Phase 3 Data Show New Anti-TNF, Golimumab, Significantly Improved Arthritis, Skin and Nail Manifestations in Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis
Golimumab, Centocor Inc. and Schering-Plough Corporation's next-generation human anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha monoclonal antibody, is currently in the most comprehensive Phase 3 development program to date for an anti-TNF-alpha biologic therapy. With ongoing studies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, golimumab is being studied as a monthly SC injection and an every twelve-week intravenous (IV) infusion (approximately 30-minutes) therapy.
"The availability of treatments that target TNF-alpha have dramatically changed rheumatologists' approach to the management of psoriatic arthritis, a potentially disabling inflammatory disease," said Arthur Kavanaugh, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and lead study investigator. "These findings show golimumab to be promising in the treatment of multiple facets of the disease, namely the joints and skin, and support the utility of this anti-TNF-alpha treatment."
Joint and Psoriatic Improvements
Initial improvements as measured by ACR 20 at week 14 persisted through six months. At week 24, 52 percent and 61 percent of patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and golimumab 100 mg, respectively, achieved ACR 20, compared with 12 percent of patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001). Significant improvements were observed in ACR 50 and ACR 70 measures at the same time points. At week 14, 30 percent and 28 percent of patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and golimumab 100 mg, respectively, achieved ACR 50, compared with 2 percent of patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001). At week 24, the results persisted with 32 percent and 38 percent of patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and golimumab 100 mg, respectively, achieving ACR 50 as compared with four percent of patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001). ACR 70, a more stringent response criterion, was achieved at week 14 by 12 percent of patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and 17 percent receiving golimumab 100 mg, compared with 1 percent of patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001). At week 24, 19 percent of patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and 21 percent of patients receiving golimumab 100 mg achieved ACR 70 as compared with 1 percent of patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001).
Patients receiving both doses of golimumab also experienced improvements in enthesitis and dactylitis, two common disease manifestations causing pain and swelling. Enthesitis, an inflammation of a tendon, ligament or joint capsule insertion to the bone and dactylitis, a swelling of digits in the hands or feet, are estimated to affect more than one-third of people with psoriatic arthritis. At baseline, 78 percent (placebo group), 75 percent (golimumab 50 mg group) and 79 percent (golimumab 100 mg group) of study subjects presented with enthesitis (at least one tender body enthesitis site) as measured by the Maastricht Ankylosing Spondylitis Enthesitis Score (MASES) index modified for Psoriatic Arthritis; 34 percent (placebo group), 34 percent (golimumab 50 mg group) and 34 percent (golimumab 100 mg group) of subjects presented with dactylitis at baseline.
Both golimumab doses were significantly better than placebo in improvement of enthesitis as measured by percent change in the psoriatic arthritis modified MASES Index.
At week 14, the mean improvement in enthesitis was 44 percent among patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and 33 percent among patients receiving golimumab 100 mg, compared with a 19 percent worsening in patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001). At week 24, the mean improvements in enthesitis were 46 percent for patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and 52 percent among patients receiving golimumab 100 mg, compared with a 13 percent worsening in placebo patients (P less than 0.001). The golimumab 100 mg dose significantly improved dactylitis measured by percent change in dactylitis score compared with placebo at week 14 (66 percent versus 5 percent; P = 0.009) and at week 24 (82 percent versus 28 percent; P less than 0.001). There was a trend towards improvement in dactylitis for 50 mg golimumab dose at week 14 and 24 but the comparisons with placebo did not reach statistical significance.
In addition to improvements in joint symptoms, a substantial proportion of golimumab-treated patients experienced significant improvement in skin manifestations of the disease. Among a subset of the study population with at least three percent of body surface area involved by psoriasis at baseline, 40 percent and 58 percent of patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and golimumab 100 mg, respectively, achieved PASI 75 at week 14, compared with 3 percent of patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001). At week 24, PASI 75 responses improved to 56 percent (golimumab 50 mg) and 66 percent (golimumab 100 mg), compared with 1 percent of placebo patients (P less than 0.001). In additional analyses, patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and golimumab 100 also experienced improvements in nail psoriasis as measured by NAPSI and these improvements were sustained over time.
"These Phase 3 data show that once monthly subcutaneous administrations of golimumab 50 mg and golimumab 100 mg significantly improved articular and psoriatic manifestations in patients with psoriatic arthritis," said Jerome A. Boscia, MD, senior vice president, Clinical Research and Development, Centocor, Inc. "We are encouraged by these results and believe golimumab holds great promise as a new anti-TNF-alpha therapy for physicians and patients in need of additional therapeutic options."
Disease Activity and Physical Function Improvements
The majority of golimumab-treated patients in the study were classified as good or moderate responders as measured by the Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28), which measures tender and swollen joints and overall disease activity including measurement of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. After 14 weeks of treatment, 66 percent of patients receiving golimumab 50 mg were DAS28 responders, as were 67 percent of patients receiving the 100 mg dose, compared with 24 percent of patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001). At week 24, 64 percent and 78 percent of patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and 100 mg, respectively, were DAS28 responders, compared with 24 percent of patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001).
Patients receiving golimumab in the study also experienced significant improvements in physical function, as measured by the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). At week 14, patients receiving golimumab 50 mg experienced a mean improvement of 0.31 and patients receiving golimumab 100 mg experienced a mean improvement of 0.38 in HAQ score, compared with an improvement of only 0.04 among placebo patients (P less than 0.001). At week 24, the improvements were 0.33 and 0.39 in the respective treatment groups, compared with worsening in HAQ score of -0.01 among patients receiving placebo (P less than 0.001). HAQ assesses the degree of difficulty a patient has in accomplishing tasks in eight functional areas (dressing, arising, eating, walking, hygiene, reaching, gripping and other activities of daily living). An improvement in HAQ of at least 0.3 indicates clinically meaningful improvement in physical function.
About the GO-REVEAL Trial
The Golimumab - A Randomized Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy in Subjects with Psoriatic Arthritis Using a Human Anti-TNF Monoclonal Antibody (GO-REVEAL) trial involved 405 adults with psoriatic arthritis. Subjects with at least three swollen and tender joints and active psoriatic skin lesions of at least 2 cm in diameter were randomly assigned to receive SC injections of placebo or golimumab (50 or 100 mg) at weeks 0, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20. At week 16, patients with inadequate arthritis response were switched to golimumab 50 mg (patients originally receiving placebo) or golimumab 100 mg (patients originally receiving golimumab 50 mg). The primary endpoint was ACR 20 response at week 14 for combined golimumab groups and individual golimumab dose groups versus placebo.
Through week 24, the placebo-controlled portion of the study, golimumab was generally well-tolerated, with two percent of golimumab-treated patients experiencing serious adverse events compared with six percent of patients in the placebo group. Injection site reactions occurred in five percent of patients receiving golimumab and three percent of patients receiving placebo. One case of prostate cancer and two cases of basal cell carcinoma were reported in golimumab-treated patients. There were no reports of tuberculosis or opportunistic infections through week 24.
About Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory arthropathy manifesting with joint pain and swelling that can lead to joint destruction and debilitation. It is frequently associated with inflamed, scaly, red patches of skin psoriasis and psoriasis nail involvement. Symptoms may include stiffness and tenderness of the joints and surrounding tissue and reduced range of motion. Joints of the hands, wrists, knees, ankles, feet, lower back and neck are commonly affected. Psoriasis affects an estimated two to three percent of the world's population, and approximately one out of three patients affected by psoriasis may develop psoriatic arthritis. Both men and women are equally affected by psoriatic arthritis, most commonly between the ages 30 and 50, in the peak of their productive years.
Golimumab, Centocor Inc. and Schering-Plough Corporation's next-generation human anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha monoclonal antibody, is currently in the most comprehensive Phase 3 development program to date for an anti-TNF-alpha biologic therapy. With ongoing studies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, golimumab is being studied as a monthly SC injection and an every twelve-week intravenous (IV) infusion (approximately 30-minutes) therapy. Golimumab targets and neutralizes both the soluble and membrane-bound forms of TNF-alpha.
Centocor discovered golimumab and has exclusive marketing rights to the product in the United States. Schering-Plough has exclusive marketing rights outside the United States except in Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan where golimumab will be co-marketed by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and Janssen Pharmaceutical Kabushiki Kaisha; Hong Kong, where golimumab will be exclusively marketed by Janssen-Cilag; and China where golimumab will be exclusively marketed by Xian-Janssen.
Centocor is harnessing the power of world-leading research and biomanufacturing to deliver innovative biomedicines that transform patients' lives. Centocor has already brought innovation to the treatment of Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, pediatric Crohn's disease and psoriasis.
The world leader in monoclonal antibody production and technology, Centocor has brought critical biologic therapies to patients suffering from debilitating immune disorders. Centocor, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
(This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from Johnson & Johnson's expectations and projections. Risks and uncertainties include general industry conditions and competition; economic conditions, such as interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approvals; domestic and foreign health care reforms and governmental laws and regulations; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Exhibit 99 of Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006. Copies of this Form 10-K, as well as subsequent filings, are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.)
Schering-Plough is a global science-based health care company with leading prescription, consumer and animal health products. Through internal research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough discovers, develops, manufactures and markets advanced drug therapies to meet important medical needs. Schering-Plough's vision is to earn the trust of the physicians, patients and customers served by its approximately 33,500 people around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site is www.schering-plough.com.
SCHERING-PLOUGH DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The information in this press release contains certain "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements related to the potential of golimumab. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations or forecasts of future events. Schering-Plough does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially from Schering-Plough's forward-looking statements, including market forces, economic factors, product availability, patent and other intellectual property protection, current and future branded, generic or over-the-counter competition, the regulatory process, and any developments following regulatory approval, among other uncertainties. For further details and a discussion of risks and uncertainties that may impact forward-looking statements, see Schering-Plough's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including Part II, Item 1A, "Risk Factors" in Schering-Plough's third quarter 2007 10-Q.
Brian Kenney, 215-325-2107
Catherine Cantone, 908-298-3944
Johnson & Johnson
Louise Mehrotra, 732-524-6491
Tina Pinto, 732-524-2034
Robyn Brown, 908-298-7417
Posted: November 2007