Medications Used to Treat Cushing’s

Dr. Friedman uses several medications to treat Cushing’s syndrome that are summarized in this table. Dr. Friedman especially recommends ketoconazole. An in-depth article on ketoconazole can be found on goodhormonehealth.com.

 

 

 Drug How it works Dosing Side effects
Ketoconazole  (Generic, not FDA approved in US) blocks several steps in cortisol biosynthesis Start 200 mg at 8 and 10 PM, can up titrate to 1200 mg/day • Transient increase in LFTs
• Decreased testosterone levels
• Adrenal insufficiency
Levoketoconazole (Recorlev) L-isomer of Ketoconazole Start at 150 mg at 8 and 10 PM, can uptitrate up to 1200 mg nausea, vomiting, increased blood pressure, low potassium, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, and unusual bleeding
Isturisa (osilodrostat) blocks 11-hydroxylase 2 mg at bedtime, then go up to 2 mg at 8 and 10 pm, can go up to 30 mg  Dr. Friedman often gives with spironolactone or ketoconazole. • high testosterone (extra facial hair, acne, hair loss, irregular periods)  • low potassium
• hypertension
Cabergoline (generic, not FDA approved) D2-receptor agonist 0.5 to 7 mg • nausea,  • headache  • dizziness
Korlym (Mifepristone) glucocorticoid receptor antagonist 300-1200 mg per day • cortisol insufficiency (fatigue, nausea, vomiting, arthralgias, and headache)
• increased mineralocorticoid effects (hypertension, hypokalemia, and edema
• antiprogesterone effects (endometrial thickening)
Pasireotide (Signafor) somatostatin receptor ligand 600 μg or 900 μg twice a day Diabetes, hyperglycemia, gallbladder issues

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Friedman, go to goodhormonehealth.com

Withdrawal Study Details Effects of Levoketoconazole in Cushing’s Syndrome

Data presented at AACE 2022 detail levoketoconazole-specific effects observed among patients with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome from the phase 3 LOGICS trial.

New research presented at the American Academy of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE) annual meeting provides insight into the effects of treatment with levoketoconazole (Osilodrostat) among patients with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome.

An analysis of data from a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal study, results of the study demonstrate levoketoconazole provided benefits across a range of etiologies and provide evidence of levoketoconazole-specific effects through the withdrawal and reintroduction of therapy during the trial.

“This LOGICS study showed that treatment with levoketoconazole benefitted patients with Cushing’s syndrome of different etiologies and a wide range in UFC elevations at baseline by frequent normalization of mUFC and concurrent improvements in serum cholesterol,” said Maria Fleseriu, MD, professor of medicine and neurological surgery and director of the Northwest Pituitary Center at Oregon Health and Science University, during her presentation. “The benefits observed were established as levoketoconazole-specific via the loss of therapeutic effect upon withdrawal to placebo and restoration upon reintroduction of levoketoconazole.”

An orally administered cortisol synthesis inhibitor approved by the US FDA for treatment of endogenous hypercortisolemia in adult patients with Cushing’s syndrome considered ineligible for surgery, levoketoconazole received approval based on results of the phase 3 open-label SONICS trial, which demonstrated . Launched on the heels of SONICS, the current trial, LOGICS, was designed as phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal study aimed at assessing the drug-specificity of cortisol normalization in adult patients with Cushing’s syndrome through a comparison of the effects of withdrawing levoketoconazole to placebo against continuing treatment.

The trial began with an open-label titration maintenance phase followed by a double-blind randomized withdrawal phase and a subsequent restoration phase, with the randomized withdrawal and restoration phase both lasting 8 weeks. A total of 89 patients with Cushing’s syndrome received levoketoconazole to normalize mUFC. Of these, 39 patients on a stable dose for 4 weeks or more were included in the randomized withdrawal stage of the study. These 39, along with 5 completers of the SONICS trial, were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to continue therapy with levoketoconazole or placebo therapy, with 22 patients randomized to each arm.

The primary outcome of interest in the study was the proportion of patients with loss of mean urinary free cortisol response during the randomized withdrawal phase of the study, which was defined as an mUFC 1.5 times the upper limit of normal or greater or an mUFC 40% or more above baseline. Secondary outcomes of interest included mUFC normalization at the end of the randomized withdrawal phase of the study and changes in comorbidity biomarkers.

Overall, 21 of the 22 patients randomized to placebo during the withdrawal stage met the primary endpoint of loss of mUFC compared to just 9 of 22 among the levoketoconazole arm of the trial (treatment difference: -54.5% [95% CI, -75.7 to -27.4]; P=.0002). Additionally, at the conclusion of the randomization phase, mUFC normalization was observed among 11 patients in the levoketoconazole arm of the trial compared to 1 patient receiving placebo (treatment difference: 45.5% [95% CI, 19.2 to 67.9]; P=.0015).

Further analysis indicated the restoration of levoketoconazole therapy was associated with a. Reversal of loss of contrail control in most patients who had been randomized to placebo. Investigators pointed out the mean change from randomized withdrawal baseline to the end of the randomized withdrawal period in total cholesterol was -0.04 mmol/L for levoketoconazole and 0.9 mmol/L for placebo (P=.0004) and the mean change in LDL-C was -0.006 mmol/L and 0.6 mmol/L, respectively (P=0.0056), with the mean increases in cholesterol observed among the placebo arm reversed during the restoration phase.

In safety analyses, results suggest the most commonly reported adverse events seen with levoketoconazole treatment, during all study phases combined were nausea and hypokalemia, which occurred among 29% and 26% of patients, respectively. Investigators also pointed out liver-related events, QT interval prolongation, and adrenal insufficiency, which were respecified adverse events of special interest occurred among 10.7%, 10.7%, and 9.5% of patients receiving levoketoconazole, respectively.

This study, “Levoketoconazole in the Treatment of Endogenous Cushing’s Syndrome: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Withdrawal Study,” was presented at AACE 2022.

Levoketoconazole improves cortisol control in endogenous Cushing’s syndrome

Compared with placebo, levoketoconazole improved cortisol control and serum cholesterol levels for adults with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome, according to results from the LOGICS study presented here.

Safety and efficacy of levoketoconazole (Recorlev, Xeris Biopharma) for treatment of Cushing’s syndrome were established in the pivotal phase 3, open-label SONICS study. The phase 3, double-blind LOGICS study sought to demonstrate the drug specificity of levoketoconazole in normalizing mean urinary free cortisol (mUFC) level.

“Treatment with levoketoconazole benefited patients with Cushing’s syndrome of different etiologies and a wide range in UFC elevations at baseline by frequent normalization of UFC,” Ilan Shimon, MD, professor at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and associate dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Rabin Medical Center and director of the Institute of Endocrinology in Israel, told Healio. “This is a valuable Cushing’s study as it includes a placebo-controlled randomized withdrawal phase.”

LOGICS participants were drawn from a cohort of 79 adults with Cushing’s syndrome with a baseline mUFC at least 1.5 times the upper limit of normal who participated in a single-arm, open-label titration and maintenance phase of approximately 14 to 19 weeks. Researchers randomly assigned 39 of those participants plus five from SONICS who had normalized mUFC levels on stable doses of levoketoconazole for at least 4 weeks to continue to receive the medication (n = 22) or to receive placebo with withdrawal of the medication (n = 22) for 8 weeks. At the end of the withdrawal period, all participants received levoketoconazole for 8 more weeks. Primary endpoint was proportion of participants who lost mUFC normalization during the randomized withdrawal period, and secondary endpoints included proportion with normalized mUFC and changes in total and LDL cholesterol at the end of the restoration period.

During the withdrawal period, 95.5% of participants receiving placebo vs. 40.9% of those receiving levoketoconazole experienced loss of mUFC response, for a treatment difference of –54.5% (95% CI, –75.7 to –27.4; P = .0002). At the end of the withdrawal period, 4.5% of participants receiving placebo vs. 50% of those receiving levoketoconazole maintained normalized mUFC, for a treatment difference of 45.5% (95% CI, 19.2-67.9; P = .0015).

Among participants who had received placebo and lost mUFC response, 60% regained normalized mUFC at the end of the restoration period.

During the withdrawal period, participants in the placebo group had increases of 0.9 mmol/L in total cholesterol and 0.6 mmol/L in LDL cholesterol vs. decreases of 0.04 mmol/L (P = .0004) and 0.006 mmol/L (P = .0056), respectively, for the levoketoconazole group. The increases seen in the placebo group were reversed when participants restarted the medication.

The most common adverse events with levoketoconazole were nausea (29%) and hypokalemia (26%). Prespecified adverse events of special interest were liver-related (10.7%), QT interval prolongation (10.7%) and adrenal insufficiency (9.5%).

“This study has led to the FDA decision to approve levoketoconazole for the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome after surgical failure or if surgery is not possible,” Shimon said.

From https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20220512/logics-levoketoconazole-improves-cortisol-control-in-endogenous-cushings-syndrome

FDA Approval for Endogenous Cushing’s Syndrome Drug Recorlev

Ahead of its New Year’s Day decision deadline at the FDA, Xeris Biopharma has snagged an approval for Recorlev, a drug formerly known as levoketoconazole.

Based on results from phase 3 studies called SONICS and LOGICS, the FDA approved the drug for adults with Cushing’s syndrome. Xeris picked up Recorlev earlier this year in its acquisition of rare disease biotech Strongbridge Biopharma. It’s planning to launch in the first quarter of 2022.

Recorlev’s approval covers the treatment of endogenous hypercortisolemia in adults with Cushing’s syndrome who aren’t eligible for surgery or haven’t responded to surgery.

Endogenous Cushing’s disease is caused by a benign tumor in the pituitary gland that prompts the body to produce elevated levels of cortisol, which over time triggers a range of devastating physical and emotional symptoms for patients.

 

In the SONICS study, the drug significantly cut and normalized mean urinary free cortisol concentrations without a dose increase, according to the company. The LOGICS trial confirmed the drug’s efficacy and safety, Xeris says.

Cushion’s is a potentially fatal endocrine disease, and patients often experience years of symptoms before an accurate diagnosis, the company says. After a diagnosis, they’re presented with limited effective treatment options.

Following the approval, the company’s “experienced endocrinology-focused commercial organization can begin rapidly working to help address the needs of Cushing’s syndrome patients in the U.S. who are treated with prescription therapy,” Xeris CEO Paul R. Edick said in a statement.

Aside from its forthcoming Recorlev launch, Xeris markets Gvoke for severe hypoglycemia and Keveyis for primary periodic paralysis.

Back in October, the company partnered up with Merck to help reformulate some of the New Jersey pharma giant’s monoclonal antibody drugs.

From https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/xeris-biopharma-scores-fda-approval-for-endogenous-cushing-s-syndrome-drug-recorlev

FDA accepts NDA for novel Cushing’s syndrome treatment

The FDA accepted for review a new drug application for the steroidogenesis inhibitor levoketoconazole for the treatment of  endogenous Cushing’s syndrome , according to an industry press release.

“We are pleased with the FDA’s acceptance for filing of the Recorlev new drug application,” John H. Johnson, CEO of Strongbridge Biopharma, said in the release. “We believe this decision reflects the comprehensive clinical evidence that went into the NDA submission, including the positive and statistically significant efficacy and safety results from the multinational phase 3 SONICS and LOGICS studies evaluating Recorlev as a potential treatment option for adults with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. We are advancing our commercial readiness plans and look forward to potentially bringing a new therapeutic option to the Cushing’s syndrome community in the first quarter of 2022.”

As Healio previously reported, top-line findings from the LOGICS study demonstrated that levoketoconazole (Recorlev, Strongbridge Biopharma) improved and normalized morning urinary free cortisol concentrations for adults with endogenous Cushing’s disease compared with placebo.

The drug was generally well tolerated, with safety data mirroring those from the earlier phase 3 SONICS trial.

Endogenous Cushing’s syndrome — caused by chronic hypercortisolism — is rare, with estimates ranging from 40 to 70 people per million affected worldwide, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

The FDA set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act target action date of Jan. 1, 2022, for levoketoconazole, according to the company. The FDA letter made no mention of a plan to hold an advisory committee meeting.

From https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20210513/fda-accepts-nda-for-novel-cushings-syndrome-treatment

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