BOSTON, Jan. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:KERX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative medicines to people with renal disease, today announced the publication of results from its pivotal Phase 3 study evaluating ferric citrate for iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease (NDD-CKD) in the online issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).
Ferric citrate (Auryxia®) is currently indicated in the U.S. as a phosphate binder for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with CKD on dialysis. Data in the publication highlight an investigational use of ferric citrate as a potential oral treatment for adults with IDA and NDD-CKD.
The article titled, “Effects of Ferric Citrate in Patients with Non-Dialysis-Dependent CKD and Iron Deficiency Anemia,” describes previously reported Phase 3 results, in which ferric citrate achieved statistically significant results on the primary and all five pre-specified secondary endpoints for the treatment of IDA in adults with NDD-CKD versus placebo. Patients enrolled in the trial had not adequately responded to or could not tolerate prior treatment with oral iron. In the Phase 3 study, ferric citrate was generally well tolerated and adverse events were consistent with its known safety profile, with diarrhea reported as the most common adverse event.
“The results shown in this pivotal study demonstrated that ferric citrate, if approved for this indication, could provide an important new treatment option for people living with chronic kidney disease and iron deficiency anemia who are not on dialysis,” said Steven Fishbane, M.D., chief of nephrology for North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center. “Not only did ferric citrate deliver a clinically meaningful 1 g/dL increase in hemoglobin levels for the majority (52.1 percent (61/117)) of patients treated in the Phase 3 study at any point during the 16-week efficacy period, increases were seen as early as one to two weeks after start of treatment, and were sustained for the majority of patients who achieved the primary endpoint.”
“Clinical trials are critical to the advancement of safe and effective medicines, and we thank the patients, their families and the renal care teams who have participated in clinical trials for ferric citrate,” said John Neylan, M.D., chief medical officer of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals. “We are pleased to have these data highlighted by a major nephrology journal, which can provide broad access for nephrologists to the Phase 3 results. We recently submitted a supplemental new drug application with these data to the U.S. FDA. If approved for this expanded indication, ferric citrate would be the first oral medicine approved by the FDA for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in patients with NDD-CKD.”
About Iron Deficiency Anemia, NDD-CKD
Iron deficiency anemia is a common complication in patients with non-dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease (NDD-CKD), and the prevalence and severity of IDA increases as kidney disease progresses. It is estimated that there are approximately 1.6 million people living in the U.S. with stage 3-5 non-dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease and iron deficiency anemia. Efficacy and tolerability of current oral iron supplements are mixed. Intravenous (IV) iron administration is associated with important risks and burdens.
About the Pivotal Phase 3 Clinical Study
The pivotal Phase 3 study randomized 234 patients (233 patients received at least one starting dose of ferric citrate) at 32 clinical sites in the United States. NDD-CKD patients with hemoglobin levels between 9.0 g/dL and 11.5 g/dL and who were intolerant to or had inadequate response to oral iron supplements were randomized 1:1 (ferric citrate versus placebo), n=117 and n=116, respectively. Patients enrolled in the study were not allowed to receive any IV or oral iron, or ESAs during this study. The study had a 16-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, efficacy period followed by an 8-week open-label safety extension period in which all patients remaining in the study, including the placebo group, received ferric citrate. During the 16-week efficacy period, ferric citrate was administered at a starting dose of three tablets per day with food and could be titrated every four weeks by an additional three tablets for up to a maximum of 12 tablets per day; the mean dose received in ferric citrate treated patients was 5 tablets per day. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving a ≥1 g/dL increase in hemoglobin at any point during the 16-week efficacy period. Baseline laboratory values were similar between the treatment arms.
Use of ferric citrate in patients with NDD-CKD and IDA, as highlighted above, is investigational and has not been determined to be safe or efficacious.
Auryxia (ferric citrate) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on September 5, 2014 and is indicated in the U.S. for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with CKD on dialysis. The U.S. approval of Auryxia was based on data from the company's Phase 3 registration program in dialysis patients. In the Phase 3 clinical trials, Auryxia effectively reduced serum phosphorus levels to within the KDOQI guidelines range of 3.5 to 5.5 mg/dL.
Auryxia binds with dietary phosphate in the GI tract and precipitates as ferric phosphate. The unbound portion of Auryxia has been shown to increase serum iron parameters including ferritin and transferrin saturation (TSAT). Iron absorption from Auryxia may lead to excessive elevations in iron stores. Accordingly, physicians should assess and monitor iron parameters before starting and while on Auryxia, and may need to decrease or discontinue IV iron for these patients. The most common adverse events for Auryxia treated patients were gastrointestinal related, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and constipation. For more information about Auryxia and the U.S. full prescribing information, visit www.Auryxia.com.
IMPORTANT U.S. SAFETY INFORMATION FOR AURYXIA® (ferric citrate)
Contraindication: Patients with iron overload syndrome, e.g. hemochromatosis, should not take Auryxia®.
Iron Overload: Iron absorption from Auryxia may lead to increased iron in storage sites. Iron parameters should be monitored prior to and while on Auryxia. Patients receiving IV iron may require a reduction in dose or discontinuation of IV iron therapy.
Accidental Overdose of Iron: Accidental overdose of iron containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6 years of age. Keep Auryxia away from children as it contains iron. Call a poison control center or your physician in case of an accidental overdose in a child.
Patients with Gastrointestinal Bleeding or Inflammation: Safety has not been established for these patients.
Adverse Events: The most common adverse events with Auryxia were diarrhea (21%), nausea (11%), constipation (8%), vomiting (7%) and cough (6%). Gastrointestinal adverse reactions were the most common reason for discontinuing Auryxia (14%). Auryxia contains iron and may cause dark stools, which is considered normal with oral medications containing iron.
Drug Interactions: Doxycycline should be taken at least 1 hour before Auryxia. Ciprofloxacin should be taken at least 2 hours before or after Auryxia.
For Full Prescribing Information for Auryxia, please visit http://auryxia.com/important-safety-information/
Forward Looking Statements
Some of the statements included in this press release, particularly those regarding ongoing clinical development of Auryxia, the submission of an sNDA to the FDA to expand the label of ferric citrate to include the treatment of IDA in adults with stage 3-5 NDD-CKD and the potential approval in this indication and the impact thereof on Keryx, may be forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Among the factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially are the following: the risk that the FDA may not concur with our interpretation of our Phase 3 study results in NDD-CKD, supportive data, conduct of the studies, or any other part of our regulatory submission and could ultimately deny approval of ferric citrate for the treatment of IDA in adults with stage 3-5 NDD-CKD; the risk that if approved for use in NDD-CKD that we may not be able to successfully market Auryxia for use in this indication; our ability to continue to supply Auryxia following the recent resupply to the market; and other risk factors identified from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward looking statements set forth in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We do not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof. This press release and prior releases are available at http://www.keryx.com. The information found on our website is not incorporated by reference into this press release and is included for reference purposes only.
About Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., with headquarters in Boston, MA is a commercial stage company focused on bringing innovative medicines to people with renal disease. Keryx developed and commercializes Auryxia® (ferric citrate), an iron-based phosphate binder, in the U.S. Ferric citrate is marketed as Riona® by its Japanese partner, Japan Tobacco Inc. and Torii Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. In September 2015, the European Commission granted European market authorization for Fexeric® (ferric citrate coordination complex). Keryx has programs to leverage its development and commercial infrastructure, including evaluation of iron deficiency anemia in adults with non-dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease and in-licensing medicines for renal disease. For more information about Keryx, please visit www.keryx.com.
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