FDA Approves OTEZLA (apremilast) for the Treatment of Oral Ulcers Associated with Behçet’s Disease
Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved OTEZLA (apremilast) 30 mg twice daily (BID) for the treatment of adult patients with oral ulcers associated with Behçet’s Disease. OTEZLA, an oral, selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), is the first and only approved treatment option for oral ulcers associated with Behçet’s Disease, a rare, chronic, multisystem inflammatory disease that is difficult to treat.
“Oral ulcers are a recurring and debilitating manifestation that affects nearly everyone living with Behçet’s Disease, and have an important negative impact on the quality of life for these patients,” said Yusuf Yazici, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, New York University Langone Health. “In the clinical trial, OTEZLA demonstrated improvements in measures of oral ulcers at week 12. OTEZLA has the potential to be a needed treatment option for U.S. patients and their physicians, who previously had limited options available.”
Behçet’s Disease, also known as Behçet’s Syndrome, affects approximately 5 in 100,000 people in the U.S.1,2 Oral ulcers, the most common manifestation of Behçet’s Disease occurring in more than 98% of patients, can be painful, disabling and negatively affect quality of life.3
“We are excited to provide the first and only FDA-approved treatment for oral ulcers associated with Behçet’s Disease,” said Terrie Curran, President, Celgene Inflammation & Immunology. “This approval is a reflection of Celgene’s commitment to research in areas of high unmet need, including rare diseases such as Behçet’s Disease. We remain dedicated to further studying OTEZLA and its role in inflammatory conditions.”
The FDA approval was based on efficacy and safety results from the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase 3 RELIEF study evaluating OTEZLA in 207 adult patients with Behçet’s Disease with active oral ulcers who were previously treated with at least one nonbiologic medication and were candidates for systemic therapy. Results showed OTEZLA 30 mg BID resulted in a 42.7 point reduction from baseline in the pain of oral ulcers as measured by the visual analog scale (VAS) at week 12, compared with an 18.7 point reduction with placebo. The proportion of patients achieving an oral ulcer complete response (oral ulcer-free) at week 12 was 52.9% in the OTEZLA arm and 22.3% in the placebo arm. The proportion of patients achieving oral ulcer complete response by week 6 and who remained oral ulcer-free for at least six additional weeks during the 12-week treatment phase was 29.8% in the OTEZLA arm and 4.9% in the placebo arm. The daily average number of oral ulcers during the 12-week treatment phase was 1.5 in the OTEZLA arm and 2.6 in the placebo arm (based on oral ulcer counts measured at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12).