South Korea and JERUSALEM, Israel -- Celltrion, Inc. (KRX:068270) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE and TASE: TEVA) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved HERZUMA® (trastuzumab-pkrb), a HER2/neu receptor antagonist biosimilar to HERCEPTIN®1 (trastuzumab) for the following indications:
Adjuvant Breast Cancer of HER2 overexpressing node positive or node negative (ER/PR negative or with one high risk feature) breast cancer
as part of a treatment regimen consisting of doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and either paclitaxel or docetaxel
as part of a treatment regimen with docetaxel and carboplatin
Metastatic Breast Cancer
in combination with paclitaxel for first-line treatment of HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer
as a single agent for treatment of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer in patients who have received one or more chemotherapy regimens for metastatic disease.
In these indications, patients should be selected for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for a trastuzumab product
“Biosimilars are of growing importance to the oncology community and the approval of HERZUMA may provide more patients access to this important therapy,” stated Woosung Kee, Chief Executive Officer of Celltrion. “This is our second oncology biosimilar approval in the United States in the past month, which reinforces the goal for all of our approved products -- providing broader treatment options for patients and the providers who treat them.”
HERZUMA meets the FDA’s rigorous standards as a biosimilar to the reference product for the approved indications based on a totality of evidence. The FDA approval is based on a review of a comprehensive data package inclusive of foundational analytical similarity data, nonclinical data, clinical pharmacology, immunogenicity, clinical efficacy and safety data. The results of the clinical development program for HERZUMA demonstrated that there were no clinically meaningful differences in purity, potency and safety between HERZUMA and HERCEPTIN for the treatment of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer for the approved indications.
“We are excited about building Teva’s presence in biosimilars,” said Brendan O’Grady, Executive Vice President and Head of North America Commercial at Teva. “The addition of HERZUMA to our biosimilars portfolio will allow us to leverage our strengths from Oncology and Generics.”
Trastuzumab products have a Boxed Warning which states that treatment with trastuzumab may be associated with cardiomyopathy, infusion reactions, pulmonary toxicity and embryo-fetal toxicity. Please see the full Boxed Warning and additional Important Safety Information in this release and accompanying Prescribing Information.
Celltrion and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. entered into an exclusive partnership in October 2016 to commercialize HERZUMA in the U.S. and Canada.
Important Safety Information and Boxed Warnings
CARDIOMYOPATHY, INFUSION REACTIONS, EMBRYO‑FETAL TOXICITY, AND PULMONARY
Cardiomyopathy - Administration of trastuzumab products can result in sub-clinical and clinical cardiac failure. The incidence and severity was highest in patients receiving trastuzumab with anthracycline‑containing chemotherapy regimens.
Evaluate left ventricular function in all patients prior to and during treatment with HERZUMA. Discontinue HERZUMA treatment in patients receiving adjuvant therapy and withhold HERZUMA in patients with metastatic disease for clinically significant decrease in left ventricular function.
Infusion Reactions; Pulmonary Toxicity - Administration of trastuzumab products can result in serious and fatal infusion reactions and pulmonary toxicity. Symptoms usually occur during or within 24 hours of HERZUMA administration. Interrupt HERZUMA infusion for dyspnea or clinically significant hypotension. Monitor patients until symptoms completely resolve. Discontinue HERZUMA for anaphylaxis, angioedema, interstitial pneumonitis, or acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Embryo Fetal Toxicity - Exposure to trastuzumab products during pregnancy can result in oligohydramnios and oligohydramnios sequence manifesting as pulmonary hypoplasia, skeletal abnormalities, and neonatal death. Advise patients of these risks and the need for effective contraception.
Trastuzumab products can cause left ventricular cardiac dysfunction, arrhythmias, hypertension, disabling cardiac failure, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac death. Trastuzumab products can also cause asymptomatic decline in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
There is a 4–6-fold increase in the incidence of symptomatic myocardial dysfunction among patients receiving trastuzumab products as a single agent or in combination therapy compared with those not receiving trastuzumab products. The highest absolute incidence occurs when a trastuzumab product is administered with an anthracycline.
Withhold HERZUMA for ≥ 16% absolute decrease in LVEF from pre-treatment values or an LVEF value below institutional limits of normal and ≥ 10% absolute decrease in LVEF from pretreatment values. The safety of continuation or resumption of HERZUMA in patients with trastuzumab product-induced left ventricular cardiac dysfunction has not been studied.
Patients who receive anthracycline after stopping HERZUMA may also be at increased risk of cardiac dysfunction.
Conduct thorough cardiac assessment, including history, physical examination, and determination of LVEF by echocardiogram or MUGA scan. The following schedule is recommended:
Baseline LVEF measurement immediately prior to initiation of HERZUMA.
LVEF measurements every 3 months during and upon completion of HERZUMA.
Repeat LVEF measurement at 4 week intervals if HERZUMA is withheld for significant left ventricular cardiac dysfunction.
LVEF measurements every 6 months for at least 2 years following completion of HERZUMA as a component of adjuvant therapy.
Infusion reactions consist of a symptom complex characterized by fever and chills, and on occasion included nausea, vomiting, pain (in some cases at tumor sites), headache, dizziness, dyspnea, hypotension, rash, and asthenia.
In post-marketing reports, serious and fatal infusion reactions have been reported. Severe reactions, which include bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, angioedema, hypoxia, and severe hypotension, were usually reported during or immediately following the initial infusion. However, the onset and clinical course were variable, including progressive worsening, initial improvement followed by clinical deterioration, or delayed post-infusion events with rapid clinical deterioration. For fatal events, death occurred within hours to days following a serious infusion reaction.
Interrupt HERZUMA infusion in all patients experiencing dyspnea, clinically significant hypotension, and intervention of medical therapy administered (which may include epinephrine, corticosteroids, diphenhydramine, bronchodilators, and oxygen). Patients should be evaluated and carefully monitored until complete resolution of signs and symptoms. Permanent discontinuation should be strongly considered in all patients with severe infusion reactions.
There are no data regarding the most appropriate method of identification of patients who may safely be retreated with trastuzumab products after experiencing a severe infusion reaction. Prior to resumption of trastuzumab infusion, the majority of patients who experienced a severe infusion reaction were pre‑medicated with antihistamines and/or corticosteroids. While some patients tolerated trastuzumab infusions, others had recurrent severe infusion reactions despite pre-medications.
Trastuzumab products can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. In post marketing reports, use of trastuzumab during pregnancy resulted in cases of oligohydramnios and oligohydramnios sequence manifesting as pulmonary hypoplasia, skeletal abnormalities, and neonatal death.
Verify the pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to the initiation of HERZUMA. Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential that exposure to HERZUMA during pregnancy or within 7 months prior to conception can result in fetal harm. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for 7 months following the last dose of HERZUMA.
Trastuzumab product use can result in serious and fatal pulmonary toxicity. Pulmonary toxicity includes dyspnea, interstitial pneumonitis, pulmonary infiltrates, pleural effusions, non‑cardiogenic pulmonary edema, pulmonary insufficiency and hypoxia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and pulmonary fibrosis. Such events can occur as sequelae of infusion reactions.
Patients with symptomatic intrinsic lung disease or with extensive tumor involvement of the lungs, resulting in dyspnea at rest, appear to have more severe toxicity.
In randomized, controlled clinical trials, the per-patient incidences of NCI-CTC Grade 3 to 4 neutropenia and of febrile neutropenia were higher in patients receiving trastuzumab in combination with myelosuppressive chemotherapy as compared to those who received chemotherapy alone. The incidence of septic death was similar among patients who received trastuzumab and those who did not.
Adjuvant Breast Cancer - Most common adverse reactions (≥5%) are headache, diarrhea, nausea, and chills.
Metastatic Breast Cancer- Most common adverse reactions (≥ 10%) are fever, chills, headache, infection, congestive heart failure, insomnia, cough, and rash.
Please click here for full Prescribing Information for HERZUMA.
 HERCEPTIN® is a registered trademark of Genentech, Inc.
About Celltrion, Inc.
Headquartered in Incheon, Korea, Celltrion is a leading biopharmaceutical company, specializing in research, development and manufacturing of biosimilar and innovative drugs. Celltrion strives to provide more affordable biosimilar mAbs to patients who previously had limited access to advanced therapeutics. Celltrion received FDA and EC’s approval for Inflectra® and Remsima®, respectively, which is the world’s first mAb biosimilar to receive approval from a regulatory agency in a developed country. For more information, visit www.celltrion.com.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is a global leader in generic medicines, with innovative treatments in select areas, including CNS, pain and respiratory. We deliver high-quality generic products and medicines in nearly every therapeutic area to address unmet patient needs. We have an established presence in generics, specialty, OTC and API, building on more than a century-old legacy, with a fully integrated R&D function, strong operational base and global infrastructure and scale. We strive to act in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Headquartered in Israel, with production and research facilities around the globe, we employ 45,000 professionals, committed to improving the lives of millions of patients. Learn more at www.tevapharm.com.
Teva Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding HERZUMA®, which are based on management’s current beliefs and expectations and are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that could cause our future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from that expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include risks relating to:
- the uncertainty of commercial success of HERZUMA, including the successful launch of the product;
- Our ability to successfully challenge third party's intellectual property that may apply to HERZUMA;
- our ability to successfully compete in the marketplace, including: that we are substantially dependent on our generic products; competition for our specialty products, especially COPAXONE®, our leading medicine, which faces competition from existing and potential additional generic versions and orally-administered alternatives; competition from companies with greater resources and capabilities; efforts of pharmaceutical companies to limit the use of generics including through legislation and regulations; consolidation of our customer base and commercial alliances among our customers; the increase in the number of competitors targeting generic opportunities and seeking U.S. market exclusivity for generic versions of significant products; price erosion relating to our products, both from competing products and increased regulation; delays in launches of new products and our ability to achieve expected results from investments in our product pipeline; our ability to take advantage of high-value opportunities; the difficulty and expense of obtaining licenses to proprietary technologies; and the effectiveness of our patents and other measures to protect our intellectual property rights;
- our substantially increased indebtedness and significantly decreased cash on hand, which may limit our ability to incur additional indebtedness, engage in additional transactions or make new investments, may result in a further downgrade of our credit ratings; and our inability to raise debt or borrow funds in amounts or on terms that are favorable to us;
- our business and operations in general, including: failure to effectively execute our restructuring plan announced in December 2017; uncertainties related to, and failure to achieve, the potential benefits and success of our new senior management team and organizational structure; harm to our pipeline of future products due to the ongoing review of our R&D programs; our ability to develop and commercialize additional pharmaceutical products; potential additional adverse consequences following our resolution with the U.S. government of our FCPA investigation; compliance with sanctions and other trade control laws; manufacturing or quality control problems, which may damage our reputation for quality production and require costly remediation; interruptions in our supply chain; disruptions of our or third party information technology systems or breaches of our data security; the failure to recruit or retain key personnel; variations in intellectual property laws that may adversely affect our ability to manufacture our products; challenges associated with conducting business globally, including adverse effects of political or economic instability, major hostilities or terrorism; significant sales to a limited number of customers in our U.S. market; our ability to successfully bid for suitable acquisition targets or licensing opportunities, or to consummate and integrate acquisitions; and our prospects and opportunities for growth if we sell assets;
- compliance, regulatory and litigation matters, including: costs and delays resulting from the extensive governmental regulation to which we are subject; the effects of reforms in healthcare regulation and reductions in pharmaceutical pricing, reimbursement and coverage; governmental investigations into sales and marketing practices; potential liability for patent infringement; product liability claims; increased government scrutiny of our patent settlement agreements; failure to comply with complex Medicare and Medicaid reporting and payment obligations; and environmental risks;
- other financial and economic risks, including: our exposure to currency fluctuations and restrictions as well as credit risks; potential impairments of our intangible assets; potential significant increases in tax liabilities; and the effect on our overall effective tax rate of the termination or expiration of governmental programs or tax benefits, or of a change in our business;
- and other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, including in the section captioned “Risk Factors,” and in our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at www.sec.gov and www.tevapharm.com. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or other information contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You are cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.