Otsuka and Lundbeck Issue Statement on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Committee Meeting on REXULTI® (brexpiprazole) for the Treatment of Agitation Associated with Alzheimer’s Dementia

PRINCETON, N.J. & DEERFIELD, Ill.–()–Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., (Otsuka) and Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals LLC (Lundbeck) announce the Joint Meeting of the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met to discuss the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) of REXULTI® (brexpiprazole) for the treatment of agitation associated with Alzheimer’s dementia (AAD). The committee voted 9-1 that Otsuka and Lundbeck provided sufficient data to allow the identification of a population in whom the benefits of treating AAD with REXULTI outweigh its risks.

If approved, REXULTI would be the first FDA-approved treatment indicated for AAD in the U.S. The FDA will consider the feedback from the committee as it reviews the sNDA for REXULTI in advance of the May 10 Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date.

“We are thankful to the FDA and committee members for the thoughtful review and discussion of REXULTI for the treatment of agitation associated with Alzheimer’s dementia,” said John Kraus, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer at Otsuka. “We will continue to work closely with the FDA in advance of our scheduled PDUFA date and feel confident in the impact REXULTI could have in addressing the significant unmet need within the Alzheimer’s community.”

The sNDA included data from two positive clinical phase III studies that investigated the treatment of REXULTI in patients with AAD. Study 331-12-283 demonstrated REXULTI 2 mg/day was statistically superior to placebo for the primary endpoint of mean change in Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) Total Score from baseline to Week 12 (p < 0.05). In Study 331-14-213, treatment with REXULTI 2 and 3 mg/day showed statistically significant improvement compared with placebo for the primary efficacy endpoint, the mean change in CMAI Total Score from baseline to Week 12 (p < 0.05).

“Agitation is one of the most complex and stressful aspects of care in patients affected by Alzheimer’s dementia,” said Johan Luthman, executive vice president, Lundbeck Research & Development. “With no FDA-approved products for AAD, there is an urgent need for a treatment that could lessen the neuropsychiatric symptoms that AAD patients and caregivers struggle with. Having an approved treatment option for AAD could provide hope to people impacted by this debilitating condition.”

About Agitation Associated with Alzheimer’s Dementia

Agitation is a common neuropsychiatric symptom of Alzheimer’s dementia. It is reported in approximately half all of patients with Alzheimer’s dementia and has a large impact on quality of life for the patients, family members, and caregivers.6-7 Agitation covers a large group of behaviors occurring in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia, such as pacing, gesturing, profanity, shouting, shoving, and hitting.8

Symptoms of agitation are also a consistent predictor of nursing home admission in patients with dementia.9-11

About REXULTI® (brexpiprazole)

REXULTI (brexpiprazole) was approved in the U.S. on July 10, 2015, as an adjunctive therapy to antidepressants in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) and as a treatment for schizophrenia in adults. Brexpiprazole was also approved by Health Canada for schizophrenia and adjunctive treatment of MDD in 2017 and 2019, respectively, and by the EMA in Europe in 2018 for the treatment of schizophrenia.

REXULTI was discovered by Otsuka and is being co-developed by Otsuka and Lundbeck. The mechanism of action of REXULTI is unknown, however the efficacy of REXULTI may be mediated through a combination of partial agonist activity at serotonin 5-HT1A and dopamine D2 receptors and antagonism at noradrenaline alpha1B/2C receptors and at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors, all at pharmacologically relevant potencies.12-13

INDICATIONS and IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for REXULTI® (brexpiprazole)

INDICATIONS

REXULTI is indicated for:

  • Use as an adjunctive therapy to antidepressants for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults
  • Treatment of schizophrenia in adults and pediatric patients ages 13 years and older

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 increased risk of death. REXULTI is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in patients aged 24 years and younger. Monitor for clinical worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The safety and effectiveness of REXULTI have not been established in pediatric patients with MDD.

Contraindication: In patients with known hypersensitivity reaction to brexpiprazole or any of its components. Reactions have included: rash, facial swelling, urticaria and anaphylaxis.

Cerebrovascular Adverse Events, Including Stroke: In clinical trials, elderly patients with dementia randomized to risperidone, aripiprazole, and olanzapine had a higher incidence of stroke and transient ischemic attack, including fatal stroke. REXULTI is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): NMS is a potentially fatal symptom complex reported in association with administration of antipsychotic drugs including REXULTI. Clinical signs of NMS are hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, altered mental status and evidence of autonomic instability. Additional signs may include elevated creatinine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis), and acute renal failure. Manage NMS with immediate discontinuation of REXULTI, intensive symptomatic treatment, and monitoring.

Tardive Dyskinesia (TD): Risk of TD, and the potential to become irreversible, are believed to increase with duration of treatment and total cumulative dose of antipsychotic drugs. TD can develop after a relatively brief treatment period, even at low doses, or after discontinuation of treatment. For chronic treatment, use the lowest dose and shortest duration of REXULTI needed to produce a clinical response. If signs and symptoms of TD appear, drug discontinuation should be considered.

Metabolic Changes: Atypical antipsychotic drugs have caused metabolic changes including:

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

Pathological Gambling and Other Compulsive Behaviors: Intense urges, particularly for gambling, and the inability to control these urges have been reported while taking REXULTI. Other compulsive urges have been reported less frequently. Prescribers should ask patients or their caregivers about the development of new or intense compulsive urges. Consider dose reduction or stopping REXULTI if such urges develop.

Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis: Leukopenia and neutropenia have been reported with antipsychotics. Agranulocytosis (including fatal cases) has been reported with other agents in this class. 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 REXULTI 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. Generally, the risk is greatest during initial dose titration and when increasing the dose. Monitor in patients vulnerable to hypotension, and those with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

Falls: Antipsychotics may cause somnolence, postural hypotension, motor and sensory instability, which may lead to falls causing fractures or other injuries. For patients with diseases, conditions, or medications that could exacerbate these effects, complete fall risk assessments when initiating treatment and recurrently during therapy.

Seizures: REXULTI may cause seizures and should be used with caution in patients with a history of seizures or with conditions that lower the seizure threshold.

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

Dysphagia: Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotics, including REXULTI, and should be used with caution in patients at risk for aspiration.

Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment: REXULTI has the potential to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Patients should not drive or operate hazardous machinery until they are reasonably certain REXULTI does not affect them adversely.

Concomitant Medication: Dosage adjustments are recommended in patients who are known cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2D6 poor metabolizers and in patients taking concomitant CYP3A4 inhibitors or CYP2D6 inhibitors or strong CYP3A4 inducers.

Most commonly observed adverse reactions: In clinical trials of adults, the most common adverse reactions were:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) (adjunctive treatment to antidepressant therapy; ≥5% incidence and at least twice the rate of placebo for REXULTI vs. placebo): akathisia and weight increased
  • Schizophrenia (≥4% incidence and at least twice the rate of placebo for REXULTI vs. placebo): weight increased. Adverse reactions in patients 13 to 17 years of age were generally similar to those observed in adult patients.

Dystonia: Symptoms of dystonia may occur in susceptible individuals during the first days of treatment and at low doses.

Pregnancy: Adequate and well-controlled studies to assess the risks of REXULTI during pregnancy have not been conducted. REXULTI should be used during pregnancy only if the benefit justifies the risk to the fetus.

Lactation: It is not known if REXULTI is excreted in human breast milk. A decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. at 1-800-438-9927 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (www.fda.gov/medwatch).

Please click here for FULL PRESCRIBING INFORMATION, including BOXED WARNING.

About Otsuka

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: Otsuka–people creating new products for better health worldwide. Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures, and markets innovative products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products to meet unmet medical needs and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.

In pharmaceuticals, Otsuka is a leader in the challenging areas of mental, renal, and cardiovascular health and has additional research programs in oncology and on several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate how Otsuka is a “big venture” company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does.

Otsuka established a presence in the U.S. in 1973 and today its U.S. affiliates include Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC) and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI). These two companies’ 2,000 employees in the U.S. develop and commercialize medicines in the areas of mental health and nephrology, using cutting-edge technology to address unmet healthcare needs.

OPDC and OAPI are indirect subsidiaries of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd. headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The Otsuka group of companies employed 47,000 people worldwide and had consolidated sales of approximately USD 13.1 billion in 2022.

All Otsuka stories start by taking the road less traveled. Learn more about Otsuka in the U.S. at www.otsuka-us.com and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @OtsukaUS. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.’s global website is accessible at https://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/.

About Lundbeck

H. Lundbeck A/S (LUN.CO, LUN DC, HLUYY) is a global biopharmaceutical company specialized in brain diseases. For more than 70 years, we have been at the forefront of neuroscience research. We are tirelessly dedicated to restoring brain health, so every person can be their best.

Our approximately 5,400 employees in more than 50 countries are engaged in the entire value chain throughout research, development, production, marketing and sales. Our pipeline consists of several R&D programs and our products are available in more than 100 countries. We have research centers in Denmark and California and our production facilities are located in Denmark, France and Italy.

In the United States, Lundbeck subsidiaries, including Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals LLC and Lundbeck LLC, employ more than 1,000 people focused solely on accelerating therapies for brain disorders. With a special commitment to the lives of patients, families and caregivers, Lundbeck US actively engages in a broad range of initiatives each year that support patient communities.

For additional information, we encourage you to visit us at lundbeck.com/us, subscribe to our newsletter at Newsroom.LundbeckUS.com, and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @LundbeckUS.

Citations
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