NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: NPSP), a biopharmaceutical company pioneering and delivering therapies that transform the lives of patients with rare diseases worldwide, today announced that it has established a patient-centric distribution and clinical service network for Gattex® (Teduglutide [rDNA origin]) for Injection, for subcutaneous use. The network is comprised of leading specialty home infusion providers, including Accredo Health Group, Inc.; BioScrip; Inc.; Coram, LLC; ThriveRx; and Walgreens Infusion Services. In addition to dispensing Gattex, the company’s contracted providers will provide clinical services to support the use of Gattex in reducing dependence on parenteral nutrition (PN) and intravenous fluids (IV) for patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS). Gattex was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 21, 2012 as a treatment for adults with SBS who are dependent on parenteral support. Gattex is the first-and-only FDA-approved therapy for the long-term treatment of SBS and the first major treatment advance for SBS in nearly 40 years.
By adding Gattex to their product offering the company’s contracted home infusion providers will offer a wide range of personalized services to PN-dependent patients with short bowel syndrome through an interdisciplinary team of experienced infusion professionals, including nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, and support professionals.
“The formation of this distribution and clinical care service network of key providers is critical in accelerating education and market access for Gattex,” commented Eric Pauwels, senior vice president and chief commercial officer of NPS Pharmaceuticals. “These relationships provide important strategic benefits as we leverage our contracted providers’ national and local presence to enhance clinical services and improve the medical outcomes of patients on Gattex, as well as expand our knowledge of key prescribers and patients more rapidly.”
About Short Bowel Syndrome
Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a highly disabling condition that can impair a patient's quality of life and lead to serious life-threatening complications. SBS typically arises after extensive resection of the bowel due to Crohn's disease, ischemia or other conditions. SBS patients often suffer from malnutrition, severe diarrhea, dehydration, fatigue, osteopenia, and weight loss due to the reduced intestinal capacity to absorb nutrients, water and electrolytes. The usual treatment for SBS is nutritional support, including parenteral nutrition (PN) and/or intravenous (IV) fluids to supplement and stabilize nutritional needs.
Although PN can provide nutritional support for SBS patients, it does not improve the body's own ability to absorb nutrients. PN is associated with serious complications, such as infections, blood clots or liver damage, and the risks increase the longer patients are on PN. Patients on PN often experience poor quality of life with difficulty sleeping, and frequent urination, and patients receiving chronic PN often experience a loss of independence.
Gattex Clinical Trials
NPS’ clinical development program for Gattex is the largest and most comprehensive conducted in SBS patients to date, consisting of 15 clinical studies. Across all clinical studies, 566 subjects were exposed to at least one dose of Gattex, of whom 134 had SBS and were treated with 0.05 mg/kg/day Gattex. The FDA’s approval of Gattex was based on an international, 24-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pivotal Phase 3 trial, known as STEPS. The primary endpoint of STEPS was defined as a 20 percent or greater PN/IV volume reduction demonstrated at week 20 and sustained at week 24. The study's secondary endpoints included reductions in PN/IV volume and additional days off therapy. Key findings from the STEPS trial include:
- In an intent-to-treat analysis at weeks 20 and 24, 63 percent of patients treated with Gattex achieved at least a 20 percent reduction in weekly PN/IV volume when compared to baseline, versus 30 percent for placebo (p=0.002).
- After 24 weeks of treatment, PN volume declined by 32 percent (4.4 L/wk) in Gattex-treated patients, versus 21 percent (2.3 L/wk) in the placebo group (p<0.001).
- After 24 weeks of treatment, 54 percent of Gattex-treated patients were able to reduce the number of infusion days per week by one or more days, compared to 23 percent of those treated with placebo (p=0.005).
The most common adverse reactions (≥10 percent) across all studies with Gattex are abdominal pain, injection site reactions, nausea, headaches, abdominal distension, upper respiratory tract infection. In addition, vomiting and fluid overload were reported in the Phase 3 SBS studies at rates ≥ 10 percent.
About Gattex® (teduglutide [rDNA origin]) for Injection
Gattex® (teduglutide [rDNA origin]) for Injection for subcutaneous use is a novel, recombinant analog of human glucagon-like peptide 2, a protein involved in the rehabilitation of the intestinal lining. Gattex® 0.05 mg/kg/d (teduglutide [rDNA origin] for Injection) is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS) who are dependent on parenteral support. Significant reductions in mean PN/IV infusion volume from baseline to end of treatment were seen in the Phase 3 studies of Gattex. In addition, some patients were able to achieve independence from PN/IV support during these trials. The most common side effects of Gattex include stomach area (abdomen) pain or swelling, skin reaction where the injection was given, nausea, headache, cold or flu like symptoms, vomiting, and holding too much fluid in the body (swelling of face, ankles, hands or feet).
Gattex has received orphan drug designation for the treatment of SBS from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the FDA.
In 2007, NPS granted Takeda GmbH, the rights to develop and commercialize teduglutide outside the United States, Canada, Mexico and Israel. NPS retains all rights to teduglutide in North America. The European Commission granted European market authorization on August 30, 2012 for the medicinal product teduglutide (trade name in Europe: Revestive®) as a once-daily treatment for adult patients with short bowel syndrome.
Teduglutide was discovered by Daniel J. Drucker, MD, currently a senior scientist based in the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, in Toronto, Canada. NPS has an exclusive license agreement with Dr. Drucker for teduglutide and its therapeutic uses.
Important Safety Information (ISI)
Gattex has been associated with serious risks including:
- Neoplastic growth. There is a risk for acceleration of neoplastic growth. Colonoscopy of the entire colon with removal of polyps must be done before initiating treatment with Gattex and is recommended after 1 year. Subsequent colonoscopies should be done as needed, but no less frequently than every 5 years. In case of intestinal malignancy discontinue Gattex. The clinical decision to continue Gattex in patients with active non-gastrointestinal malignancy should be made based on risk and benefit considerations.
- Intestinal obstruction. In patients who develop obstruction, Gattex should be temporarily discontinued pending further clinical evaluation and management.
- Biliary and pancreatic disease. Patients should undergo laboratory assessment (bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, lipase, amylase) before starting Gattex. Subsequent laboratory tests should be done every 6 months. If clinically meaningful changes are seen, further evaluation is recommended including imaging, and continued treatment with Gattex should be reassessed.
- Fluid overload. There is a potential for fluid overload while on Gattex. If fluid overload occurs, especially in patients with cardiovascular disease, parenteral support should be appropriately adjusted, and Gattex treatment reassessed.
Prescribers should select the appropriate patients to receive Gattex in accordance with the approved prescribing information, discuss the benefits and risks of Gattex with patients, and monitor patients as specified in the approved prescribing information and report adverse events to NPS’ Gattex information line at 1-855-5GATTEX (1-855-542-8839) or event/product complaint line at 1-855-215-5550.
About NPS Pharmaceuticals
NPS Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing orphan products to patients with rare disorders and few, if any, therapeutic options. The company’s lead product, Gattex® 0.05 mg/kg/d (Teduglutide [rDNA origin]) for Injection, for subcutaneous use is FDA-approved for the treatment of adult patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS) who are dependent on parenteral support. NPS is also developing Natpara® (rhPTH[1-84]) for the treatment of adult hypoparathyroidism and expects to submit its Biologic License Application (BLA) to the FDA in mid-2013.
NPS's earlier stage pipeline includes two calcilytic compounds, NPSP790 and NPSP795, with potential application in rare disorders involving increased calcium receptor activity, such as autosomal dominant hypocalcemia with hypercalciuria (ADHH). NPS complements its proprietary programs with a royalty-based portfolio of products and product candidates that includes agreements with Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, and Takeda GmbH.
"NPS," "NPS Pharmaceuticals," "Gattex," and "Natpara" are the company's trademarks. All other trademarks, trade names or service marks appearing in this press release are the property of their respective owners.
Statements made in this press release, which are not historical in nature, constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on the company's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning our future commercial performance. Risks associated to the company's business include, but are not limited to, the risks associated with any failure by the company to successfully commercialize Gattex, including the risk that physicians and patients may not see the advantages of Gattex and may therefore be reluctant to utilize the product, the risk that private and public payers may be reluctant to cover or provide reimbursement for Gattex, as well as other risk factors described in the company's periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Form 10-Qs. All information in this press release is as of the date of this release and NPS undertakes no duty to update this information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.