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Lifting of the clinical hold on Tysabri

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 11:20 am
by better2gether

Questions and Answers on Tysabri (natalizumab)
Regarding Lifting of the Clinical Hold

1) Why is FDA lifting the clinical hold?

We received detailed information on the extensive re-examination that Biogen and Elan undertook on all patients who had received natalizumab in clinical studies under an IND. No additional cases of PML were identified. The better understanding of the actual occurrence of PML in these patients permitted better estimation of the potential risk of PML occurring in the future. In addition, Biogen has proposed a resumption of natalizumab administration under an IND study with very specific plans for close monitoring of patients.

2) Will Tysabri be available to all patients?

Biogen has proposed to FDA only to resume administration of natalizumab to patients who had previously been receiving the drug within an IND study at the time of the suspension of use in February 2005. Those patients would need to discuss with their Study physician the potential risks and potential benefits of resuming treatment with natalizumab, and will be able to make a decision after that discussion. Biogen has not proposed to administer the drug to anyone who had not previously been receiving it under an IND study. Biogen has submitted an application to FDA to resume marketing the drug for more widespread use. That application has a due date for a decision by FDA in late March 2006.

3) What happens to the other holds on similar products and what is our process for lifting these holds?

The lifting of the clinical hold on natalizumab may lead to requests from other product sponsors to begin or resume clinical studies for molecules that act in a similar manner. FDA will consider each of those proposals as they are received. An important aspect to consider is whether the potential risk of a specific product is reasonable in the setting of a specific disease, type of patient, and other currently available therapies for that type of patient.

4) Is there still a significant safety concern with the product, and if so, why did we lift this hold?

FDA remains very concerned about the potential for PML associated with natalizumab use. However, the currently available information are not adequate to clearly define the level of risk or the exact circumstances when this risk occurs. Furthermore, the existing efficacy data with natalizumab indicate this is a very effective product and multiple sclerosis is a devastating neurologic disease. Therefore, if a study is done in a manner that provides as much safety monitoring as feasible, it is reasonable to resume studying this product under IND to obtain more safety-related information that may permit us to begin to better understand how large or small the true risks associated with natalizumab are.

Date created: February 15, 2006 ... old_qa.htm

Biogen Idec and Elan to Resume Clinical Trial Dosing in MS

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 11:38 am
by better2gether
15 February 2006

TYSABRI(R) Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trial Hold Lifted by FDA; Biogen Idec and Elan to Resume Clinical Trial Dosing in MS

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and DUBLIN, Ireland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 15, 2006--Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Elan Corporation, plc. (NYSE: ELN) announced today that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed the companies that they have removed the hold on clinical trial dosing of TYSABRI(R) (natalizumab) in multiple sclerosis (MS) in the U.S. The companies expect to begin an open label, multi-center safety extension study of TYSABRI monotherapy in the U.S. and internationally in the coming weeks. Patients who previously participated in the Phase III MS program are eligible for entry.

Biogen Idec and Elan had previously voluntarily suspended TYSABRI from the U.S. market and all ongoing clinical trials based on reports of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and potentially fatal, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Biogen Idec and Elan completed a comprehensive safety evaluation of more than 3,000 TYSABRI patients in collaboration with leading experts in PML and MS. The results of the safety evaluation yielded no new confirmed cases of PML beyond the three previously reported.

On September 26, 2005 the companies announced that they submitted a supplemental Biologics License Application to the FDA. Subsequently, the FDA designated TYSABRI for Priority Review. The FDA grants Priority Review status to products that are considered to be potentially significant therapeutic advancements over existing therapies that address an unmet medical need. Based on the FDA's designation of Priority Review for TYSABRI in MS, the companies anticipate action by the Agency approximately six months from the submission date, or by late March 2006. The FDA's Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee will review TYSABRI on March 7 and 8, 2006.