RECORDATI: ISTURISA® (Osilodrostat) Phase III LINC-4 Trial Meets Its Primary Endpoint In Cushing’s Disease

Source: RECORDATI

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RECORDATI: ISTURISA® (OSILODROSTAT) PHASE III LINC-4 TRIAL MEETS ITS PRIMARY ENDPOINT IN CUSHING’S DISEASE

Isturisa® (osilodrostat) demonstrates significant and sustained benefit over placebo at normalizing mean urinary free cortisol (mUFC) levels in patients with Cushing’s disease

Milan, 17 June 2020 – Recordati today announces positive results from the large Phase III LINC-4 study of Isturisa® (osilodrostat) for the treatment of patients with Cushing’s disease for whom pituitary surgery is not an option or has not been curative. Data from the LINC-4 study demonstrate that a significantly higher proportion of patients receiving Isturisa® achieve normal mUFC, the primary treatment goal for Cushing’s disease, after 12 weeks of treatment versus placebo (77% vs 8%; P<0.0001). Improvements in mUFC levels are sustained over 36 weeks of treatment (81% of patients). Isturisa® is well tolerated and has a manageable safety profile, with the most common adverse events in LINC-4 being arthralgia, decreased appetite, fatigue, and nausea. The findings from LINC-4, the first Phase III study of a medical therapy in Cushing’s disease to contain an upfront placebo-controlled phase, builds on existing clinical evidence and affirms the effectiveness of Isturisa® in this hard-to-treat patient population.1-3

“Cushing’s disease is a chronic and debilitating condition that can be extremely challenging to manage and, if left inadequately treated, can have a significant impact on patients’ quality of life and increase the risk of mortality”, said Richard Feelders, MD, Professor of Endocrinology at the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam. “Data from this important Phase III study show that Isturisa® (osilodrostat) is an effective and well-tolerated therapy for Cushing’s disease, which significantly reduces and normalizes mUFC levels in most patients. These data are encouraging given the high unmet medical need for patients with this rare disorder”.

“The compelling topline LINC-4 data confirm the effectiveness of Isturisa® for the treatment of this rare, potentially life-threatening disease”, stated Andrea Recordati, CEO. “We are deeply grateful to the patients, investigators, clinicians and study staff whose ongoing participation in the clinical development of Isturisa® has helped bring this therapy to patients in need.”

Data from the LINC 4 study reinforce the clinical benefits of Isturisa® as an effective and generally well‑tolerated oral treatment option for patients with Cushing’s disease. Isturisa® has recently received marketing authorization in the European Union (January 2020) and United States (March 2020) for the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome and Cushing’s disease, respectively.

About Cushing’s syndrome

Cushing’s syndrome is caused by an inappropriate and chronic exposure to excessive levels of cortisol. The source of this excess of cortisol can be endogenous or exogenous (ie medication). When the excess cortisol production is triggered by a pituitary adenoma (ie a tumor of the pituitary gland located in the brain) secreting excess adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), the condition of the patient is defined as Cushing’s disease and comprises about 70% of Cushing’s syndrome cases.4 It is a rare, serious and difficult-to-treat disease that affects approximately one to two patients per million per year.5 Prolonged exposure to elevated cortisol levels is associated with considerable morbidity, mortality and impaired quality of life as a result of complications and comorbidities.6 Normalization of cortisol levels is therefore a primary objective in the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome.7

About LINC-4

LINC-4 is a large randomized, double-blinded, multicentre, 48-week trial with an initial 12-week placebo-controlled period to evaluate the safety and efficacy of osilodrostat in patients with Cushing’s disease. The primary endpoint in the LINC-4 trial is the proportion of patients randomized to Isturisa® and placebo, separately, with a mUFC ≤ULN at the end of the 12-week placebo-controlled period. The key secondary endpoint is the proportion of patients in both arms combined with a mUFC ≤ULN after 36 weeks. LINC-4 involved 73 patients with persistent or recurrent Cushing’s disease or those with de novo disease who were not candidates for surgery.

About Isturisa®

Isturisa® is a potent oral, reversible inhibitor of 11β-hydroxylase (CYP11B1), the enzyme that catalyses the final step of cortisol biosynthesis in the adrenal gland and is authorized in the EU and US for the treatment of adult patients with Cushing’s syndrome and Cushing’s disease, respectively.8,9 Isturisa® will be available as 1 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg film‐coated tablets. Please see prescribing information for detailed recommendations for the use of this product.8,9

  1. Bertagna X et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2014;99:1375–83
  2. Fleseriu M et al. Pituitary 2016;19:138–48
  3. Biller BMK et al. Abstract OR16-2. Oral presentation at the Endocrine Society Annual Congress 2019
  4. Nieman LK et al. Am J Med 2005;118:1340–6
  5. Signifor® and Signifor® LAR Summary of Product Characteristics, June 2018
  6. Pivonello R et al. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016;4:611–29
  7. Nieman LK et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015;100:2807–31
  8. Isturisa® Summary of Product Characteristics. May 2020
  9. Isturisa® Prescribing Information. March 2020

About the Recordati group

Recordati, established in 1926, is an international pharmaceutical group, listed on the Italian Stock Exchange (Reuters RECI.MI, Bloomberg REC IM, ISIN IT 0003828271), with a total staff of more than 4,300, dedicated to the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals. Headquartered in Milan, Italy, Recordati has operations throughout the whole of Europe, including Russia, Turkey, North Africa, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, some South American countries, Japan and Australia. An efficient field force of medical representatives promotes a wide range of innovative pharmaceuticals, both proprietary and under license, in a number of therapeutic areas including a specialized business dedicated to treatments for rare diseases. Recordati is a partner of choice for new product licenses for its territories. Recordati is committed to the research and development of new specialties with a focus on treatments for rare diseases. Consolidated revenue for 2019 was € 1,481.8 million, operating income was € 465.3 million and net income was € 368.9 million.

For further information:

Recordati website:  http://www.recordati.com

Investor Relations                                                                 Media Relations
Marianne Tatschke                                                                Studio Noris Morano
(39)0248787393                                                                    (39)0276004736, (39)0276004745
e-mail: investorelations@recordati.it                                  e-mail: norismorano@studionorismorano.com

Statements contained in this release, other than historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). These statements are based on currently available information, on current best estimates, and on assumptions believed to be reasonable. This information, these estimates and assumptions may prove to be incomplete or erroneous, and involve numerous risks and uncertainties, beyond the Company’s control. Hence, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. All mentions and descriptions of Recordati products are intended solely as information on the general nature of the company’s activities and are not intended to indicate the advisability of administering any product in any particular instance.

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From https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/06/17/2049265/0/en/RECORDATI-ISTURISA-OSILODROSTAT-PHASE-III-LINC-4-TRIAL-MEETS-ITS-PRIMARY-ENDPOINT-IN-CUSHING-S-DISEASE.html

Steroids! Scientists Hail Dexamethasone as ‘Major Breakthrough’ in Treating Coronavirus

 

Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, has become the first drug shown to be able to save lives among Covid-19 patients in what scientists hailed as a “major breakthrough”.

Results of trials announced on Tuesday showed dexamethasone, which is used to reduce inflammation in other diseases, reduced death rates by around a third among the most severely ill Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital.

The results suggest the drug should immediately become standard care in patients with severe cases of the pandemic disease, said the researchers who led the trials.

“This is a result that shows that if patients who have Covid-19 and are on ventilators or are on oxygen are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and it will do so at a remarkably low cost,” said Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor co-leading the trial, known as the RECOVERY trial.

“It’s going to be very hard for any drug really to replace this, given that for less than 50 pounds ($63.26), you can treat eight patients and save a life,” he told reporters in an online briefing.

His co-lead investigator, Peter Horby, said dexamethasone was “the only drug that’s so far shown to reduce mortality – and it reduces it significantly.”

“It is a major breakthrough,” he said. “Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”

There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus which has killed more than 431,000 globally.

Saving ‘countless lives’

The RECOVERY trial compared outcomes of around 2,100 patients who were randomly assigned to get the steroid, with those of around 4,300 patients who did not get it.

The results suggest that one death would be prevented by treatment with dexamethasone among every eight ventilated Covid-19 patients, Landray said, and one death would be prevented among every 25 Covid-19 patients that received the drug and are on oxygen.

Among patients with Covid-19 who did not require respiratory support, there was no benefit from treatment with dexamethasone.

“The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients,” Horby said.

Nick Cammack, a expert on Covid-19 at the Wellcome Trust global health charity, said the findings would “transform the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on lives and economies across the world”.

“Countless lives will be saved globally,” he said in a statement responding to the results.

The RECOVERY trial was launched in April as a randomised clinical trial to test a range of potential treatments for Covid-19, including low-dose dexamethasone and the malaria drug hydoxycholoroquine.

The hydroxychloroquine arm was halted earlier this month after Horby and Landray said results showed it was “useless” at treating Covid-19 patients.

Global cases of infection with the novel coronavirus have reached over 8 million, according to a Reuters tally, and more than 434,000 people have died after contracting the virus, the first case if which was reported in China in early January.

From https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/16/steroid-dexamethasone-reduces-deaths-from-severe-covid-19-trial.html

COVID-19 and Cushing’s Syndrome: Recommendations For A Special Population With Endogenous Glucocorticoid Excess

https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(20)30215-1

Over the past few months, COVID-19, the pandemic disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, has been associated with a high rate of infection and lethality, especially in patients with comorbidities such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and immunodeficiency syndromes.1

These cardiometabolic and immune impairments are common comorbidities of Cushing’s syndrome, a condition characterised by excessive exposure to endogenous glucocorticoids. In patients with Cushing’s syndrome, the increased cardiovascular risk factors, amplified by the increased thromboembolic risk, and the increased susceptibility to severe infections, are the two leading causes of death.2

In healthy individuals in the early phase of infection, at the physiological level, glucocorticoids exert immunoenhancing effects, priming danger sensor and cytokine receptor expression, thereby sensitising the immune system to external agents.3 However, over time and with sustained high concentrations, the principal effects of glucocorticoids are to produce profound immunosuppression, with depression of innate and adaptive immune responses. Therefore, chronic excessive glucocorticoids might hamper the initial response to external agents and the consequent activation of adaptive responses. Subsequently, a decrease in the number of B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes, as well as a reduction in T-helper cell activation might favour opportunistic and intracellular infection. As a result, an increased risk of infection is seen, with an estimated prevalence of 21–51% in patients with Cushing’s syndrome.4 Therefore, despite the absence of data on the effects of COVID-19 in patients with Cushing’s syndrome, one can make observations related to the compromised immune state in patients with Cushing’s syndrome and provide expert advice for patients with a current or past history of Cushing’s syndrome.

Fever is one of the hallmarks of severe infections and is present in up to around 90% of patients with COVID-19, in addition to cough and dyspnoea.1 However, in active Cushing’s syndrome, the low-grade chronic inflammation and the poor immune response might limit febrile response in the early phase of infection.2 Conversely, different symptoms might be enhanced in patients with Cushing’s syndrome; for instance, dyspnoea might occur because of a combination of cardiac insufficiency or weakness of respiratory muscles.2 Therefore, during active Cushing’s syndrome, physicians should seek different signs and symptoms when suspecting COVID-19, such as cough, together with dysgeusia, anosmia, and diarrhoea, and should be suspicious of any change in health status of their patients with Cushing’s syndrome, rather than relying on fever and dyspnoea as typical features.

The clinical course of COVID-19 might also be difficult to predict in patients with active Cushing’s syndrome. Generally, patients with COVID-19 and a history of obesity, hypertension, or diabetes have a more severe course, leading to increased morbidity and mortality.1 Because these conditions are observed in most patients with active Cushing’s syndrome,2 these patients might be at an increased risk of severe course, with progression to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), when developing COVID-19. However, a key element in the development of ARDS during COVID-19 is the exaggerated cellular response induced by the cytokine increase, leading to massive alveolar–capillary wall damage and a decline in gas exchange.5 Because patients with Cushing’s syndrome might not mount a normal cytokine response,4 these patients might parodoxically be less prone to develop severe ARDS with COVID-19. Moreover, Cushing’s syndrome and severe COVID-19 are associated with hypercoagulability, such that patients with active Cushing’s syndrome might present an increased risk of thromboembolism with COVID-19. Consequently, because low molecular weight heparin seems to be associated with lower mortality and disease severity in patients with COVID-19,6 and because anticoagulation is also recommended in specific conditions in patients with active Cushing’s syndrome,7 this treatment is strongly advised in hospitalised patients with Cushing’s syndrome who have COVID-19. Furthermore, patients with active Cushing’s syndrome are at increased risk of prolonged duration of viral infections, as well as opportunistic infections, particularly atypical bacterial and invasive fungal infections, leading to sepsis and an increased mortality risk,2 and COVID-19 patients are also at increased risk of secondary bacterial or fungal infections during hospitalisation.1 Therefore, in cases of COVID-19 during active Cushing’s syndrome, prolonged antiviral treatment and empirical prophylaxis with broad-spectrum antibiotics14 should be considered, especially for hospitalised patients (panel).

Panel

Risk factors and clinical suggestions for patients with Cushing’s syndrome who have COVID-19

Reduction of febrile response and enhancement of dyspnoea

Rely on different symptoms and signs suggestive of COVID-19, such as cough, dysgeusia, anosmia, and diarrhoea.

Prolonged duration of viral infections and susceptibility to superimposed bacterial and fungal infections

Consider prolonged antiviral and broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment.

Impairment of glucose metabolism (negative prognostic factor)

Optimise glycaemic control and select cortisol-lowering drugs that improve glucose metabolism. Hypertension (negative prognostic factor) Optimise blood pressure control and select cortisol-lowering drugs that improve blood pressure.

Thrombosis diathesis (negative prognostic factor)

Start antithrombotic prophylaxis, preferably with low-molecular-weight heparin treatment.

Surgery represents the first-line treatment for all causes of Cushing’s syndrome,89 but during the pandemic a delay might be appropriate to reduce the hospital-associated risk of COVID-19, any post-surgical immunodepression, and thromboembolic risks.10 Because immunosuppression and thromboembolic diathesis are common Cushing’s syndrome features,24 during the COVID-19 pandemic, cortisol-lowering medical therapy, including the oral drugs ketoconazole, metyrapone, and the novel osilodrostat, which are usually effective within hours or days, or the parenteral drug etomidate when immediate cortisol control is required, should be temporarily used.9 Nevertheless, an expeditious definitive diagnosis and proper surgical resolution of hypercortisolism should be ensured in patients with malignant forms of Cushing’s syndrome, not only to avoid disease progression risk but also for rapidly ameliorating hypercoagulability and immunospuppression;9 however, if diagnostic procedures cannot be easily secured or surgery cannot be done for limitations of hospital resources due to the pandemic, medical therapy should be preferred. Concomitantly, the optimisation of medical treatment for pre-existing comorbidities as well as the choice of cortisol-lowering drugs with potentially positive effects on obesity, hypertension, or diabates are crucial to improve the eventual clinical course of COVID-19.

Once patients with Cushing’s syndrome are in remission, the risk of infection is substantially decreased, but the comorbidities related to excess glucocorticoids might persist, including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, together with thromboembolic diathesis.2 Because these are features associated with an increased death risk in patients with COVID-19,1 patients with Cushing’s syndrome in remission should be considered a high-risk population and consequently adopt adequate self-protection strategies to minimise contagion risk.

In conclusion, COVID-19 might have specific clinical presentation, clinical course, and clinical complications in patients who also have Cushing’s syndrome during the active hypercortisolaemic phase, and therefore careful monitoring and specific consideration should be given to this special, susceptible population. Moreover, the use of medical therapy as a bridge treatment while waiting for the pandemic to abate should be considered.

RP reports grants and personal fees from Novartis, Strongbridge, HRA Pharma, Ipsen, Shire, and Pfizer; grants from Corcept Therapeutics and IBSA Farmaceutici; and personal fees from Ferring and Italfarmaco. AMI reports non-financial support from Takeda and Ipsen; grants and non-financial support from Shire, Pfizer, and Corcept Therapeutics. BMKB reports grants from Novartis, Strongbridge, and Millendo; and personal fees from Novartis and Strongbridge. AC reports grants and personal fees from Novartis, Ipsen, Shire, and Pfizer; personal fees from Italfarmaco; and grants from Lilly, Merck, and Novo Nordisk. All other authors declare no competing interests.

References

View Abstract

From https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(20)30215-1/fulltext

Gender-related Differences in the Presentation and Course of Cushing’s Disease

2003 Apr;88(4):1554-8.  doi: 10.1210/jc.2002-021518.

Abstract

Cushing’s disease (CD) presents a marked female preponderance, but whether this skewed gender distribution has any relevance to the presentation and outcome of CD is not known.

The aim of the present study was the comparison of clinical features, biochemical indices of hypercortisolism, and surgical outcome among male and female patients with CD. The study population comprised 280 patients with CD (233 females, 47 males) collected by the Italian multicentre study.

Epidemiological data, frequency of clinical signs and symptoms, urinary free cortisol (UFC), plasma ACTH and cortisol levels, responses to dynamic testing, and surgical outcome were compared in female and male patients.

Male patients with CD presented at a younger age, compared with females (30.5 +/- 1.93 vs. 37.1 +/- 0.86 yr, P < 0.01), with higher UFC and ACTH levels (434.1 +/- 51.96 vs. 342.1 +/- 21.01% upper limit of the normal range for UFC, P < 0.05; 163.9 +/- 22.92 vs. 117.7 +/- 9.59% upper limit of the normal range for ACTH, P < 0.05).

No difference in ACTH and cortisol responses to CRH, gradient at inferior petrosal sinus sampling, and cortisol inhibition after low-dose dexamethasone was recorded between sexes. In contrast, the sensitivity of the high-dose dexamethasone test was significantly lower in male than in female patients.

Of particular interest, symptoms indicative of hypercatabolic state were more frequent in male patients; indeed, males presented a higher prevalence of osteoporosis, muscle wasting, striae, and nephrolitiasis. Conversely, no symptom was more frequent in female patients with CD.

Patients with myopathy, hypokalemia, and purple striae presented significantly higher UFC levels, compared with patients without these symptoms. Lastly, in male patients, pituitary imaging was more frequently negative and immediate and late surgical outcome less favorable.

In conclusion, CD appeared at a younger age and with a more severe clinical presentation in males, compared with females, together with more pronounced elevation of cortisol and ACTH levels.

Furthermore, high-dose dexamethasone suppression test and pituitary imaging were less reliable in detecting the adenoma in male patients, further burdening the differential diagnosis with ectopic ACTH secretion. Lastly, the postsurgical course of the disease carried a worse prognosis in males. Altogether, these findings depict a different pattern for CD in males and females.

From https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12679438/

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