PCDLPQTHSL GSRRTLMLLA QMRRISLFSC LKDRHDFGFP QEEFGNQFQK AETIPVLHEM
IQQIFNLFST KDSSAAWDET LLDKFYTELY QQLNDLEACV IQGVGVTETP LMKEDSILAV
RKYFQRITLY LKEKKYSPCA WEVVRAEIMR SFSLSTNLQE SLRSKE
(Disulfide bridge: 2-99, 30-139)
FDA APPROVED, 2021/11/12, BESREMI
PEPTIDE, Antineoplastic, Antiviral
Polycythemia vera (PV) is the most common Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), characterized by increased hematocrit and platelet/leukocyte counts, an increased risk for hemorrhage and thromboembolic events, and a long-term propensity for myelofibrosis and leukemia.1,2 Interferon alfa-2b has been used for decades to treat PV but requires frequent dosing and is not tolerated by all patients.2 Ropeginterferon alfa-2b is a next-generation mono-pegylated type I interferon produced from proline-IFN-α-2b in Escherichia coli that has high tolerability and a long half-life.4,6 Ropeginterferon alfa-2b has shown efficacy in PV in in vitro and in vivo models and clinical trials.3,4
Ropeginterferon alfa-2b was approved by the FDA on November 12, 2021, and is currently marketed under the trademark BESREMi by PharmaEssentia Corporation.6
The most common side effects include low levels of white blood cells and platelets (blood components that help the blood to clot), muscle and joint pain, tiredness, flu-like symptoms and increased blood levels of gamma-glutamyl transferase (a sign of liver problems). Ropeginterferon alfa-2b can cause liver enzyme elevations, low levels of white blood cells, low levels of platelets, joint pain, fatigue, itching, upper airway infection, muscle pain and flu-like illness. Side effects may also include urinary tract infection, depression and transient ischemic attacks (stroke-like attacks).
It was approved for medical use in the European Union in February 2019, and in the United States in November 2021. Ropeginterferon alfa-2b is the first medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat polycythemia vera that people can take regardless of their treatment history, and the first interferon therapy specifically approved for polycythemia vera.
- For Immediate Release:
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Besremi (ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft) injection to treat adults with polycythemia vera, a blood disease that causes the overproduction of red blood cells. The excess cells thicken the blood, slowing blood flow and increasing the chance of blood clots.
“Over 7,000 rare diseases affect more than 30 million people in the United States. Polycythemia vera affects approximately 6,200 Americans each year,” said Ann Farrell, M.D., director of the Division of Non-Malignant Hematology in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This action highlights the FDA’s commitment to helping make new treatments available to patients with rare diseases.”
Besremi is the first FDA-approved medication for polycythemia vera that patients can take regardless of their treatment history, and the first interferon therapy specifically approved for polycythemia vera.
Treatment for polycythemia vera includes phlebotomies (a procedure that removes excess blood cells though a needle in a vein) as well as medicines to reduce the number of blood cells; Besremi is one of these medicines. Besremi is believed to work by attaching to certain receptors in the body, setting off a chain reaction that makes the bone marrow reduce blood cell production. Besremi is a long-acting drug that patients take by injection under the skin once every two weeks. If Besremi can reduce excess blood cells and maintain normal levels for at least one year, then dosing frequency may be reduced to once every four weeks.
The effectiveness and safety of Besremi were evaluated in a multicenter, single-arm trial that lasted 7.5 years. In this trial, 51 adults with polycythemia vera received Besremi for an average of about five years. Besremi’s effectiveness was assessed by looking at how many patients achieved complete hematological response, which meant that patients had a red blood cell volume of less than 45% without a recent phlebotomy, normal white cell counts and platelet counts, a normal spleen size, and no blood clots. Overall, 61% of patients had a complete hematological response.
Besremi can cause liver enzyme elevations, low levels of white blood cells, low levels of platelets, joint pain, fatigue, itching, upper airway infection, muscle pain and flu-like illness. Side effects may also include urinary tract infection, depression and transient ischemic attacks (stroke-like attacks).
Interferon alfa products like Besremi may cause or worsen neuropsychiatric, autoimmune, ischemic (not enough blood flow to a part of the body) and infectious diseases, which could lead to life-threatening or fatal complications. Patients who must not take Besremi include those who are allergic to the drug, those with a severe psychiatric disorder or a history of a severe psychiatric disorder, immunosuppressed transplant recipients, certain patients with autoimmune disease or a history of autoimmune disease, and patients with liver disease.
People who could be pregnant should be tested for pregnancy before using Besremi due to the risk of fetal harm.
Besremi received orphan drug designation for this indication. Orphan drug designation provides incentives to assist and encourage drug development for rare diseases.
The FDA granted the approval of Besremi to PharmaEssentia Corporation.
In the European Union, ropeginterferon alfa-2b is indicated as monotherapy in adults for the treatment of polycythemia vera without symptomatic splenomegaly. In the United States it is indicated for the treatment of polycythemia vera.
The effectiveness and safety of ropeginterferon alfa-2b were evaluated in a multicenter, single-arm trial that lasted 7.5 years. In this trial, 51 adults with polycythemia vera received ropeginterferon alfa-2b for an average of about five years. The effectiveness of ropeginterferon alfa-2b was assessed by looking at how many participants achieved complete hematological response, which meant that participants had a red blood cell volume of less than 45% without a recent phlebotomy, normal white cell counts and platelet counts, a normal spleen size, and no blood clots. Overall, 61% of participants had a complete hematological response. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the application for Ropeginterferon_alfa-2b orphan drug designation and granted the approval of Besremi to PharmaEssentia Corporation
- Bartalucci N, Guglielmelli P, Vannucchi AM: Polycythemia vera: the current status of preclinical models and therapeutic targets. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2020 Jul;24(7):615-628. doi: 10.1080/14728222.2020.1762176. Epub 2020 May 18. [Article]
- How J, Hobbs G: Use of Interferon Alfa in the Treatment of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Perspectives and Review of the Literature. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Jul 18;12(7). pii: cancers12071954. doi: 10.3390/cancers12071954. [Article]
- Verger E, Soret-Dulphy J, Maslah N, Roy L, Rey J, Ghrieb Z, Kralovics R, Gisslinger H, Grohmann-Izay B, Klade C, Chomienne C, Giraudier S, Cassinat B, Kiladjian JJ: Ropeginterferon alpha-2b targets JAK2V617F-positive polycythemia vera cells in vitro and in vivo. Blood Cancer J. 2018 Oct 4;8(10):94. doi: 10.1038/s41408-018-0133-0. [Article]
- Gisslinger H, Zagrijtschuk O, Buxhofer-Ausch V, Thaler J, Schloegl E, Gastl GA, Wolf D, Kralovics R, Gisslinger B, Strecker K, Egle A, Melchardt T, Burgstaller S, Willenbacher E, Schalling M, Them NC, Kadlecova P, Klade C, Greil R: Ropeginterferon alfa-2b, a novel IFNalpha-2b, induces high response rates with low toxicity in patients with polycythemia vera. Blood. 2015 Oct 8;126(15):1762-9. doi: 10.1182/blood-2015-04-637280. Epub 2015 Aug 10. [Article]
- EMA Approved Products: Besremi (ropeginterferon alfa-2b ) solution for injection [Link]
- FDA Approved Drug Products: BESREMi (ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft) injection [Link]
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- “FDA Approves Treatment for Rare Blood Disease”. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Press release). 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- “Besremi EPAR”. European Medicines Agency (EMA). Retrieved 14 November 2021. Text was copied from this source which is copyright European Medicines Agency. Reproduction is authorized provided the source is acknowledged.
- Wagner SM, Melchardt T, Greil R (March 2020). “Ropeginterferon alfa-2b for the treatment of patients with polycythemia vera”. Drugs of Today. Barcelona, Spain. 56 (3): 195–202. doi:10.1358/dot.2020.56.3.3107706. PMID 32282866. S2CID 215758794.
- “U.S. FDA Approves Besremi (ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft) as the Only Interferon for Adults With Polycythemia Vera” (Press release). PharmaEssentia. 12 November 2021. Retrieved 14 November 2021 – via Business Wire.
- “Ropeginterferon alfa-2b”. Drug Information Portal. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Clinical trial number NCT01193699 for “Safety Study of Pegylated Interferon Alpha 2b to Treat Polycythemia Vera (PEGINVERA)” at ClinicalTrials.gov
- Clinical trial number NCT02218047 for “AOP2014 vs. BAT in Patients With Polycythemia Vera Who Previously Participated in the PROUD-PV Study. (CONTI-PV)” at ClinicalTrials.gov
|Other names||AOP2014, ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft|
/////////Ropeginterferon alfa-2b, FDA 2021, APPROVALS 2021, BESREMI, PEPTIDE, Antineoplastic, Antiviral, AOP 2014, PharmaEssentia