U.S. Food and Drug Administration Accepts Supplemental Biologics License Application for Subcutaneous Formulation of ORENC

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for the subcutaneous formulation of ORENCIA® (abatacept), a treatment for adult patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) administered through an injection into the skin. Bristol-Myers Squibb submitted the sBLA to the FDA for the subcutaneous formulation of ORENCIA and received confirmation of its receipt on October 4, 2010.

The sBLA for ORENCIA is based on clinical data from four multinational Phase III trials. A total of 1,847 adult patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis were treated with ORENCIA during the Phase III clinical trial program, which studied

  • efficacy and safety of subcutaneous versus intravenous (I.V.) ORENCIA in patients with inadequate response to methotrexate;
  • immunogenicity and safety with or without methotrexate in the absence of an I.V. loading dose;
  • immunogenicity and maintenance of efficacy in patients who switched from long-term I.V. ORENCIA to subcutaneous ORENCIA; and
  • immunogenicity, safety and efficacy during withdrawal and re-administration of subcutaneous ORENCIA with and without an I.V. loading dose.

About ORENCIA ® (abatacept) Lyophilized Powder for Intravenous Infusion

ORENCIA is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, inducing major clinical response, inhibiting the progression of structural damage, and improving physical function in adult patients with moderately to severely active RA. ORENCIA may be used as monotherapy or concomitantly with DMARDs other than TNF antagonists. ORENCIA is also indicated for reducing signs and symptoms in pediatric patients aged six years and older with moderately to severely active polyarticular JIA. ORENCIA may be used as monotherapy or concomitantly with MTX in pediatric patients. ORENCIA should not be administered concomitantly with TNF antagonists. ORENCIA is not recommended for use concomitantly with other biologic RA therapy, such as anakinra.

Important Safety Information About ORENCIA

Concomitant Use with TNF antagonists: Concurrent therapy with ORENCIA and a biologic DMARD is not recommended. In controlled clinical trials, adult patients receiving concomitant ORENCIA and TNF antagonist therapy experienced more infections (63 percent) and serious infections (4.4 percent) compared to patients treated with only TNF antagonists (43 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively), without an important enhancement of efficacy.

Hypersensitivity: Less than 1 percent of adult patients treated with ORENCIA experienced hypersensitivity reactions, including some cases of anaphylaxis or anaphylactoid reactions. Other events potentially associated with drug hypersensitivity, such as hypotension, urticaria, and dyspnea, each occurred in less than 0.9 percent of patients treated with ORENCIA and generally occurred within 24 hours of infusion. There was 1 case of a hypersensitivity reaction with ORENCIA in JIA clinical trials (0.5 percent; n = 190). Appropriate medical support measures for treating hypersensitivity reactions should be available for immediate use in the event of a reaction.

Infections: Caution should be exercised in patients with a history of infection or underlying conditions which may predispose them to infections. Treatment with ORENCIA should be discontinued if a patient develops a serious infection. Patients should be screened for tuberculosis, and viral hepatitis in accordance with published guidelines, and if positive, treated according to standard medical practice prior to therapy with ORENCIA.

Immunizations: Live vaccines should not be given concurrently with ORENCIA or within 3 months of its discontinuation as it may blunt the effectiveness of some immunizations. It is recommended that JIA patients be brought up to date with all immunizations in agreement with current immunization guidelines prior to initiating therapy with ORENCIA.

Use in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Adult COPD patients treated with ORENCIA developed adverse events more frequently than those treated with placebo (97 percent vs. 88 percent, respectively). Respiratory disorders occurred more frequently in patients treated with ORENCIA compared to those on placebo (43 percent vs. 24 percent, respectively), including COPD exacerbations, cough, rhonchi, and dyspnea. A greater percentage of patients treated with ORENCIA developed a serious adverse event compared to those on placebo (27 percent vs. 6 percent), including COPD exacerbation [3 of 37 patients (8 percent)] and pneumonia [1 of 37 patients (3 percent)]. Use of ORENCIA in patients with RA and COPD should be undertaken with caution, and such patients monitored for worsening of their respiratory status.

Blood Glucose Testing: ORENCIA contains maltose, which may result in falsely elevated blood glucose readings on the day of infusion when using blood glucose monitors with test strips utilizing glucose dehydrogenase pyrroloquinolinequinone (GDH-PQQ). Consider using monitors and advising patients to use monitors that do not react with maltose, such as those based on glucose dehydrogenase nicotine adenine dinucleotide (GDH-NAD), glucose oxidase, or glucose hexokinase test methods.

Pregnant and Nursing Mothers: ORENCIA should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. The risk for development of autoimmune diseases in humans exposed in utero to abatacept has not been determined. Nursing mothers should be informed of the risk/benefit of continued breast-feeding or discontinuation of the drug. A pregnancy registry has been established to monitor fetal outcomes. Healthcare professionals are encouraged to register pregnant patients exposed to ORENCIA by calling 1-877-311-8972.

Most Serious Adverse Reactions: Serious infections (3 percent ORENCIA vs. 1.9 percent placebo) and malignancies (1.3 percent ORENCIA vs. 1.1 percent placebo). In general, adverse events in pediatric and adolescent patients were similar in frequency and type to those seen in adult patients.

Malignancies: The overall frequency of malignancies was similar between adult patients treated with ORENCIA or placebo. However, more cases of lung cancer were observed in patients treated with ORENCIA (0.2 percent) than those on placebo (0 percent). A higher rate of lymphoma was seen compared to the general population; however, patients with RA, particularly those with highly active disease, are at a higher risk for the development of lymphoma. The potential role of ORENCIA in the development of malignancies in humans is unknown.

Most Frequent Adverse Events (≥10 percent): Headache, upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, and nausea were the most commonly reported adverse events in the adult RA clinical studies.

For Full Prescribing Information, visit www.ORENCIA.com or www.bms.com.

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic,1 chronic, autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation in the lining of joints (or synovium), causing joint damage with chronic pain, stiffness, swelling and fatigue.2 RA causes limited range of motion and decreased function as a result of affected joints losing their shape and alignment.3

RA affects about one percent of the world's population,4 including more than one million people in the United States.1 The condition is more common in women than in men, who account for 75 percent of patients diagnosed with RA.2 ORENCIA is one treatment option indicated in adult patients with moderately to severely active RA. ORENCIA may be used as monotherapy or concomitantly with DMARDs other than TNF antagonists. ORENCIA is not recommended for use concomitantly with other biologic RA therapy, such as anakinra.

Statement on Cautionary Factors

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding product development. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that the subcutaneous formulation of ORENCIA will receive regulatory approval or, if approved, that it will be commercially successful. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb's business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.bms.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.

ORENCIA is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb.


1   Helmick CG, Felson DT, Lawrence RC, Gabriel S, Hirsch R, Kwoh CK, Liang MH, Kremers HM, Mayes MD, Merkel PA, Pillemer SR, Reveille JD, Stone JH; National Arthritis Data Workgroup. Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States. Part I. Arthritis Rheum. 2008;Jan;58(1):15-25.

American College of Rheumatology, Patient Education, Rheumatoid Arthritis. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/ra.asp. Accessed September 2010.

3 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Rheumatoid Arthritis. May 2004.
4 Lee DM, Weinblatt ME. Rheumatoid Arthritis. The Lancet. 2001;358:903-11.


Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Phil McNamara, 609-252-6022
phil.mcnam[email protected]
John Elicker, 609-252-4611
[email protected]

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