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Vemlidy

Active Substance: tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
Common Name: tenofovir alafenamide
ATC Code: J05AF
Marketing Authorisation Holder: Gilead Sciences International Ltd
Active Substance: tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
Status: Authorised
Authorisation Date: 2017-01-09
Therapeutic Area: Hepatitis B
Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Antivirals for systemic use

Therapeutic Indication

Vemlidy is indicated for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B in adults and adolescents (aged 12 years and older with body weight at least 35 kg).

What is Vemlidy and what is it used for?

Vemlidy is an antiviral medicine for treating chronic (long-term) hepatitis B, an infectious disease that affects the liver.

This medicine is used in patients aged 12 years and older weighing at least 35 kg. It contains the active substance tenofovir alafenamide.

How is Vemlidy used?

Vemlidy is available as 25 mg tablets which are taken by mouth (one tablet a day) with food.The patient will usually take their medicine for at least 6 to 12 months, and treatment may last several years.

Vemlidy can only be obtained with a prescription.

How does Vemlidy work?

The active substance in Vemlidy, tenofovir alafenamide, works by stopping the hepatitis B virus in the liver from multiplying. It is converted in the body into its active compound tenofovir, which blocks the activity of reverse transcriptase, an enzyme made by the hepatitis B virus that allows it to reproduce itself in the cells it has infected.

What benefits of Vemlidy have been shown in studies?

Vemlidy reduces levels of hepatitis B virus in most patients. In a study of 426 patients with ‘e-antigen negative’ chronic hepatitis, 94% of patients on Vemlidy had very low levels of viral DNA after 48 weeks of treatment. This result was similar to that in patients taking another form of tenofovir (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) where 93% had very low viral DNA levels.

In a second study of 875 patients with ‘e-antigen positive’ chronic hepatitis, 64% of patients taking Vemlidy and 67% of those taking tenofovir disoproxil fumarate had very low levels of viral DNA after 48 weeks. These results suggest that the comparator medicine might be more effective in ‘e-antigen positive’ cases but differences seen are small.

The terms ‘e-antigen positive’ and ‘e-antigen negative’ refer to the presence or absence of e-antigen, a hepatitis B viral protein. If this protein is present, it means that the virus is multiplying rapidly and the viral load may be higher.

What are the risks associated with Vemlidy?

The most common side effects with Vemlidy are headache (11% of patients), nausea (6% of patients) and tiredness (6% of patients). For the full list of side effects and restrictions see the package leaflet.

Why is Vemlidy approved?

Vemlidy suppresses levels of hepatitis B virus in the body, and its effectiveness is comparable to that of another tenofovir medicine (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate). With regard to its risks, the side effects of Vemlidy are manageable. In addition, Vemlidy is effective at a lower dose than tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and may lead to reduced side effects in the kidneys and bones.

The Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) therefore concluded that the benefits of Vemlidy outweigh its risks and recommended its approval in the EU.

What measures are being taken to ensure the safe and effective use of Vemlidy?

Recommendations and precautions to be followed by healthcare professionals and patients for the safe and effective use of Vemlidy have been included in the summary of product characteristics and the package leaflet.

Other information about Vemlidy

The European Commission granted a marketing authorisation valid throughout the European Union for Vemlidy on 9 January 2017.

For more information about treatment with Vemlidy, read the package leaflet (also part of the EPAR) or contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Source: European Medicines Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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