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Bristol Myers Squibb Receives Positive CHMP Opinion Recommending Approval of ZEPOSIA® (ozanimod) for the Treatment of Adult Patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis with Active Disease

PRINCETON, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$BMY #BMSBristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency has adopted a positive opinion for ZEPOSIA® (ozanimod) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) with active disease as defined by clinical or imaging features. ZEPOSIA is an oral, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator that binds with high affinity selectively to S1P subtypes 1 (S1P1) and 5 (S1P5). The CHMP recommendation will now be reviewed by the European Commission, which has the authority to approve medicines for the European Union.

“This positive CHMP opinion reinforces that ZEPOSIA has the potential to become an important treatment option for patients with relapsing remitting MS with active disease. There remains a need for effective and safe therapies that impact both the relapses and brain lesions that are characteristic of this disease,” said Samit Hirawat, M.D., chief medical officer, Bristol Myers Squibb. “We look forward to the European Commission’s decision and the potential to bring ZEPOSIA to patients in the EU.”

The CHMP adopted the positive opinion based on data from the randomized, active-controlled Phase 3 SUNBEAM™ and RADIANCE™ Part B clinical trials, which enrolled more than 2,600 patients across 150 sites in more than 20 countries. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ZEPOSIA for the treatment of adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) on March 25, 2020.

About SUNBEAM™

SUNBEAM is a pivotal, phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, active-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of two doses of oral ZEPOSIA (0.92 mg and 0.46 mg, equivalent to 1 mg and 0.5 mg ozanimod HCI, respectively) against weekly intramuscular AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a) for at least a 12-month treatment period. The study included 1,346 people living with RMS across 152 sites in 20 countries.

The primary endpoint of the trial was annualized relapse rates (ARR) during the treatment period. The secondary MRI endpoints included the number of new or enlarging hyperintense T2-weighted brain MRI lesions over 12 months, number of gadolinium-enhanced brain MRI lesions at month 12 and percent change from baseline in whole brain volume at month 12. Cortical grey and thalamic volume changes were also prospectively assessed versus active comparator.

An analysis of the time to onset of three-month confirmed disability progression was pre-specified using pooled data from both the SUNBEAM and RADIANCE Part B phase 3 trials.

About RADIANCE™

RADIANCE Part B is a pivotal, phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, active-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of two doses of oral ZEPOSIA (0.92 mg and 0.46 mg, equivalent to 1 mg and 0.5 mg ozanimod HCI, respectively) against weekly intramuscular AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a) over a 24-month treatment period. The study included 1,320 people living with RMS across 150 sites in 21 countries.

The primary endpoint of the trial was ARR over 24 months. The secondary MRI endpoints included the number of new or enlarging hyperintense T2-weighted brain MRI lesions over 24 months, number of gadolinium-enhanced brain MRI lesions at month 24 and percent change from baseline in whole brain volume at month 24. Cortical grey and thalamic volume changes were also prospectively assessed versus active comparator.

An analysis of the time to onset of three-month confirmed disability progression was pre-specified using pooled data from both the SUNBEAM and RADIANCE Part B phase 3 trials.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath that covers the nerves. The myelin damage disrupts communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Ultimately, the nerves themselves may deteriorate — a process that’s currently irreversible. MS affects 700,000 people in Europe and approximately 2.5 million people worldwide.

Relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) is characterized by clearly defined attacks of worsening neurologic function. These attacks — often called relapses, flare-ups or exacerbations — are followed by partial or complete recovery periods (remissions), during which symptoms improve partially or completely with no apparent progression of disease. RRMS is the most common disease course at the time of diagnosis. Approximately 85 percent of patients are initially diagnosed with RRMS, compared with 10-15 percent with progressive forms of the disease.

About ZEPOSIA® (ozanimod)

ZEPOSIA® (ozanimod) is an oral, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator that binds with high affinity to S1P receptors 1 and 5. ZEPOSIA blocks the capacity of lymphocytes to egress from lymph nodes, reducing the number of lymphocytes in peripheral blood. The mechanism by which ZEPOSIA exerts therapeutic effects in multiple sclerosis is unknown but may involve the reduction of lymphocyte migration into the central nervous system.

ZEPOSIA is also in development for additional immune-inflammatory indications, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Contraindications:

  • Patients who in the last 6 months, experienced myocardial infarction, unstable angina, stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), decompensated heart failure requiring hospitalization, or Class III/IV heart failure or have a presence of Mobitz type II second or third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block, sick sinus syndrome, or sino-atrial, unless the patient has a functioning pacemaker
  • Patients with severe untreated sleep apnea
  • Patients taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor

Infections: ZEPOSIA may increase the susceptibility to infections. Life-threatening and rare fatal infections have occurred in patients receiving ZEPOSIA. Obtain a recent (i.e., within 6 months or after discontinuation of prior MS therapy) complete blood count (CBC) including lymphocyte count before initiation of ZEPOSIA. Delay initiation of ZEPOSIA in patients with an active infection until the infection is resolved. Consider interruption of treatment with ZEPOSIA if a patient develops a serious infection. Continue monitoring for infections up to 3 months after discontinuing ZEPOSIA.

  • Herpes zoster was reported as an adverse reaction in ZEPOSIA-treated patients. Herpes simplex encephalitis and varicella zoster meningitis have been reported with sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulators. Patients without a healthcare professional-confirmed history of varicella (chickenpox), or without documentation of a full course of vaccination against varicella zoster virus (VZV), should be tested for antibodies to VZV before initiating ZEPOSIA. A full course of vaccination for antibody-negative patients with varicella vaccine is recommended prior to commencing treatment with ZEPOSIA
  • Cases of fatal cryptococcal meningitis (CM) were reported in patients treated with another S1P receptor modulator. If CM is suspected, ZEPOSIA should be suspended until cryptococcal infection has been excluded. If CM is diagnosed, appropriate treatment should be initiated.
  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) is an opportunistic viral infection of the brain that typically occurs in patients who are immunocompromised, and that usually leads to death or severe disability. No cases of PML were identified in active-controlled MS clinical trials with ZEPOSIA. PML has been reported in patients treated with S1P receptor modulators and other MS therapies and has been associated with some risk factors. If PML is suspected, withhold ZEPOSIA and perform an appropriate diagnostic evaluation. If confirmed, treatment with ZEPOSIA should be discontinued
  • In clinical studies, patients who received ZEPOSIA were not to receive concomitant treatment with antineoplastic, non-corticosteroid immunosuppressive, or immune-modulating therapies used for treatment of MS. Concomitant use of ZEPOSIA with any of these therapies would be expected to increase the risk of immunosuppression. When switching to ZEPOSIA from immunosuppressive medications, consider the duration of their effects and their mode of action to avoid unintended additive immunosuppressive effects
  • Use of live attenuated vaccines should be avoided during and for 3 months after treatment with ZEPOSIA. If live attenuated vaccine immunizations are required, administer at least 1 month prior to initiation of ZEPOSIA

Bradyarrhythmia and Atrioventricular Conduction Delays: Since initiation of ZEPOSIA may result in a transient decrease in heart rate and atrioventricular conduction delays, dose titration is recommended to help reduce cardiac effects. Initiation of ZEPOSIA without dose escalation may result in greater decreases in heart rate. If treatment with ZEPOSIA is considered, advice from a cardiologist should be sought for those individuals:

  • with significant QT prolongation
  • with arrhythmias requiring treatment with Class 1a or III anti-arrhythmic drugs
  • with ischemic heart disease, heart failure, history of cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease, and uncontrolled hypertension
  • with a history of Mobitz type II second-degree or higher AV block, sick-sinus syndrome, or sinoatrial heart block

Liver Injury: Elevations of aminotransferases may occur in patients receiving ZEPOSIA. Obtain liver function tests, if not recently available (i.e., within 6 months), before initiation of ZEPOSIA. Patients who develop symptoms suggestive of hepatic dysfunction should have hepatic enzymes checked and ZEPOSIA should be discontinued if significant liver injury is confirmed. Caution should be exercised when using ZEPOSIA in patients with history of significant liver disease.

Fetal Risk: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Based on animal studies, ZEPOSIA may cause fetal harm. Women of childbearing potential should use effective contraception to avoid pregnancy during treatment and for 3 months after stopping ZEPOSIA.

Increased Blood Pressure: Increase in systolic pressure was observed after about 3 months of treatment and persisted throughout treatment. Blood pressure should be monitored during treatment and managed appropriately. Certain foods that may contain very high amounts of tyramine could cause severe hypertension in patients taking ZEPOSIA. Patients should be advised to avoid foods containing a very large amount of tyramine while taking ZEPOSIA.

Respiratory Effects: ZEPOSIA may cause a decline in pulmonary function. Spirometric evaluation of respiratory function should be performed during therapy, if clinically indicated.

Macular edema: S1P modulators have been associated with an increased risk of macular edema. Patients with a history of uveitis or diabetes mellitus are at increased risk. Patients with a history of these conditions should have an ophthalmic evaluation of the fundus, including the macula, prior to treatment initiation and regular follow-up examinations. An ophthalmic evaluation is recommended in all patients at any time if there is a change in vision. Continued use of ZEPOSIA in patients with macular edema has not been evaluated; potential benefits and risks for the individual patient should be considered if deciding whether ZEPOSIA should be discontinued.

Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES): Rare cases of PRES have been reported in patients receiving a S1P receptor modulator. If a ZEPOSIA-treated patient develops unexpected neurological or psychiatric symptoms or any symptom/sign suggestive of an increase in intracranial pressure, a complete physical and neurological examination should be conducted. Symptoms of PRES are usually reversible but may evolve into ischemic stroke or cerebral hemorrhage. Delay in diagnosis and treatment may lead to permanent neurological sequelae. If PRES is suspected, treatment with ZEPOSIA should be discontinued.

Unintended Additive Immunosuppressive Effects From Prior Immunosuppressive or Immune-Modulating Drugs: When switching from drugs with prolonged immune effects, the half-life and mode of action of these drugs must be considered to avoid unintended additive immunosuppressive effects while at the same time minimizing risk of disease reactivation. Initiating treatment with ZEPOSIA after treatment with alemtuzumab is not recommended.

Severe Increase in Disability After Stopping ZEPOSIA: Severe exacerbation of disease, including disease rebound, has been rarely reported after discontinuation of a S1P receptor modulator. The possibility of severe exacerbation of disease should be considered after stopping ZEPOSIA treatment so patients should be monitored upon discontinuation.

Immune System Effects After Stopping ZEPOSIA: After discontinuing ZEPOSIA, the median time for lymphocyte counts to return to the normal range was 30 days with approximately 90% of patients in the normal range within 3 months. Use of immunosuppressants within this period may lead to an additive effect on the immune system, therefore caution should be applied when initiating other drugs 4 weeks after the last dose of ZEPOSIA.

Most common Adverse Reactions (≥ 4%): upper respiratory infection, hepatic transaminase elevation, orthostatic hypotension, urinary tract infection, back pain, and hypertension.

For additional safety information, please see the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Celgene and Juno Therapeutics are wholly owned subsidiaries of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. In certain countries outside the U.S., due to local laws, Celgene and Juno Therapeutics are referred to as, Celgene, a Bristol Myers Squibb company and Juno Therapeutics, a Bristol Myers Squibb company.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding, among other things, the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. All statements that are not statements of historical facts are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on historical performance and current expectations and projections about our future financial results, goals, plans and objectives and involve inherent risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including internal or external factors that could delay, divert or change any of them in the next several years, that are difficult to predict, may be beyond our control and could cause our future financial results, goals, plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. These risks, assumptions, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, that the CHMP opinion is not binding on the European Commission, that ZEPOSIA (ozanimod) may not receive regulatory approval for the indication described in this release in the currently anticipated timeline or at all and, if approved, whether such product candidate for such indication described in this release will be commercially successful. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many risks and uncertainties that affect Bristol Myers Squibb’s business and market, particularly those identified in the cautionary statement and risk factors discussion in Bristol Myers Squibb’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements included in this document are made only as of the date of this document and except as otherwise required by applicable law, Bristol Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

Contacts

Bristol Myers Squibb

Media Inquiries:

609-252-3345

[email protected]

Chrissy Trank

609-970-1189

[email protected]

Investors:

Tim Power

609-252-7509

[email protected]

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