– Baricitinib met the primary endpoint of hair regrowth across both dosing regimens
– There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for AA
INDIANAPOLIS – Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and Incyte (NASDAQ: INCY) announced today top-line results from BRAVE-AA2, a Phase 3 study evaluating the efficacy and safety of once-daily baricitinib 2-mg and 4-mg in adults with severe alopecia areata (AA). Both doses of baricitinib met the primary efficacy endpoint at Week 36, demonstrating a statistically significant improvement in scalp hair regrowth compared to those randomized to placebo. AA is an autoimmune disease that causes patchy hair loss on the scalp, face, and sometimes on other areas of the body that can progress. Baricitinib has received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of AA. This classification aims to expedite the development and review of drugs that are intended to treat a serious condition when preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over already available therapies on a clinically significant endpoint(s). There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for AA.
“These positive results are very promising and suggest that baricitinib has the potential to address the urgent needs of people living with alopecia areata,” said Brett King, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. “This level of high-quality research is needed to advance our understanding and the treatment of this frequently devastating disease.”
This multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 546 adults with a Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) score ≥ of 50 (i.e., who had ≥50% scalp hair loss) and a current episode of severe AA lasting at least six months but no more than eight years. The study included a diverse patient population from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the U.S.
Safety outcomes of baricitinib in BRAVE-AA2 were consistent with its established safety profile in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and atopic dermatitis (AD). No deaths, major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) or venous thromboembolic events (VTEs) were reported in the study.
BRAVE-AA2 is the first Phase 3 study with positive results in patients with AA. Data from an additional Phase 3 study of baricitinib in AA will be available in the first half of this year. Detailed results from the BRAVE program will be presented at an upcoming medical conference and published in a peer-reviewed journal later this year. AA is the second potential treatment indication in dermatology for baricitinib after AD.
“For patients who suffer from alopecia areata, it is not a cosmetic condition, it is a devastating autoimmune disease that can have significant psychological effects. They lose much more than just hair,” said Lotus Mallbris, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of immunology development at Lilly. “We are looking forward to sharing the totality of data from the overall clinical development program for baricitinib as a potential first-in-disease treatment for alopecia areata.”
“Significant unmet need exists in the treatment of alopecia areata,” said Abby Ellison, research director at the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF). “We appreciate Lilly’s important work in this area and are excited that these data could bring us closer to a potential new treatment option for patients.”
Baricitinib is an oral JAK inhibitor discovered by Incyte and licensed to Lilly. It is approved and commercially available as OLUMIANT in the U.S. and more than 70 countries as a treatment for adults with moderate to severely active RA and in the European Union and Japan for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe AD who are candidates for systemic therapy. Baricitinib is also being investigated in systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), and COVID-19.
Indication and Usage for OLUMIANT (baricitinib) tablets (in the United States) for RA patients
OLUMIANT® (baricitinib) 2-mg is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist therapies. Limitation of Use: Use of OLUMIANT in combination with other JAK inhibitors, biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), or with potent immunosuppressants such as azathioprine and cyclosporine is not recommended.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR OLUMIANT (baricitinib) TABLETS
WARNING: SERIOUS INFECTIONS, MALIGNANCY, AND THROMBOSIS
SERIOUS INFECTIONS: Patients treated with Olumiant are at risk for developing serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death. Most patients who developed these infections were taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or corticosteroids. If a serious infection develops, interrupt Olumiant until the infection is controlled. Reported infections include:
- Active tuberculosis (TB), which may present with pulmonary or extrapulmonary disease. Test patients for latent TB before initiating Olumiant and during therapy. If positive, start treatment for latent infection prior to Olumiant use.
- Invasive fungal infections, including candidiasis and pneumocystosis. Patients with invasive fungal infections may present with disseminated, rather than localized, disease.
- Bacterial, viral, and other infections due to opportunistic pathogens.
Carefully consider the risks and benefits of Olumiant prior to initiating therapy in patients with chronic or recurrent infection.
Closely monitor patients for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with Olumiant including the possible development of TB in patients who tested negative for latent TB infection prior to initiating therapy.
MALIGNANCIES: Lymphoma and other malignancies have been observed in patients treated with Olumiant.
THROMBOSIS: Thrombosis, including deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), has been observed at an increased incidence in patients treated with Olumiant compared to placebo. In addition, there were cases of arterial thrombosis. Many of these adverse events were serious and some resulted in death. Patients with symptoms of thrombosis should be promptly evaluated.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
SERIOUS INFECTIONS: The most common serious infections reported with Olumiant included pneumonia, herpes zoster, and urinary tract infection. Among opportunistic infections, tuberculosis, multidermatomal herpes zoster, esophageal candidiasis, pneumocystosis, acute histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, cytomegalovirus, and BK virus were reported with Olumiant. Some patients have presented with disseminated rather than local disease and were often taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or corticosteroids. Avoid Olumiant in patients with an active, serious infection, including localized infections. Consider the risks and benefits of treatment prior to initiating Olumiant in patients:
- with chronic or recurrent infection
- who have been exposed to TB
- with a history of a serious or an opportunistic infection
- who have resided or traveled in areas of endemic tuberculosis or endemic mycoses;
- or with underlying conditions that may predispose them to infection?
Closely monitor patients for infections during and after Olumiant treatment. Interrupt Olumiant if a patient develops a serious infection, an opportunistic infection, or sepsis. Do not resume Olumiant until the infection is controlled.
Tuberculosis – Before initiating Olumiant evaluate and test patients for latent or active infection and treat patients with latent TB with standard antimycobacterial therapy. Olumiant should not be given to patients with active TB. Consider anti-TB therapy prior to initiating Olumiant in patients with a history of latent or active TB in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed, and for patients with a negative test for latent TB but who have risk factors for TB infection. Monitor patients for TB during Olumiant treatment.
Viral Reactivation – Viral reactivation, including cases of herpes virus reactivation (e.g., herpes zoster), were reported in clinical studies with Olumiant. If a patient develops herpes zoster, interrupt Olumiant treatment until the episode resolves.
The impact of Olumiant on chronic viral hepatitis reactivation is unknown. Screen for viral hepatitis in accordance with clinical guidelines before initiating Olumiant.
MALIGNANCY AND LYMPHOPROLIFERATIVE DISORDERS: Malignancies were observed in Olumiant clinical studies. Consider the risks and benefits of Olumiant prior to initiating therapy in patients with a known malignancy other than a successfully treated non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) or when considering continuing Olumiant in patients who develop a malignancy. NMSCs were reported in patients treated with Olumiant. Periodic skin examination is recommended for patients who are at increased risk for skin cancer.
THROMBOSIS: Thrombosis, including DVT and PE, has been observed at an increased incidence in Olumiant-treated patients compared to placebo. In addition, arterial thrombosis events in the extremities have been reported in clinical studies with Olumiant. Many of these adverse events were serious and some resulted in death. There was no clear relationship between platelet count elevations and thrombotic events. Use Olumiant with caution in patients who may be at increased risk of thrombosis. If clinical features of DVT/PE or arterial thrombosis occur, evaluate patients promptly and treat them appropriately.
GASTROINTESTINAL PERFORATIONS: Gastrointestinal perforations have been reported in Olumiant clinical studies, although the role of JAK inhibition in these events is not known. Use Olumiant with caution in patients who may be at increased risk for gastrointestinal perforation (e.g., patients with a history of diverticulitis). Promptly evaluate patients who present with new-onset abdominal symptoms for early identification of gastrointestinal perforation.
Neutropenia – Olumiant treatment was associated with an increased incidence of neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count [ANC] <1000 cells/mm3) compared to placebo. Avoid initiation or interrupt Olumiant treatment in patients with an ANC <1000 cells/mm3. Evaluate at baseline and thereafter according to routine patient management.
Lymphopenia – Absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) <500 cells/mm3 were reported in Olumiant clinical trials. Lymphocyte counts less than the lower limit of normal were associated with infection in patients treated with Olumiant, but not placebo. Avoid initiation or interrupt Olumiant treatment in patients with an ALC <500 cells/mm3. Evaluate at baseline and thereafter according to routine patient management.
Anemia – Decreases in hemoglobin levels to <8 g/dL were reported in Olumiant clinical trials. Avoid initiation or interrupt Olumiant treatment in patients with hemoglobin <8 g/dL. Evaluate at baseline and thereafter according to routine patient management.
Liver Enzyme Elevations – Olumiant treatment was associated with an increased incidence of liver enzyme elevation compared to placebo. Increases of ALT ≥5x upper limit of normal (ULN) and increases of AST ≥10x ULN were observed in patients in Olumiant clinical trials.
Evaluate at baseline and thereafter according to routine patient management. Promptly investigate the cause of liver enzyme elevation to identify potential cases of drug-induced liver injury. If increases in ALT or AST are observed and drug-induced liver injury is suspected, interrupt Olumiant until this diagnosis is excluded.
Lipid Elevations – Treatment with Olumiant was associated with increases in lipid parameters, including total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Assess lipid parameters approximately 12 weeks following Olumiant initiation. Manage patients according to clinical guidelines for the management of hyperlipidemia.
VACCINATIONS: Avoid the use of live vaccines with Olumiant. Update immunizations in agreement with current immunization guidelines prior to initiating Olumiant therapy.
HYPERSENSITIVITY: Reactions such as angioedema, urticaria, and rash that may reflect drug sensitivity have been observed in patients receiving Olumiant, including serious reactions. If a serious hypersensitivity reaction occurs, promptly discontinue Olumiant while evaluating the potential causes of the reaction.
Most common adverse reactions include: upper respiratory tract infections (16.3%, 11.7%), nausea (2.7%, 1.6%), herpes simplex (0.8%, 0.7%) and herpes zoster (1.0%, 0.4%) for Olumiant 2 mg and placebo, respectively.
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
PREGNANCY AND LACTATION: No information is available to support the use of Olumiant in pregnancy or lactation. Advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with Olumiant.
HEPATIC AND RENAL IMPAIRMENT: Olumiant is not recommended in patients with severe hepatic impairment or in patients with severe renal impairment.
Please click to access full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning about Serious infections, Malignancies, and Thrombosis, and Medication Guide.
BA HCP ISI 09JUL2020
OLUMIANT is a once-daily, oral JAK inhibitor approved in the U.S. and more than 70 countries as a treatment for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and was recently approved in the European Union and Japan for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis who are candidates for systemic therapy. The U.S. FDA-approved labeling for Olumiant includes a Boxed Warning for Serious Infections, Malignancy, and Thrombosis. See the full prescribing information here.
In December 2009, Lilly and Incyte announced an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of baricitinib and certain follow-on compounds for patients with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
About Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease that causes patchy hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body that can progress. AA often first appears during childhood and can be different for everyone who has it. People of all ages, males/females, and all ethnic groups can develop AA.
About Lilly in Dermatology
By following the science through unchartered territory, we continue Lilly’s legacy of delivering innovative medicines that address unmet needs and have significant impacts on people’s lives around the world. Skin-related diseases are more than skin deep. We understand the devastating impact this can have on people’s lives. At Lilly, we are relentlessly pursuing a robust dermatology pipeline to provide innovative, patient-centered solutions so patients with skin-related diseases can aspire to live life without limitations.
About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global health care leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at lilly.com and lilly.com/newsroom. P-LLY
Incyte is a Wilmington, Delaware-based, global biopharmaceutical company focused on finding solutions for serious unmet medical needs through the discovery, development, and commercialization of proprietary therapeutics. For additional information on Incyte, please visit Incyte.com and follow @Incyte.