Long-acting Signifor Has Similar Safety Profiles as Twice-daily Treatment in Cushing’s Patients, Trial Showed

A long-acting, once-a-month treatment of Signifor (pasireotide) normalized cortisol levels in 40% of patients with Cushing’s disease whose disease had recurred after surgery, or who were not candidates for surgery, according to new data from a Phase 3 trial.

The safety profiles of the once-monthly regimen proved to be similar to standard twice-daily Signifor treatments, researchers found.

The study, “Efficacy and safety of once-monthly pasireotide in Cushing’s disease: a 12 month clinical trial,” was published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Novartis‘ Signifor in its twice-daily injection formulation has already been approved for treating Cushing’s in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The 12-month, Phase 3 trial (NCT01374906) was conducted at 57 sites in 19 countries. The study included 150 patients with Cushing’s whose cortisol levels had risen or not dropped at all after surgery, or who were unable to undergo surgery.

Between Dec. 28, 2011, and Dec. 9, 2014, participants were randomized to receive either 10 mg or 30 mg of Signifor every four weeks, via an injection to the muscle. If, after four months of therapy, cortisol urinary levels (mUFC) were 50% greater than the upper normal limit, the dose could be increased from 10 mg to 30 mg, or from 30 mg to 40 mg. It could also be increased after seven, nine, or 12 months if the mUFC concentration was greater than normal.

The goal was to normalize average concentrations of free cortisol in the urine to less than or equal to the upper normal limit at month seven. It was met by 31 of the 74 patients in the 10 mg group (41.9%) and 31 of the 76 patients in the 30 mg group (40.8%).

The most common adverse events were hyperglycemia (high concentration of blood sugar), diarrhea, cholelithiasis (gall stones), diabetes, and nausea.

The researchers consider this treatment to be a good option for patients whose disease has returned after surgery, or who cannot undergo surgery. The long-lasting treatment schedule of one injection per month is more convenient for patients than the twice-daily subcutaneous injection, making it more likely that they would not discontinue treatment.

“Surgical resection of the causative pituitary adenoma is the first-line treatment of choice for most patients with Cushing’s disease, which leads to remission in greater than 75% of patients if done by an expert pituitary surgeon,” wrote Dr. Andre Lacroix, MD, a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Montreal teaching hospital, and colleagues.

“However, surgery is not always successful, and disease recurrence can occur several years after initial remission, while some patients refuse or are not candidates for surgery. As a result, many patients require additional treatment options.”

“Long-acting pasireotide normalized mUFC concentration in about 40% of patients with Cushing’s disease at month 7 and had a similar safety profile to that of twice-daily subcutaneous pasireotide,” the team wrote in the study.

“Long-acting pasireotide is an efficacious treatment option for some patients with Cushing’s disease who have persistent or recurrent disease after initial surgery or are not surgical candidates, and provides a convenient monthly administration schedule,” researchers concluded.

From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2017/10/31/long-acting-signifor-for-cushings-disease-has-similar-efficacy-and-safety-as-twice-daily-treatment/

A Single-Center 10-Year Experience with Pasireotide in Cushing’s Disease: Patients’ Characteristics and Outcome

Pasireotide is the first pituitary-directed drug approved for treating patients with Cushing’s disease (CD). Our 10-year experience with pasireotide in CD is reported here.

Twenty patients with de novo, persistent, or recurrent CD after pituitary surgery were treated with pasireotide from December 2003 to December 2014. Twelve patients were treated with pasireotide in randomized trials and 8 patients with pasireotide sc (Signifor®; Novartis AG, Basel, Switzerland) in clinical practice. The mean treatment duration was 20.5 months (median 9 months; range, 3-72 months).

Urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels mean percentage change (± SD) at last follow-up was-40.4% (± 35.1; range, 2-92%; median reduction 33.3%) with a normalization rate of 50% (10/20). Ten patients achieved sustained normalized late night salivary cortisol (LNSC) levels during treatment. LNSC normalization was associated with UFC normalization in 7/10 patients. Serum cortisol and plasma ACTH significantly decreased from baseline to last follow-up. Body weight decrease and blood pressure improvement during pasireotide treatment were independent from UFC response. Glucose profile worsening was observed in all patients except one. The frequency of diabetes mellitus increased from 40% (8/20) at baseline to 85% (17/20) at last follow-up requiring initiation of medical treatment only in 44% of patients.

Pasireotide treatment was associated with sustained biochemical and clinical benefit in about 60% of CD patients. Glucose profile alteration is a frequent complication of pasireotide treatment; however, it seems to be easy to manage with diet and lifestyle intervention in almost half of the patients.

From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27127913

Global Cushing’s Syndrome Market Size 2015

Cushing’s as money makers for drug companies 😦

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Steroidogenesis inhibitors were responsible for approximately 28% of total drug sales in the 6MM in 2013, equating to around $50m. As a consequence of this trend, GlobalData expects overall revenues generated by this drug class to increase by approximately 390% to reach around $247m, encompassing 49% of total drug sales in the 6MM in 2018.

The expansion in this segment of the CS market is fuelled by the introduction of premium-priced pharmacological agents such as Novartis’ LCI699 and Cortendo AB’s NormoCort (COR-003) in the US, as well as the arrival of HRA Pharma’s Ketoconazole HRA (ketoconazole) to the European CS stage. One of the greatest unmet needs in this indication is a lack of effective drugs directed against the underlying cause of Cushing’s disease (the pituitary tumor).

Despite this demand, pharmaceutical companies are continuing to adopt a strategy that simply targets the adrenal glands. As a result, there is a vast amount of room for new or existing players to penetrate the market and capture considerable patient share.

Highlights

Key Questions Answered

Although the current standard of care (ketoconazole) is cheap and reasonably effective in most CS patients, it possesses worrying safety profiles, inconvenient dosing schedules, is difficult to obtain and can display waning efficacy over time. Newer medical treatments, for example, Novartis’ Signifor (pasireotide) and Corcept Therapeutics’ Korlym (mifepristone) address only some of these issues; yet, present their own limitations. The CS market is still marked by the existence of a multitude of unmet needs. What are the main unmet needs in this market? Will the drugs under development fulfil the unmet needs of the CS market?

The late-stage CS pipeline is sparsely populated; however, those drugs in development will be a strong driver of CS market growth. Which of these drugs will attain high sales revenues during 2013-2018? Which of these drugs will have the highest peak sales at the highest CAGR, and why?

Key Findings

One of the main drivers influencing growth in the Cushing’s syndrome market will be the introduction of second-generation steroidogenesis inhibitors, LCI699 and NormoCort (COR-003), in the US, which will rival existing standard of care medical treatments.

Another strong driver will be the arrival of Corcept Therapeutics’ Korlym (mifepristone) and HRA Pharma’s Ketoconazole HRA (ketoconazole) to the European CS market. Both drugs will stimulate significant growth here.

The launch of Novartis’ Signifor LAR (pasireotide) in the 6MM will equip physicians with a less frequently administered formulation of Signifor.

Reasons for inadequate CS treatment include poor physician awareness of the condition, delayed diagnosis, a lack of efficacious drugs for individuals suffering from severe hypersecretion, and a shortage of effective medicines targeting the source of Cushing’s disease.

Scope

Overview of Cushing’s syndrome, including epidemiology, etiology, pathophysiology, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment guidelines.

Annualized Cushing’s syndrome therapeutics market revenues, annual cost of therapies and treatment usage pattern data from 2013 and forecast for five years to 2018.

Key topics covered include strategic competitor assessment, market characterization, unmet needs, clinical trial mapping and implications for the Cushing’s syndrome therapeutics market.

Pipeline analysis: comprehensive data split across different phases, emerging novel trends under development, and detailed analysis of late-stage pipeline drugs.

Analysis of the current and future market competition in the global Cushing’s syndrome therapeutics market. Insightful review of the key industry drivers, restraints and challenges. Each trend is independently researched to provide qualitative analysis of its implications.

Reasons to buy

Develop and design your in-licensing and out-licensing strategies through a review of pipeline products and technologies, and by identifying the companies with the most robust pipeline. Additionally a list of acquisition targets included in the pipeline product company list.

Develop business strategies by understanding the trends shaping and driving the Cushing’s syndrome therapeutics market.

Drive revenues by understanding the key trends, innovative products and technologies, market segments, and companies likely to impact the Cushing’s syndrome therapeutics market in the future.

Formulate effective sales and marketing strategies by understanding the competitive landscape and by analysing the performance of various competitors.

Identify emerging players with potentially strong product portfolios and create effective counter-strategies to gain a competitive advantage.

Track drug sales in the 6MM Cushing’s syndrome therapeutics market from 2013-2018.

Organize your sales and marketing efforts by identifying the market categories and segments that present maximum opportunities for consolidations, investments and strategic partnerships.

From http://www.medgadget.com/2015/10/global-cushings-syndrome-market-size-2015-share-trend-analysis-price-research-report-forecast.html

Interview May 7 with Kathy C, Pituitary Patient

My name is Kathy Casey. I am a 63 year old retired school nurse. I am married with two wonderful sons and a grandson. My husband and I live in the mountain town of Mt. Shasta in northern California. I have always been athletic.

In 1995, I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. At the time the only symptom I was aware of was a severe headache. I had a transphenoidal resection by Dr. Wilson at UCSF Medical Center followed by radiation therapy for 23 days. At the time they said they could not remove all of the tumor.

In 2008/2009. I exhibited symptoms of Cushing’s and my cortisol level was outrageous, and I had to be hospitalized initially for a potassium level of 2. I returned to UCSF and Dr. Anwar Sandeep operated . By removing part of the tumor. My Cushing symptoms resolved. However, he said that the tumor was not encapsulated and was invading the cavernous sinus and stella turcica so it was still not possible to remove it all.

I was OK until December 2013 when I began exhibiting the symptoms of Cushings. One of my 24 hr. urines was 14,000. I had to be hospitalized for a potassium level of 1.9. Dr. Heaney said he has never seen a cortisol level that high. This time I decided to go to the UCLA Pituitary Tumor and Endocrinology Program where they were more oriented to follow-up and treating this disorder. Dr. Bergsneider decided that surgery was not an option. He and Dr. Heaney decided radiation was not an option. So now I am being followed by Dr. Heaney to see if medication can help.

I am now on Cabergoline 0.5 mg three tabs twice a week and Signifor 0.9 mg subcutaneosly twice a day. I think they are alleviating some of the symptoms. However, the Signifor caused my blood sugar to rise, and I had to go on Metformin which is causing nausea to a point where I have a hard time eating.

Anyway, this whole situation is depressing and overwhelming. I am tryng to stay positive, but I wonder how it will turn out. I am fortunate to have a supportive and helpful husband.

I am interested in communicating with people who may be going through a similar experience and learning more about this rare condition.

Kathy will be interviewed May 7, 2014 in BlogTalkRadio

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Cushing’s Awareness Challenge: Day 12

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Mail!  I get all kinds of email asking questions about a variety of Cushing’s issues.  I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV.  I don’t even play one on the internet.  People are desperate for answers, though, so the questions keep coming and I try to answer the best I can.

Here’s a recent question and answer.  Note that you have to be logged into the message boards to view the links in this post.

 

Question: My daughter was diagnosed w/ cushings in 2001 at the age of 20 & had the pituitary surgery.

In late 2013 she was diagnosed with a recurrence. I’ve read that that usually happens within 5 years, not a dozen years.

Regardless, there is a new research program but she was told she doesn’t qualify for it. The other medications offered are either exhorbitant ($100-200,000/year), another causes liver damage, another causes uterine problems. A 2nd surgery is not recommended according to  the surgeon (because there would be only a 50% rate of success due to the scar tissue from the original surgery), and radiation is being vetoed as well, being recommended ONLY as a very last possible resort.

Are there other parents who chat & share experience here? Will I find help as a parent here with my frustration over this disease? Are there other patients who communicate here that are from Michigan?  Are there other patients here who are suffering from the recurrence? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to find on several sites online today that there are so many success stories; I would just like to know what other options there are that perhaps our Dr. is missing.  Thanks.

My response:

S, since you have a Board Name, I assume that you are a member of the message boards.

There are areas specifically for recurrence – http://cushings.invisionzone.com/index.php?/forum/35-recurrences/

People in Michigan: http://cushings.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/13696-michigan/

Parents of patients: http://cushings.invisionzone.com/index.php?/forum/31-parents-spouses-children-and-friends-of-patients/

The more you read, the more you will learn.  Many patients with a recurrence  have a second pituitary surgery.  She might need to get another opinion from another surgeon.

Another option is a BLA – or have her adrenal glands out.  That can cause other issues, though.

The 2 drugs you  mentioned are Signifor and Korlym.  Although both are expensive, each has a patient assistance plan which lowers the cost dramatically.  Doses can vary dramatically so that they don’t necessarily cause liver or uterine issues.

Ketoconazole is another drug that’s sometimes used.

I did a search on the boards and there are 69 topics for Mifepristone (generic Korlym), 51 topics discussing the brand name Korlym, 40 for pasireotide (generic Signifor), 13 for the brand name Signifor, and 69 for keto (the common abbreviation on the boards for ketoconazole)

Here’s a personal experience from a woman on Korlym who likes it: http://cushings.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/53342-i-like-korlym/?hl=korlym

So – the information is out there.

I know it’s hard to process all this and make decisions.

I know it’s hard to process all this and make decisions. I had my one pituitary surgery in 1987, before the Internet was available so I had to really research all this in medical texts.

At that time, there weren’t any drug options. Just surgery and radiation. I decided off the bat if I should have a recurrence, I would not do radiation. I’d go for another pituitary surgery first, then a BLA if needed.

But that was then and this is now.  There is way more information which is much easier to find.  There are better surgical options and even some more medical ones.

Good luck!

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