SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:RIGL) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved TAVALISSE™ (fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate) for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. TAVALISSE is an oral spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor that targets the underlying autoimmune cause of the disease by impeding platelet destruction, providing an important new treatment option for adult patients with chronic ITP. Rigel plans to launch TAVALISSE in the United States in late May 2018.
“Chronic ITP is challenging to treat because the heterogeneity of the disease makes it difficult to predict how an individual patient will respond to available treatments and not all patients can find a treatment that works well for them,” said James Bussel, M.D., professor emeritus of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and the principal study investigator on the FIT Phase 3 program. Dr. Bussel has served as a consultant and paid member of the advisory board for Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “The FDA approval of fostamatinib arms physicians with a new treatment option, which works via a novel mechanism.”
The FDA approval of TAVALISSE was supported by data from the FIT clinical program, which included two randomized placebo-controlled Phase 3 trials (Studies 047 and 048) and an open-label extension (Study 049), as well as an initial proof of concept study. The New Drug Application (NDA) included data from 163 ITP patients and was supported by a safety database of more than 4,600 subjects across other indications in which fostamatinib has been evaluated.
“People living with chronic ITP often feel they have an invisible disease — one that can not only impact quality of life, but also be life threatening,” said Caroline Kruse, executive director of the Platelet Disorder Support Association, a patient advocacy organization dedicated to ITP patients. “That’s why we encourage members of our community to learn about their disease, understand treatment strategies, and seek support so that they can advocate for their best care. The availability of a new treatment option provides the ITP community with more choices.”
Different Treatment Approach
TAVALISSE is designed to inhibit SYK, a key signaling component in the body’s immune process that can lead to platelet destruction in ITP patients. TAVALISSE may address an underlying autoimmune cause of ITP by impeding platelet destruction.
“We are excited to bring this new medicine to the population of adult patients with chronic ITP in need of additional therapies. I want to thank the patients, caregivers and physicians who contributed to our fostamatinib clinical program, and also the Rigel team for all of their dedication and hard work to bring the company to this historic day,” said Raul Rodriguez, president and CEO of Rigel Pharmaceuticals. “This regulatory milestone, our first product approval, validates the therapeutic effect of SYK inhibition in an autoimmune disease.”
Rigel will be providing product information at the ASCO Annual Meeting being held June 1-5, 2018 in Chicago, Booth #24160, or you can visit www.TAVALISSE.com.
In patients with ITP, the immune system attacks and destroys the body’s own blood platelets, which play an active role in blood clotting and healing. Common symptoms of ITP include excessive bruising, bleeding and fatigue. People suffering with chronic ITP may live with an increased risk of severe bleeding events that can result in serious medical complications or even death. Current therapies for ITP include steroids, blood platelet production boosters (TPOs) and splenectomy. However, not all patients have an adequate treatment response with existing therapies. As a result, there remains a significant medical need for additional treatment options for patients with ITP.
TAVALISSE™ (fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate) tablets is indicated for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment.