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Celgene Corporation and Acceleron Pharma Announce U.S. FDA Accepts Luspatercept Biologics License Ap

Increase font size  Decrease font size Date:2019-06-12   Views:93

Celgene Corporation and Acceleron Pharma Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted Celgene’s Biologics License Application (BLA) for luspatercept, an investigational erythroid maturation agent, for the treatment of adult patients with very low to intermediate-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)-associated anemia who have ring sideroblasts and require red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, and for the treatment of adult patients with beta-thalassemia-associated anemia who require RBC transfusions. The FDA has granted Priority Review to this BLA for the evaluation of the beta-thalassemia indication and set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), or target action, date of December 4, 2019. The FDA has also set a PDUFA date of April 4, 2020 for the evaluation of the MDS indication.

“The acceptance of the luspatercept filings and granting of the U.S. priority review for beta-thalassemia represent another important step in delivering this novel therapy to patients in need,” said Jay Backstrom, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Celgene. “We believe that luspatercept can play a critical role in treating the anemia associated with these serious blood diseases, and with these milestones achieved we look forward to working closely with the agency to move this therapy toward approval.”

The safety and efficacy results provided in the application are from the pivotal phase 3 studies MEDALIST and BELIEVE, which evaluated the ability of luspatercept to effectively treat the anemia associated with MDS and beta-thalassemia, respectively. MEDALIST and BELIEVE were both presented at the 2018 American Society of Hematology annual meeting, where MEDALIST was included in the plenary session.

The companies also announced that Celgene’s Marketing Authorization Application in the EU has been successfully validated and the review is now underway.

“The ongoing U.S. and European regulatory reviews of the luspatercept filings in MDS and beta-thalassemia strongly support our primary goal, which has always been to bring a potentially transformative new treatment to these patients with unmet clinical need as quickly as possible,” said Habib Dable, President and Chief Executive Officer of Acceleron. “At the same time, we continue to explore the ability of luspatercept to address anemia in additional settings, including patients with treatment-naïve MDS, non-transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia, and myelofibrosis.”

Luspatercept is an investigational therapy that is not approved for any use in any country.

About Luspatercept

Luspatercept is a first-in-class erythroid maturation agent (EMA) that regulates late-stage red blood cell maturation. Acceleron and Celgene are jointly developing luspatercept as part of a global collaboration. A phase 3 trial (COMMANDS) in ESA-naïve, lower-risk MDS patients, the BEYOND phase 2 trial in non-transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia, and a phase 2 trial in myelofibrosis are ongoing.


MEDALIST is a phase 3, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study evaluating the safety and efficacy of luspatercept in adults with very low-, low-, or intermediate-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). All patients were RBC transfusion dependent and were either refractory or intolerant to prior erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) therapy or were ESA naïve with endogenous serum erythropoietin ≥ 200 U/L and had no prior treatment with disease modifying agents. The median age of the patients enrolled in the trial was 71 years in the luspatercept treatment group and 72 years in the placebo group. Median transfusion burden in both treatment arms was 5 RBC units/8 weeks. 229 patients were randomized to receive either luspatercept 1.0 mg/kg (153 patients) or placebo (76 patients) by subcutaneous injection once every 21 days. The study was conducted at 65 sites in 11 countries.


BELIEVE is a phase 3, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study comparing luspatercept + best supportive care (BSC) versus placebo + BSC in adults with beta-thalassemia patients who require regular RBC transfusions. The median age of the patients was 30 years in both treatment arms. 336 patients were randomized to receive either luspatercept 1.0 mg/kg (224 patients) or placebo (112 patients) by subcutaneous injection every 21 days for up to 48 weeks. Crossover to the luspatercept treatment groups was allowed after unblinding based on the recommendation of an independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee; patients treated with luspatercept will be followed for up to 3 years. The study was conducted at 65 sites in 15 countries.

About Celgene

Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through next-generation solutions in protein homeostasis, immuno-oncology, epigenetics, immunology and neuro-inflammation.

About Acceleron

Acceleron is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapeutics to treat serious and rare diseases. The Company's leadership in the understanding of TGF-beta superfamily biology and protein engineering generates innovative compounds that engage the body's ability to regulate cellular growth and repair.

Acceleron focuses its research and development efforts in hematologic, neuromuscular, and pulmonary diseases. In hematology, the Company and its global collaboration partner, Celgene, are developing luspatercept for the treatment of chronic anemia in myelodysplastic syndromes, beta-thalassemia, and myelofibrosis. Acceleron is also advancing its neuromuscular program with ACE-083, a locally-acting Myostatin+ agent in Phase 2 development in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and is conducting a Phase 2 pulmonary program with sotatercept in pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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