Two CHMP nods for Janssen

pharmafile | April 4, 2016 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Xeplion, darzalex, multiple myeloma 

The European Commission’s scientific committee has recommended Janssen’s Darzalex (daratumumab) for multiple myeloma and Trevicta (paliperidone palmitate) for maintenance treatment of schizophrenia, putting both drugs on track for full EU approval.

Darzalex, an immunotherapy, has been approved as a monotherapy for adult patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (MM), whose prior therapy included a proteasome inhibitor (PI) and an immunomodulatory agent and who have demonstrated disease progression on the last therapy.

MM is a blood cancer that occurs when malignant plasma cells grow uncontrollably in the bone marrow. In cases of refractory MM, the disease has progressed on or within 60 days of the last therapy. The refractory version of the condition is associated with a poor prognosis: the median overall survival (OS) ranges from nine months to just five months. Effective treatment options are limited.

Combined analysis of a Phase II and a Phase I/II trial demonstrated that after a mean follow-up of 14.8 months, the estimated median OS for daratumumab in these heavily pre-treated patients who were progressive at enrolment was 20 months.

The overall response rate (ORR) for the combined analysis was 31%, and 83% of patients achieved stable disease or better.


The CHMP also recommended Trevicta three-monthly injection as a maintenance treatment for schizophrenia. If approved by the European Commission as expected, this would become the first once-every-three-months treatment for schizophrenia in the UK, providing the longest dosing interval available for an atypical antipsychotic medication.                               

The Commission reviews the opinion of the CHMP, and its ultimate decision usually mirrors that of its scientific committee within months.

A monthly formulation of paliperidone palmitate, marketed as Xeplion, was approved in Europe in 2011. Janssen says the reduced administration required with the three-monthly formula could improve outcomes and increase freedom for patients and caregivers who are struggling with daily or monthly treatments, and may therefore be at increased risk of relapse.

Phase III studies have shown that the three-monthly version is at least at least as effective in preventing relapse as the once-monthly formulation, without additional safety risks.

This newer version was approved by the US FDA in 2015. In the US, it is marketed as Invega Trinza.

Joel Levy

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