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Cladribine Update

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Monday June 26 2017 10:45 AM

Cladribine Tablets receives positive CHMP opinion for treatment of relapsing forms of MS

  • Efficacy and safety data support positive benefit/risk assessment from CHMP 
  • Cladribine Tablets is the first and only investigational medicinal product to have shown a sustained 4 years of disease control with a maximum of 20 days of oral treatment over 2 years in clinical trials 

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued a positive opinion for approval of Cladribine Tablets (proposed tradename MAVENCLADTM) for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) in patients with high disease activity. 

“The positive opinion from the CHMP is an extraordinary development for Merck, affirming our belief in Cladribine Tablets as a potential important treatment option for patients living with multiple sclerosis,” said Belén Garijo, member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Healthcare. “We now eagerly await the European Commission decision, and the opportunity to make a difference in the MS treatment paradigm. Our sincerest thanks to the entire MS community for their unwavering support throughout the Cladribine Tablets journey.”

“We strongly believe in the therapeutic value of Cladribine Tablets and the significant impact this investigational therapy may have on the future of MS care,” said Luciano Rossetti, Global Head of R&D for the biopharma business of Merck. “There are still significant unmet needs for patients with MS, particularly those with high disease activity. We look forward to our continued partnership with the EMA, which has been an invaluable scientific advisor in helping us advance the development of Cladribine Tablets.” 

The CHMP positive opinion is based on more than 10,000 patient years of data with over 2,700 patients included in the clinical trial program, and more than 10 years of observation in some patients. The clinical development program included data from three Phase III trials, CLARITY, CLARITY EXTENSION and ORACLE MS, the Phase II ONWARD study and long-term follow-up data from the 8-year prospective registry, PREMIERE. The efficacy and safety results of these studies allowed a full characterization of the benefit-to-risk profile of Cladribine Tablets.

In patients with high disease activity, post hoc analyses of the two-year Phase III CLARITY trial demonstrated that Cladribine Tablets reduced the annualised relapse rate by 67% and the risk of 6-month confirmed EDSS progression by 82% versus placebo. As demonstrated in the Phase III CLARITY EXTENSION study no further Cladribine treatment was required in Years 3 and 4. The comprehensive dataset has informed the posology and monitoring requirements. The most important side effects are lymphopenia, which can be severe and long-lasting, and infections, including herpes zoster. 

The CHMP’s recommendation will be referred to the European Commission which is expected to make a final decision on the marketing authorisation application for Cladribine Tablets within 67 days from the CHMP opinion. 

MAVENCLAD™ is the proprietary name submitted to EMA for the investigational medicine Cladribine Tablets.

MS Ireland welcomes the news that cladribine has been approved by the CHMP. Ava Battles, Chief Executive, says, “The development of new medications such as cladribine is of crucial importance in the fight against relapsing remitting MS, and offers hope to those living with the condition. We hope that this new medication will be made available as a treatment option to people with relapsing remitting MS in Ireland as soon as possible.”

MS Ireland will closely follow developments regarding the availability of cladribine in Ireland and will keep our members informed of any updates.

Further reading

More information on the process for making new medications available in Ireland can be found in our Briefing Document 

Author: MS Ireland

Tags: cladribine, relapsing, ms

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