U.S. FDA Approves Cyltezo® (adalimumab-adbm) as First Interchangeable Biosimilar with Humira®

- Regulatory approval for Interchangeability was supported by positive data from Boehringer Ingelheim's Phase III randomized VOLTAIRE-X clinical trial
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., Oct. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Ingelheim today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Cyltezo® (adalimumab-adbm) as the first Interchangeable biosimilar with Humira® (adalimumab). The FDA originally approved Cyltezo® in 2017 for the treatment of multiple chronic inflammatory diseases and this latest approval designates it as Interchangeable across all of these indications.

Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim

"We are proud to be the company driving the advancement of biosimilars and delivering the first and only Interchangeable biosimilar with Humira®. It is a true milestone and an important step forward for broader adoption in the U.S. and for patient access to affordable medicines," said Thomas Seck, senior vice president, Medicine and Regulatory Affairs at Boehringer Ingelheim. "The Interchangeability status of Cyltezo® reinforces our goal of expanding overall treatment options and contributing to the quality and sustainability of the U.S. healthcare system."

A biosimilar is a biological medicine that is developed to be highly similar to an approved reference biologic, with no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety, potency and purity. An Interchangeable biosimilar must first meet the high FDA standards of a biosimilar. Then, in order to achieve the interchangeable designation, the FDA requires an additional clinical study of multiple substitutions in patients, known as an Interchangeability study. This type of study shows how patients do when they are switched back and forth multiple times from a reference product to the Interchangeable biosimilar candidate. A biosimilar with an Interchangeable designation can be auto-substituted by a pharmacist for the reference product, with individual state laws controlling how and whether physicians will be notified.

"As the first Interchangeable biosimilar of Humira®, Cyltezo® (adalimumab-adbm), represents an important step toward bringing patients more affordable treatment options for complex, and often expensive, biologic reference products," said Martin Alan Menter, MD, chairman of the Division of Dermatology at Baylor University Medical Center. "This is incredibly important for patients, who can be confident that once available, citrate-free Cyltezo® has the same efficacy and safety as the originator medicine with the added benefit of cost savings."

The approval for Interchangeability was supported by positive data from Boehringer Ingelheim's Phase III randomized VOLTAIRE-X clinical trial and marks the first FDA approval for such a study. The VOLTAIRE-X trial studied the effects of multiple switches between Humira® and Cyltezo®. This additional study demonstrated that Cyltezo® is equivalent to Humira® with no meaningful clinical differences in pharmacokinetics, efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety between the switching and continuous treatment groups. The results were presented at the American Academy of Dermatology 2021 conference.

Cyltezo® is not commercially available in the U.S. at this time, but its commercial license will begin on July 1, 2023.

About Boehringer Ingelheim in Biologics and Biosimilars

Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the largest producers of biologic medicines in the world, producing biologic medicines to support our diverse pipeline, as well as other companies' biopharmaceuticals on a contract basis. As a pioneer in biologics, to date, Boehringer Ingelheim's Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing business has supported our customers to bring 40 biologics to the market – three in 2020 alone – in therapeutic areas that include oncology, immunology, and cardiovascular indications. In this way, Boehringer Ingelheim further builds on its commitment to immunology to develop high quality, safe, and effective treatment options for patients with autoimmune diseases. For more information about Boehringer Ingelheim's Biopharma and manufacturing capabilities, please click here: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.us/biopharma/biosimilars.

All public information on our clinical trials is available on: http://clinicaltrials.gov/.

*Humira® is a registered trademark of AbbVie Biotechnology Ltd.

About Cyltezo®

Cyltezo® was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2017 for the treatment of multiple chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn's disease.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR CYLTEZO®
WARNING: SERIOUS INFECTIONS and MALIGNANCY

SERIOUS INFECTIONS

Patients treated with adalimumab products, including CYLTEZO, are at increased 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.

Discontinue CYLTEZO if a patient develops a serious infection or sepsis.

Reported infections include:

  • Active tuberculosis (TB), including reactivation of latent TB. Patients with TB have frequently presented with disseminated or extrapulmonary disease. Test patients for latent TB before CYLTEZO use and during therapy. Initiate treatment for latent TB prior to CYLTEZO use.
  • Invasive fungal infections, including histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, candidiasis, aspergillosis, blastomycosis, and pneumocystosis. Patients with histoplasmosis or other invasive fungal infections may present with disseminated, rather than localized, disease. Antigen and antibody testing for histoplasmosis may be negative in some patients with active infection. Consider empiric anti-fungal therapy in patients at risk for invasive fungal infections who develop severe systemic illness.
  • Bacterial, viral and other infections due to opportunistic pathogens, including Legionella and Listeria.

Carefully consider the risks and benefits of treatment with CYLTEZO prior to initiating therapy in patients: 1. with chronic or recurrent infection, 2. who have been exposed to TB, 3. with a history of opportunistic infection, 4. who resided in or traveled in regions where mycoses are endemic, 5. with underlying conditions that may predispose them to infection. Monitor patients closely for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with CYLTEZO, including the possible development of TB in patients who tested negative for latent TB infection prior to initiating therapy. 

  • Do not start CYLTEZO during an active infection, including localized infections.
  • Patients older than 65 years, patients with co-morbid conditions, and/or patients taking concomitant immunosuppressants may be at greater risk of infection.
  • If an infection develops, monitor carefully and initiate appropriate therapy.
  • Drug interactions with biologic products: A higher rate of serious infections has been observed in RA patients treated with rituximab who received subsequent treatment with a TNF blocker. An increased risk of serious infections has been seen with the combination of TNF blockers with anakinra or abatacept, with no demonstrated added benefit in patients with RA. Concomitant administration of CYLTEZO with other biologic DMARDS (e.g., anakinra or abatacept) or other TNF blockers is not recommended based on the possible increased risk for infections and other potential pharmacological interactions.

MALIGNANCY

Lymphoma and other malignancies, some fatal, have been reported in children and adolescent patients treated with TNF blockers including adalimumab products. Post-marketing cases of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL), a rare type of T-cell lymphoma, have been reported in patients treated with TNF blockers including adalimumab products. These cases have had a very aggressive disease course and have been fatal. The majority of reported TNF blocker cases have occurred in patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and the majority were in adolescent and young adult males. Almost all these patients had received treatment with azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) concomitantly with a TNF blocker at or prior to diagnosis. It is uncertain whether the occurrence of HSTCL is related to use of a TNF blocker or a TNF blocker in combination with these other immunosuppressants.

  • Consider the risks and benefits of TNF-blocker treatment prior to initiating or continuing therapy in a patient with known malignancy.
  • In clinical trials of some TNF-blockers, including adalimumab products, more cases of malignancies were observed among TNF-blocker-treated patients compared to control patients.
  • Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) was reported during clinical trials for adalimumab-treated patients. Examine all patients, particularly those with a history of prolonged immunosuppressant or PUVA therapy, for the presence of NMSC prior to and during treatment with CYLTEZO.
  • In adalimumab clinical trials, there was an approximate 3-fold higher rate of lymphoma than expected in the general U.S. population. Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, particularly those with highly active disease and/or chronic exposure to immunosuppressant therapies, may be at higher risk of lymphoma than the general population, even in the absence of TNF blockers.
  • Postmarketing cases of acute and chronic leukemia were reported with TNF blocker use. Approximately half of the postmarketing cases of malignancies in children, adolescents, and young adults receiving TNF blockers were lymphomas; other cases included rare malignancies associated with immunosuppression and malignancies not usually observed in children and adolescents.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

  • Anaphylaxis and angioneurotic edema have been reported following administration of adalimumab products. If a serious allergic reaction occurs, stop CYLTEZO and institute appropriate therapy.

Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation

  • Use of TNF blockers, including CYLTEZO, may increase the risk of reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in patients who are chronic carriers. Some cases have been fatal. Evaluate patients at risk for HBV infection for prior evidence of HBV infection before initiating TNF blocker therapy. Exercise caution in patients who are carriers of HBV and monitor them during and after CYLTEZO treatment. Discontinue CYLTEZO and begin antiviral therapy in patients who develop HBV reactivation. Exercise caution when resuming CYLTEZO after HBV treatment.

Neurologic Reactions

  • TNF blockers, including adalimumab products, have been associated with rare cases of new onset or exacerbation of central nervous system and peripheral demyelinating diseases, including multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Exercise caution when considering CYLTEZO for patients with these disorders; discontinuation of CYLTEZO should be considered if any of these disorders develop.

Hematological Reactions

  • Rare reports of pancytopenia, including aplastic anemia, have been reported with TNF blockers. Medically significant cytopenia has been infrequently reported with adalimumab products. Consider stopping CYLTEZO if significant hematologic abnormalities occur.

Congestive Heart Failure

  • Cases of worsening congestive heart failure (CHF) and new onset CHF have been reported with TNF blockers. Cases of worsening CHF have also been observed with adalimumab.  Exercise caution when using CYLTEZO in patients who have heart failure and monitor them carefully.

Autoimmunity

  • Treatment with adalimumab products may result in the formation of autoantibodies and, rarely, in development of a lupus-like syndrome. Discontinue treatment if symptoms of a lupus-like syndrome develop.

Immunizations

  • Patients on CYLTEZO should not receive live vaccines. Pediatric patients, if possible, should be brought up to date with all immunizations before initiating CYLTEZO therapy. The safety of administering live or live-attenuated vaccines in infants exposed to adalimumab products in utero is unknown. Risks and benefits should be considered prior to vaccinating (live or live-attenuated) exposed infants.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

  • The most common adverse reactions in adalimumab clinical trials (>10%) were: infections (e.g., upper respiratory, sinusitis), injection site reactions, headache, and rash.

CL-BI501-100000 CYLTEZO ISI for HCP October 2021

About Boehringer Ingelheim

Making new and better medicines for humans and animals is at the heart of what we do. Our mission is to create breakthrough therapies that change lives. Since its founding in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is independent and family-owned. We have the freedom to pursue our long-term vision, looking ahead to identify the health challenges of the future and targeting those areas of need where we can do the most good.

As a world-leading, research-driven pharmaceutical company, with around 52,000 employees, we create value through innovation daily for our three business areas: Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. In 2020, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around 22.33 billion USD (19.57 billion EUR). Our significant investment of over 4.2 billion USD (3.7 billion EUR) in 2020 (18.9% of net sales) in R&D drives innovation, enabling the next generation of medicines that save lives and improve quality of life.

We realize more scientific opportunities by embracing the power of partnership and diversity of experts across the life-science community. By working together, we accelerate the delivery of the next medical breakthrough that will transform the lives of patients now, and in generations to come.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation and is part of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies. In addition, there are Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health in Duluth, GA and Boehringer Ingelheim Fremont, Inc. in Fremont, CA.

Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving lives and strengthening our communities. Please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.us/csr to learn more about Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.

For more information, please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.us, or follow us on Twitter @BoehringerUS.

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