BioMarin Seeks Marketing Approval in Europe for its Investigational Gene Therapy, Valoctocogene Roxaparvovec

BioMarin Seeks Marketing Approval in Europe for its Investigational Gene Therapy, Valoctocogene Roxaparvovec

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals is seeking marketing approval in Europe for its investigational gene therapy, valoctocogene roxaparvovec, for the treatment of adults with severe hemophilia A.

The company has submitted a marketing authorization application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the experimental gene therapy, formerly known as BMN 270. Administered as a single infusion, the therapy uses adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to deliver a functional copy of clotting factor VIII, the protein that is missing in people with hemophilia A.

An ongoing Phase 3 trial, GENEr8-1 (NCT03370913), is investigating the treatment’s safety and efficacy, and is still recruiting adult patients. Go here for more information on trial’s locations and here for eligibility criteria.

The EMA had previously given valoctocogene roxaparvovec the designation of priority medicines, or PRIME, in 2017. Now, the potential therapy has been granted accelerated assessment, which may potentially shorten its MAA review process from 210 to 150 days.

Accelerated assessment is given by the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use and Committee for Advanced Therapies to innovative medications that are of major interest to public health. This endorsement is meant to speed up the review process of eligible medications, but does not impact the committees’ decision to recommend their approval.

BioMarin’s MAA submission was based on updated three-year data from a Phase 1/2 study (NCT02576795) and on an interim analysis of the ongoing Phase 3 GENEr8-1 trial (NCT03370913), which is still recruiting an anticipated 130 patients from 73 sites around the world to test the dose of 6e13 vg/kg (vector genomes per kilogram). Another Phase 3 trial, the GENEr8-2 (NCT03392974) study, is also ongoing and testing a lower dose (4e13 vg/kg).

Three-year data from the Phase 1/2 trial showed that a single administration of valoctocogene roxaparvovec at the higher dose markedly reduced bleeding episodes and the need for factor VIII infusions in a small group of adults with severe hemophilia A. Specifically, there was a 96% reduction in both the mean ABR (annualized bleed rate) and the mean factor VIII usage over the three years.

The levels of clotting factor VIII remained stable over the course of three years following treatment.

Valoctocogene roxaparvovec was generally well-tolerated by patients. None of the participants developed inhibitors to factor VIII, and none withdrew from the study due to adverse events.

“We are grateful to the study participants, who have made this progress possible in the span of approximately four years since the first participant was enrolled in the clinical program,” Hank Fuchs, MD, president of BioMarin’s global research and development, said in a press release.

“We are very pleased with the level of engagement we have had with global health authorities, as it aligns with our belief that gene therapy represents the next wave of innovation and potentially could be a meaningful advancement for treating people with severe hemophilia A,” Fuchs said.

Valoctocogene roxaparvovec will be the first gene therapy for hemophilia whose MAA will be reviewed by health authorities for potential approval in the E.U. BioMarin is expecting the EMA to start reviewing its application in January 2020 and said it will provide an update at that time.

In the meantime, the company is planning to submit a biologics license application for valoctocogene roxaparvovec to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of the year. The investigational treatment has been given a breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA, as well as orphan drug status from both the FDA and EMA.

Joana is currently completing her PhD in Biomedicine and Clinical Research at Universidade de Lisboa. She also holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology from Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on the impact of non-canonical Wnt signaling in the collective behavior of endothelial cells — cells that make up the lining of blood vessels — found in the umbilical cord of newborns.
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Margarida graduated with a BS in Health Sciences from the University of Lisbon and a MSc in Biotechnology from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UL). She worked as a molecular biologist research associate at a Cambridge UK-based biotech company that discovers and develops therapeutic, fully human monoclonal antibodies.
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Joana is currently completing her PhD in Biomedicine and Clinical Research at Universidade de Lisboa. She also holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology from Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on the impact of non-canonical Wnt signaling in the collective behavior of endothelial cells — cells that make up the lining of blood vessels — found in the umbilical cord of newborns.
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