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Palovarotene is the first medicine to be submitted for regulatory approval for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), an ultra-rare disease with an estimated prevalence of 1.36 per million individuals and around 900 people diagnosed worldwide.1,2 FOP continuously and permanently causes abnormal bone formation,3 leading to progressive mobility loss and shortened life expectancy There are currently no disease-modifying treatment options available in the E.U. Regulatory processes are continuing in other countries including the U.S.
PARIS, FRANCE, 26 May 20 23 – Ipsen (Euronext: IPN; ADR: IPSEY) announced today that the re-examination of palovarotene as a potential treatment for the ultra-rare bone disease, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency confirms the negative opinion given in January 2023. Palovarotene is the first medicine to be submitted for regulatory approval for FOP. The only treatments currently available in the E.U. are for managing the symptoms caused by FOP, such as inflammation and chronic pain and not the underlying disease.
“While everyone at Ipsen who has worked alongside the FOP community for so many years is extremely disappointed by this decision, we maintain our steadfast commitment to bring a new treatment option to the FOP community and our full attention must now turn to the regulatory processes ongoing in other countries,” said Howard Mayer, Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development for Ipsen.“FOP often starts in young children and over time, as new bone is formed and accumulates in joints and other areas of the body, most people lose the ability to eat and drink on their own, many will need a wheelchair to get around and life expectancy is shortened. We continue to believe that our Phase III MOVE trial, the first and largest study to be conducted in patients with FOP, has shown that palovarotene has the potential to reduce the new extra-skeletal bone formation caused by the disease and to slow its progression.”
The CHMP opinion reviewed data from the palovarotene clinical trial program, including the MOVE study, a Phase III, multi-center, open-label efficacy and safety trial conducted in FOP. The primary objectives of MOVE were to evaluate the efficacy of palovarotene in reducing the volume of new abnormal bone formation, known as heterotopic ossification (HO), in pediatric and adult patients with FOP, and to study its safety profile.4
“Today's news is a step back for patients with FOP in the E.U. and for the clinicians managing this chronic and progressive disease,” said Dr. Genevieve Baujat, Clinical Geneticist Consultant at Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris, France.“Many of my colleagues and I have been waiting for a long time for a treatment that can help us manage the devastating disease that is FOP. We got so close, but it seems that in Europe the wait will continue, while we build on our scientific and clinical understanding of the disease, which has been informed through studies like MOVE.”
Palovarotene is an investigational oral medicine that selectively targets the retinoic-acid receptor gamma (RARγ), which is an important regulator of skeletal development and ectopic bone in the retinoid signaling pathway. Palovarotene is designed to mediate the interactions between the receptors, growth factors and proteins within the retinoid signaling pathway to reduce new abnormal bone formation (HO). Palovarotene received Orphan Drug and Breakthrough Therapy Designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the potential treatment of FOP and was granted Priority Review. Palovarotene was also granted orphan medicine designation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Palovarotene is in review processes with a number of regulatory authorities including the FDA and the EMA. Palovarotene is currently authorized for use in appropriate patients only in Canada and provisionally in the U.A.E. where it is marketed as SohonosTM (palovarotene capsules).6
About the MOVE trial
MOVE (NCT03312634) is a Phase III, multicenter, single-arm, open-label trial to assess the efficacy and safety of palovarotene. 107 study participants with FOP received oral palovarotene as a chronic (5mg once daily) and episodic (20mg once daily for 4 weeks, followed by 10mg for ≥8 weeks for flare-ups and trauma) regimen. The primary endpoint was annualized change in new HO volume measured by low-dose whole-body computed tomography.4 Efficacy data from participants enrolled in MOVE were compared with data from FOP Natural History Study (NHS) participants untreated beyond standard of care; individuals ≤65 years of age with clinically diagnosed FOP and a verified ACVR1R206H pathogenic variant were eligible for inclusion in the NHS.5
Ipsen is a global, mid-sized biopharmaceutical company focused on transformative medicines in Oncology, Rare Disease and Neuroscience. With total sales of €3.0bn in FY 2022, Ipsen sells medicines in over 100 countries. Alongside its external-innovation strategy, the Company's research and development efforts are focused on its innovative and differentiated technological platforms located in the heart of leading biotechnological and life-science hubs: Paris-Saclay, France; Oxford, U.K.; Cambridge, U.S.; Shanghai, China. Ipsen has around 5,400 colleagues worldwide and is listed in Paris (Euronext: IPN) and in the U.S. through a Sponsored Level I American Depositary Receipt program (ADR: IPSEY). For more information, visit ipsen.com