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European Commission Approves Subcutaneous Formulation of Entyvio® (Vedolizumab) for use as Maintenance Therapy in Adults with Moderately to Severely Active Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) (“Takeda”) today announced that the European Commission has granted a Marketing Authorization for the subcutaneous (SC) formulation of Entyvio® (vedolizumab), a gut-selective biologic for use as maintenance therapy in adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD). Entyvio SC will be made available in both a pre-filled syringe and a pre-filled pen.

UC and CD are two of the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and affect more than two million people in Europe.1,2 This decision by the European Commission means that Entyvio SC is now approved for use in the 27 member states of the European Union, plus the United Kingdom, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

“We are delighted that the European Commission has approved the subcutaneous formulation of Entyvio. This allows physicians and adult patients to choose the delivery method that works best for each individual patient,” said Adam Zaeske, Head, GI Franchise, Europe and Canada Business Unit, Takeda. “Takeda’s commitment to treating gastrointestinal disease means that we are always looking to innovate to provide further therapeutic options to better meet the needs of the patients we serve.”

The European Commission approval was based on the pivotal phase 3 VISIBLE trials which assessed the safety and efficacy of a SC formulation of Entyvio as maintenance therapy in adult patients with moderately to severely active UC or CD who achieved clinical response* at week 6 following two doses of open-label vedolizumab intravenous (IV) therapy at weeks 0 and 2.3,4,5 Data from an interim analysis of an ongoing, long-term, open-label extension study of patients from VISIBLE 1 and VISIBLE 2 were also considered.6

Takeda strongly believes in the benefit that Entyvio SC can bring to adult patients who live with moderately to severely active UC and CD and remains committed to working with regulatory authorities to bring this important option to patients as quickly as possible. In addition to having received approval from the European Commission, Entyvio SC has been submitted for regulatory review with other regulatory authorities worldwide.

* VISIBLE 1 - UC: Clinical response is defined as a reduction in complete Mayo score of ≥3 points and ≥30% from baseline (week 0) with an accompanying decrease in rectal bleeding subscore of ≥1 point or absolute rectal bleeding subscore of ≤1 point.4
VISIBLE 2 - CD: Clinical response is defined as a ≥70-point decrease in Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) score from baseline (week 0).7

About the VISIBLE Clinical Trial Program
The VISIBLE clinical trial program aims to assess the efficacy and safety of a subcutaneous (SC) formulation of vedolizumab as maintenance therapy in adult patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD).

The VISIBLE program consists of three phase 3 studies involving over 1,000 UC and CD patients which includes two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies examining the proportion of patients achieving clinical remission at week 52, and an open-label extension study to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of vedolizumab SC.4,5,6

About Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) are two of the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).2 Both UC and CD are chronic, relapsing, remitting, inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, with CD potentially progressing over time.8,9 UC only involves the large intestine as opposed to CD which can affect any part of the GI tract from mouth to anus.10,11 CD can also affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall while UC only involves the innermost lining of the large intestine.10,11 UC commonly presents with symptoms of abdominal discomfort, loose bowel movements, including blood or pus.10,12 CD commonly presents with symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss.8 The cause of UC or CD is not fully understood; however, recent research suggests hereditary, genetics, environmental factors, and/or an abnormal immune response to microbial antigens in genetically predisposed individuals can lead to UC or CD.10,13,14

About Entyvio® (vedolizumab)
Vedolizumab is a gut-selective biologic and is approved in both intravenous (IV) and subcutaneous (SC) formulations (SC formulation currently approved in Europe and Canada only).15,16 It is a humanized monoclonal antibody designed to specifically antagonize the alpha4beta7 integrin, inhibiting the binding of alpha4beta7 integrin to intestinal mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1), but not vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1).17 MAdCAM-1 is preferentially expressed on blood vessels and lymph nodes of the gastrointestinal tract.18 The alpha4beta7 integrin is expressed on a subset of circulating white blood cells.17 These cells have been shown to play a role in mediating the inflammatory process in ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD).17,19,20 By inhibiting alpha4beta7 integrin, vedolizumab may limit the ability of certain white blood cells to infiltrate gut tissues.17

Vedolizumab is approved for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active UC and CD, who have had an inadequate response with, lost response to, or were intolerant to either conventional therapy or a tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα)-antagonist.15,16 Vedolizumab has been granted marketing authorization in over 60 countries, including the United States and European Union, with more than 415,000 patient years of exposure to date.21

Therapeutic Indications for vedolizumab

Ulcerative colitis
Vedolizumab is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who have had an inadequate response with, lost response to, or were intolerant to either conventional therapy or a tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) antagonist.

Crohn’s disease
Vedolizumab is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease who have had an inadequate response with, lost response to, or were intolerant to either conventional therapy or a tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) antagonist.

Important Safety Information for vedolizumab

Contraindications
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients.

Special warnings and special precautions for use
Intravenous vedolizumab should be administered by a healthcare professional prepared to manage hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, if they occur. Appropriate monitoring and medical support measures should be available for immediate use when administering intravenous vedolizumab. Observe patients during infusion and until the infusion is complete.

Infusion-related reactions and Hypersensitivity Reactions
In clinical studies, infusion-related reactions (IRR) and hypersensitivity reactions have been reported, with the majority being mild to moderate in severity. If a severe IRR, anaphylactic reaction, or other severe reaction occurs, administration of vedolizumab must be discontinued immediately and appropriate treatment initiated (e.g., epinephrine and antihistamines). If a mild to moderate IRR occurs, the infusion rate can be slowed or interrupted and appropriate treatment initiated (e.g., epinephrine and antihistamines). Once the mild or moderate IRR subsides, continue the infusion. Physicians should consider pre-treatment (e.g., with antihistamine, hydrocortisone and/or paracetamol) prior to the next infusion for patients with a history of mild to moderate IRR to vedolizumab, in order to minimize their risks.

Infections
Vedolizumab is a gut-selective integrin antagonist with no identified systemic immunosuppressive activity. Physicians should be aware of the potential increased risk of opportunistic infections or infections for which the gut is a defensive barrier. Vedolizumab treatment is not to be initiated in patients with active, severe infections such as tuberculosis, sepsis, cytomegalovirus, listeriosis, and opportunistic infections until the infections are controlled, and physicians should consider withholding treatment in patients who develop a severe infection while on chronic treatment with vedolizumab. Caution should be exercised when considering the use of vedolizumab in patients with a controlled chronic severe infection or a history of recurring severe infections. Patients should be monitored closely for infections before, during and after treatment. Before starting treatment with vedolizumab, screening for tuberculosis may be considered according to local practice. Some integrin antagonists and some systemic immunosuppressive agents have been associated with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), which is a rare and often fatal opportunistic infection caused by the John Cunningham (JC) virus. By binding to the α4β7 integrin expressed on gut-homing lymphocytes, vedolizumab exerts an immunosuppressive effect specific to the gut. No systemic immunosuppressive effect was noted in healthy subjects. Healthcare professionals should monitor patients on vedolizumab for any new onset or worsening of neurological signs and symptoms, and consider neurological referral if they occur. If PML is suspected, treatment with vedolizumab must be withheld; if confirmed, treatment must be permanently discontinued. Typical signs and symptoms associated with PML are diverse, progress over days to weeks, and include progressive weakness on one side of the body, clumsiness of limbs, disturbance of vision, and changes in thinking, memory, and orientation leading to confusion and personality changes. The progression of deficits usually leads to death or severe disability over weeks or months.

Malignancies
The risk of malignancy is increased in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Immunomodulatory medicinal products may increase the risk of malignancy.

Prior and concurrent use of biological products
No vedolizumab clinical trial data are available for patients previously treated with natalizumab. No clinical trial data for concomitant use of vedolizumab with biologic immunosuppressants are available. Therefore, the use of vedolizumab in such patients is not recommended.

Vaccinations
Prior to initiating treatment with vedolizumab all patients should be brought up to date with all recommended immunizations. Patients receiving vedolizumab may receive non-live vaccines (e.g., subunit or inactivated vaccines) and may receive live vaccines only if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Adverse reactions include: nasopharyngitis, headache, arthralgia, upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, influenza, sinusitis, cough, oropharyngeal pain, nausea, rash, pruritus, back pain, pain in extremities, pyrexia, fatigue, injection site reactions and anaphylaxis.

Please consult with your local regulatory agency for approved labeling in your country.

For EU audiences, please see the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) for ENTYVIO®.

For U.S. audiences, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide for ENTYVIO® IV.

Takeda’s Commitment to Gastroenterology
Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases can be complex, debilitating and life-changing. Recognizing this unmet need, Takeda and our collaboration partners have focused on improving the lives of patients through the delivery of innovative medicines and dedicated patient disease support programs for over 25 years. Takeda aspires to advance how patients manage their disease. Additionally, Takeda is leading in areas of gastroenterology associated with high unmet need, such as inflammatory bowel disease, acid-related diseases and motility disorders. Our GI Research & Development team is also exploring solutions in celiac disease and liver diseases, as well as scientific advancements through microbiome therapies.

About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Diseases, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people's lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries.

For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com.

Important Notice
For the purposes of this notice, “press release” means this document, any oral presentation, any question and answer session and any written or oral material discussed or distributed by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) regarding this release. This press release (including any oral briefing and any question-and-answer in connection with it) is not intended to, and does not constitute, represent or form part of any offer, invitation or solicitation of any offer to purchase, otherwise acquire, subscribe for, exchange, sell or otherwise dispose of, any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction. No shares or other securities are being offered to the public by means of this press release. No offering of securities shall be made in the United States except pursuant to registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or an exemption therefrom. This press release is being given (together with any further information which may be provided to the recipient) on the condition that it is for use by the recipient for information purposes only (and not for the evaluation of any investment, acquisition, disposal or any other transaction). Any failure to comply with these restrictions may constitute a violation of applicable securities laws.

The companies in which Takeda directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this press release, “Takeda” is sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Takeda and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release and any materials distributed in connection with this press release may contain forward-looking statements, beliefs or opinions regarding Takeda’s future business, future position and results of operations, including estimates, forecasts, targets and plans for Takeda. Without limitation, forward-looking statements often include words such as “targets”, “plans”, “believes”, “hopes”, “continues”, “expects”, “aims”, “intends”, “ensures”, “will”, “may”, “should”, “would”, “could” “anticipates”, “estimates”, “projects” or similar expressions or the negative thereof. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions about many important factors, including the following, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements: the economic circumstances surrounding Takeda’s global business, including general economic conditions in Japan and the United States; competitive pressures and developments; changes to applicable laws and regulations; the success of or failure of product development programs; decisions of regulatory authorities and the timing thereof; fluctuations in interest and currency exchange rates; claims or concerns regarding the safety or efficacy of marketed products or product candidates; the impact of health crises, like the novel coronavirus pandemic, on Takeda and its customers and suppliers, including foreign governments in countries in which Takeda operates, or on other facets of its business; the timing and impact of post-merger integration efforts with acquired companies; the ability to divest assets that are not core to Takeda’s operations and the timing of any such divestment(s); and other factors identified in Takeda’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F and Takeda’s other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, available on Takeda’s website at: https://www.takeda.com/investors/reports/sec-filings/ or at www.sec.gov. Takeda does not undertake to update any of the forward-looking statements contained in this press release or any other forward-looking statements it may make, except as required by law or stock exchange rule. Past performance is not an indicator of future results and the results or statements of Takeda in this press release may not be indicative of, and are not an estimate, forecast, guarantee or projection of Takeda’s future results.

###

References


1 Jairath V, Feagan BG. Global burden of inflammatory bowel disease. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020;5:2-3.

2 Baumgart DC, Carding SR. Inflammatory bowel disease: cause and immunobiology. Lancet. 2007;369:1627-1640.

3 Sandborn WJ, Baert F, Danese S, et al. Efficacy and safety of vedolizumab subcutaneous formulation in a randomized trial of patients with ulcerative colitis. Gastroenterology. 2020;158:562-572.

4 Efficacy and safety of vedolizumab subcutaneously (SC) as maintenance therapy in ulcerative colitis. Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02611830. Last updated: January 23, 2020. Last accessed: May 2020.

5 Efficacy and safety of vedolizumab subcutaneous (SC) as maintenance therapy in Crohn's disease. Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02611817. Last updated: November 12, 2019. Last accessed: May 2020.

6 Vedolizumab subcutaneous long-term open-label extension study. Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02620046. Last updated: March 13, 2020. Last accessed: May 2020.

7 Vermeire S, Sandborn W, Baert F, et al. Efficacy and safety of vedolizumab SC in patients with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease: Results of the VISIBLE 2 study. J Crohns Colitis. 2020;14:SO20-S021.

8 Baumgart DC, Sandborn WJ. Crohn’s disease. Lancet. 2012;380:1590-1605.

9 Torres J, Billioud V, Sachar DB, et al. Ulcerative colitis as a progressive disease: the forgotten evidence. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2012;18:1356-1363.

10 Ordas I, Eckmann L, Talamini M, et al. Ulcerative colitis. Lancet. 2012;380:1606-1619.

11 Feuerstein JD, Cheifetz AS. Crohn’s disease: Epidemiology, diagnosis and management. Mayo Clin Proc. 2017;92:1088-1103.

12 Sands BE. From symptom to diagnosis: clinical distinctions among various forms of intestinal inflammation. Gastroenterology. 2004;126:1518-1532.

13 Henckaerts L, Pierik M, Joossens M, et al. Mutations in pattern recognition receptor genes modulate seroreactivity to microbial antigens in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Gut. 2007;56:1536-1542.

14 Kaser A, Zeissig S, Blumberg RS. Genes and environment: How will our concepts on the pathophysiology of IBD develop in the future? Dig Dis. 2010;28:395-405.

15 Entyvio Prescribing Information. Available at: https://general.takedapharm.com/ENTYVIOPI. Last updated: March 2020. Last accessed: May 2020.

16 Entyvio EPAR_20/02/2019 Entyvio - EMEA/H/C/002782_European Medicines Agency - Entyvio_Annex I Summary of product characteristics. Committee For Medicinal Products For Human Use. Available at: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/EPAR/entyvio. Last updated: April 2019. Last accessed: May 2020.

17 Soler D, Chapman T, Yang LL, et al. The binding specificity and selective antagonism of vedolizumab, an anti-α4β7 integrin therapeutic antibody in development for inflammatory bowel diseases. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009;330:864-875.

18 Briskin M, Winsor-Hines D, Shyjan A, et al. Human mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule-1 is preferentially expressed in intestinal tract and associated lymphoid tissue. Am J Pathol. 1997;151:97‑110.

19 Eksteen B, Liaskou E, Adams DH. Lymphocyte homing and its roles in the pathogenesis of IBD. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2008;14:1298‑1312.

20 Wyant T, Fedyk E, Abhyankar B. An overview of the mechanism of action of the monoclonal antibody vedolizumab. J Crohns Colitis. 2016;10:1437-1444.

21 Takeda Data on File. 2019.

Copyright 2020 Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. All rights reserved. Takeda and the Takeda Logo are registered trademarks of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.

Contact information

Media Contacts:

Media outside Japan
Luke Willats
luke.willats@takeda.com
+41-44-555-1145

Japanese Media
Kazumi Kobayashi
kazumi.kobayashi@takeda.com
+81 (0) 3-3278-2095

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