2020

02.06.2020 – Novartis AG

Novartis provides update on FDA review of ofatumumab, a self-administered, targeted B-cell therapy for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis

Basel, June 2, 2020 —  Novartis today announced that it has received notice from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the agency has extended its review of the Supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for ofatumumab (OMB 157), a self-administered, targeted B-cell therapy for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis. Regulatory action is now expected in September 2020.

“Novartis will continue to work with the FDA to complete the review as soon as possible,” said Marie-France Tschudin, President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. “We are well prepared and ready to launch ofatumumab upon approval. We are committed to the MS community and look forward to bringing this important advancement to patients with MS.”

Additional regulatory filings are currently underway and regulatory approval for ofatumumab in Europe is expected by Q2 2021.

About ofatumumab
Ofatumumab (OMB 157) is a fully human anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) in development for RMS that is self-adminstered by a once-monthly injection, delivered subcutaneously1,2,7. As shown in preclinical studies, ofatumumab is thought to work by binding to a distinct epitope on the CD20 molecule inducing potent B-cell lysis and depletion3. The selective mechanism of action and subcutaneous administration of ofatumumab allows precise delivery to the lymph nodes, where B-cell depletion in MS is needed, and may preserve the B-cells in the spleen, as shown in preclinical studies4. Once-monthly dosing of ofatumumab also allows fast repletion of B-cells and offers more flexibility5. Ofatumumab was originated by Genmab and licensed to GlaxoSmithKline; Novartis obtained rights for ofatumumab from GlaxoSmithKline in all indications, including RMS, in December 20156.

Disclaimer
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “may,” “could,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “look forward,” “believe,” “committed,” “investigational,” “pipeline,” “launch,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this press release, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures and requirements for increased pricing transparency; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political, economic and business conditions, including the effects of and efforts to mitigate pandemic diseases such as COVID-19; safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.

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References
1.    Hauser S. Efficacy and safety of ofatumumab versus teriflunomide in relapsing multiple sclerosis: results of the phase 3 ASCLEPIOS I and II trials. Presented at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Annual Conference; September 11–13, 2019; Stockholm, Sweden.
2.    Bar-Or A, Fox E, Goodyear A, et al. Onset of B-cell Depletion with Subcutaneous Administration of Ofatumumab in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis: Results from the APLIOS Bioequivalence Study. Presented at Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis Forum; February 27–29, 2020.
3.    Smith P, Kakarieka A, Wallstroem E. Ofatumumab is a fully human anti-CD20 antibody achieving potent B-cell depletion through binding a distinct epitope. Poster presented at ECTRIMS; September 2016; London, UK.
4.    Smith P, Huck C, Wegert V, et al. Low-dose, subcutaneous anti-CD20 therapy effectively depletes B-cells and ameliorates CNS autoimmunity. Poster presented at ECTRIMS; September 14–17, 2016; London, UK.
5.    Savelieva M, Kahn J, Bagger M, et al. Comparison of the B-Cell Recovery Time Following Discontinuation of Anti-CD20 Therapies. ePoster presented at ECTRIMS; October 25–28, 2017; Paris, France.
6.    GSK press release. GSK completes divestment of rights to ofatumumab for auto-immune indications to Novartis. December 21, 2015. Available from: https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/media/press-releases/gsk-completes-divestment-of-rights-to-ofatumumab-for-auto-immune-indications-to-novartis/ [Last accessed: June 2020].
7.    Efficacy and Safety of Ofatumumab Compared to Teriflunomide in Patients With Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (ASCLEPIOS I & II clinical trials), data on file, Novartis. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02792218; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02792231.

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