Company to Host Conference Call at 5:00 p.m. ET
In the postmarketing setting, hepatic decompensation and failure have been reported in patients with advanced cirrhosis when Ocaliva was dosed more frequently than the recommended starting dosage. As a result, the Ocaliva label has been revised to include a boxed warning and a dosing table that reinforce the existing dosing schedule for such patients, who comprise two to three percent of the overall PBC population.
"Following extensive review of postmarketing data, we remain confident in Ocaliva's safety profile and the benefit it provides when used as directed in patients with PBC, a devastating disease that is one of the leading causes of liver failure in women," said
Intercept will be disseminating the updated Prescribing Information and a Medication Guide for patients and will continue its efforts to educate physicians on the appropriate dosing for patients with advanced cirrhosis. In addition, the
Intercept is also working with the
The updated label reinforces the positive benefit-risk profile of Ocaliva when used as directed. Ocaliva, the first medication approved for PBC in nearly 20 years, is the only treatment approved for people living with PBC who have an inadequate response to, or are intolerant of, the current standard of care, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA).
Dosing of Ocaliva
A table is included in the updated Prescribing Information to increase the prominence of the recommended Ocaliva dosage by disease stage and Child-Pugh classification.
|Staging / Classification||Non-Cirrhotic or
Compensated Child-Pugh Class A
Patients with a Prior Decompensation Eventa
|Starting Ocaliva Dosage for first 3 months||5 mg once daily||5 mg once weekly|
|Ocaliva Dosage Titration after first 3 months, for patients who have not achieved an adequate reduction in ALP and/or total bilirubin and who are tolerating Ocalivab||10 mg once daily
||5 mg twice weekly (at least 3 days apart)
Titrate to 10 mg twice weekly (at least 3 days apart)
based on response and tolerability
|Maximum Ocaliva Dosage||10 mg once daily||10 mg twice weekly
(at least 3 days apart)
|a Gastroesophageal variceal bleeding, new or worsening jaundice, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, etc.
b Prior to dosage adjustment, re-calculate the Child-Pugh classification
Postmarketing Experience with Ocaliva
Intercept regularly provides pharmacovigilance information to the
Because postmarketing adverse events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure, particularly in PBC patients who have progressive liver disease with advanced cirrhosis. Intercept's most recent assessment of postmarketing data did not establish a causal relationship between Ocaliva and liver decompensation and/or liver failure. A review of the currently available data shows that the pattern of events appears to be consistent with the natural history of the underlying disease. These conclusions are aligned with the assessment of an independent Hepatic Adjudication Committee of experts in drug-induced liver injury who were convened to review the postmarketing cases cited in the FDA's
About Primary Biliary Cholangitis
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a rare, autoimmune cholestatic liver disease that puts patients at risk for life-threatening complications. PBC is primarily a disease of women, afflicting approximately one in 1,000 women over the age of 40. If left untreated, survival of PBC patients is significantly worse than the general population. An analysis of data from the
Conference Call at
Intercept will discuss the updated Ocaliva label on a conference call and webcast today at
About Ocaliva® (obeticholic acid)
Ocaliva is indicated in
This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on a reduction in alkaline phosphatase (ALP), as a surrogate endpoint which is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit, including an improvement in liver transplant free-survival. An improvement in survival or disease-related symptoms has not been established. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials. Intercept is currently enrolling COBALT, a Phase 4 clinical outcomes trial of Ocaliva in patients with PBC with the goal of confirming clinical benefit on a postmarketing basis.
WARNING: HEPATIC DECOMPENSATION AND FAILURE IN INCORRECTLY DOSED PBC PATIENTS WITH CHILD-PUGH CLASS B OR
- In postmarketing reports, hepatic decompensation and failure, in some cases fatal, have been reported in patients with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) with decompensated cirrhosis or Child-
Pugh Class Bor C hepatic impairment when OCALIVA was dosed more frequently than recommended.
- The recommended starting dosage of OCALIVA is 5 mg once weekly for patients with Child-
Pugh Class Bor C hepatic impairment or a prior decompensation event.
OCALIVA is contraindicated in patients with complete biliary obstruction.
Warnings and Precautions
Hepatic Decompensation and Failure in Incorrectly-Dosed PBC Patients with Child-
In postmarketing reports, hepatic decompensation and failure, in some cases fatal, have been reported in patients with decompensated cirrhosis or Child-Pugh B or C hepatic impairment when OCALIVA was dosed more frequently than the recommended starting dosage of 5 mg once weekly. Reported cases typically occurred within 2 to 5 weeks after starting OCALIVA and were characterized by an acute increase in total bilirubin and/or ALP concentrations in association with clinical signs and symptoms of hepatic decompensation (e.g., ascites, jaundice, gastrointestinal bleeding, worsening of hepatic encephalopathy).
Routinely monitor patients for progression of PBC disease, including liver-related complications, with laboratory and clinical assessments. Dosage adjustment, interruption or discontinuation may be required. Close monitoring is recommended for patients at an increased risk of hepatic decompensation. Severe intercurrent illnesses that may worsen renal function or cause dehydration (e.g., gastroenteritis), may exacerbate the risk of hepatic decompensation. Interrupt treatment with OCALIVA in patients with laboratory or clinical evidence of worsening liver function indicating risk of decompensation, and monitor the patient's liver function. Consider discontinuing OCALIVA in patients who have experienced clinically significant liver-related adverse reactions. Discontinue OCALIVA in patients who develop complete biliary obstruction.
Liver-Related Adverse Reactions
Dose-related, liver-related adverse reactions including jaundice, worsening ascites and primary biliary cholangitis flare have been observed in clinical trials, as early as one month after starting treatment with OCALIVA 10 mg once daily up to 50 mg once daily (up to 5-times the highest recommended dosage). Monitor patients during treatment with OCALIVA for elevations in liver biochemical tests and for the development of liver-related adverse reactions.
Severe pruritus was reported in 23% of patients in the OCALIVA 10 mg arm, 19% of patients in the OCALIVA titration arm, and 7% of patients in the placebo arm in a 12-month double-blind randomized controlled trial of 216 patients. Severe pruritus was defined as intense or widespread itching, interfering with activities of daily living, or causing severe sleep disturbance, or intolerable discomfort, and typically requiring medical interventions. Consider clinical evaluation of patients with new onset or worsening severe pruritus. Management strategies include the addition of bile acid resins or antihistamines, OCALIVA dosage reduction, and/or temporary interruption of OCALIVA dosing.
Reduction in HDL-C
Patients with PBC generally exhibit hyperlipidemia characterized by a significant elevation in total cholesterol primarily due to increased levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C). Dose-dependent reductions from baseline in mean HDL-C levels were observed at 2 weeks in OCALIVA-treated patients, 20% and 9% in the 10 mg and titration arms, respectively, compared to 2% in the placebo arm. Monitor patients for changes in serum lipid levels during treatment. For patients who do not respond to OCALIVA after 1 year at the highest recommended dosage that can be tolerated (maximum of 10 mg once daily), and who experience a reduction in HDL-C, weigh the potential risks against the benefits of continuing treatment.
The most common adverse reactions from subjects taking OCALIVA were pruritus, fatigue, abdominal pain and discomfort, rash, oropharyngeal pain, dizziness, constipation, arthralgia, thyroid function abnormality, and eczema.
- Bile Acid Binding Resins
Bile acid binding resins such as cholestyramine, colestipol, or colesevelam adsorb and reduce bile acid absorption and may reduce the absorption, systemic exposure, and efficacy of OCALIVA. If taking a bile acid binding resin, take OCALIVA at least 4 hours before or 4 hours after taking the bile acid binding resin, or at as great an interval as possible.
The International Normalized Ratio (INR) decreased following coadministration of warfarin and OCALIVA. Monitor INR and adjust the dose of warfarin, as needed, to maintain the target INR range when coadministering OCALIVA and warfarin.
- CYP1A2 Substrates with Narrow Therapeutic Index
Obeticholic acid, the active ingredient in OCALIVA, may increase the exposure to concomitant drugs that are CYP1A2 substrates. Therapeutic monitoring of CYP1A2 substrates with a narrow therapeutic index (e.g. theophylline and tizanidine) is recommended when coadministered with OCALIVA.
- Inhibitors of Bile Salt Efflux Pump
Avoid concomitant use of inhibitors of the bile salt efflux pump (BSEP) such as cyclosporine. Concomitant medications that inhibit canalicular membrane bile acid transporters such as the BSEP may exacerbate accumulation of conjugated bile salts including taurine conjugate of obeticholic acid in the liver and result in clinical symptoms. If concomitant use is deemed necessary, monitor serum transaminases and bilirubin.
Please see Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING and Medication Guide for OCALIVA.
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact
Intercept is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat progressive non-viral liver diseases, including primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and biliary atresia. Founded in 2002 in
Safe Harbor Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements on the safety, benefits and efficacy of Ocaliva, the commercial potential of Ocaliva, any future events that may be experienced by patients who use Ocaliva and the association of such events with its use, the results of Intercept's educational efforts with healthcare providers and other planned and ongoing initiatives, the dosing of Ocaliva, and our strategic directives under the caption "About Intercept." These "forward-looking statements" are based on management's current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the effect of label changes on prescriptions and sales of Ocaliva, the potential benefit and commercial potential of Ocaliva in PBC, and Intercept's ability to maintain its regulatory approval in jurisdictions in which Ocaliva is approved for use in PBC; the initiation, cost, timing, progress and results of Intercept's development activities, preclinical studies and clinical trials; the timing of and Intercept's ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of OCA in PBC in countries outside the ones in which it is approved and in indications other than PBC and any other product candidates it may develop such as INT-767; conditions that may be imposed by regulatory authorities on Intercept's marketing approvals for its products and product candidates such as the need for clinical outcomes data (and not just results based on achievement of a surrogate endpoint), and any related restrictions, limitations, and/or warnings in the label of any approved products and product candidates; Intercept's plans to research, develop and commercialize its product candidates; Intercept's ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for its products and product candidates; Intercept's ability to successfully commercialize its products and product candidates; the size and growth of the markets for Intercept's products and product candidates and its ability to serve those markets; the rate and degree of market acceptance of any of Intercept's products, which may be affected by the reimbursement received from payors; the success of competing drugs that are or become available; regulatory developments in
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