GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 29 MedImmune today announced that clinical results of its pivotal multinational, randomized, double-masked trial for motavizumab have been published in the current issue of the peer-reviewed publication, Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Motavizumab is an investigational monoclonal antibody (MAb) being evaluated by the FDA for its potential to prevent serious disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) among infants at high risk.
The phase 3, pivotal trial assessed the safety and RSV hospitalization in 6,635 preterm infants aged six months or younger at enrollment or children aged 24 months or younger with chronic lung disease of prematurity who received either 15 mg/kg palivizumab or motavizumab monthly. Secondary endpoints included outpatient medically attended lower respiratory tract infections (MALRIs), RSV-specific MALRIs, otitis media, antibiotic use, development of anti-motavizumab antibodies and motavizumab serum concentrations.
In this first head-to-head trial, motavizumab demonstrated non-inferiority, but not superiority, to Synagis® (palivizumab), meeting the primary endpoint with a 26 percent relative reduction in RSV hospitalizations versus Synagis (p<0.01 for non-inferiority) due to RSV. Motavizumab also demonstrated superiority compared to Synagis, with a 50 percent relative reduction in RSV lower respiratory tract infections requiring outpatient management (p=0.005), which was one of the secondary endpoints of the trial. Other secondary endpoints were not statistically significant. Adverse events were similar in both groups, although, motavizumab had two percentage points more adverse events reported for the skin compared to Synagis; the majority were non-specific rashes that did not recur or affect dosing.
In November 2008, the FDA issued a complete response letter (CRL) to MedImmune seeking clarification on the motavizumab Biologic License Application (BLA). MedImmune filed its response with the FDA in December 2009 and continues in its ongoing dialogue with the agency.
Each year, up to 125,000 infants in the U.S. are hospitalized with severe RSV infections, the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants in the United States. RSV is the most common respiratory infection in infancy or childhood. Approximately one-half of all infants are infected with RSV during the first year of life, and nearly all children have been infected at least once by the time they reach their second birthday. Children born prematurely as well as those with chronic lung disease (CLD) or congenital heart disease (CHD) are at highest risk for severe disease and hospitalization due to RSV.
Synagis is the only monoclonal antibody approved by the FDA to help prevent an infectious disease. Synagis was approved for use in the United States in 1998, Europe in 1999, and Japan in 2002. Synagis is currently available in 62 countries.
Synagis® (palivizumab) is a prescription medication that is used to help prevent a serious lung disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants and children at high risk. Synagis is given as a shot, usually in the thigh muscle, each month during the RSV season. Children who develop an RSV infection while receiving Synagis should continue the monthly dosing schedule throughout the season. Synagis should not be used in patients with a history of a severe allergic reaction to Synagis or its ingredients. Cases of severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis and other types of hypersensitivity reactions have been reported with Synagis. These reactions may occur when any dose of Synagis is given, not just the first one. Very low platelet counts may occur, which may lead to unusual bruising and/or groups of pinpoint red spots found on the skin.
Common side effects may include fever, cold-like symptoms (upper respiratory infection) including runny nose and ear infection, and rash. Other possible side effects include skin reactions around the area where the shot was given (like redness, swelling, warmth or discomfort). In children born with certain types of heart disease, other possible side effects include bluish color of the skin, lips or under fingernails and abnormal heart rhythms. These are not all the possible side effects of Synagis.
For full prescribing information for Synagis, see the company's website at: www.medimmune.com/products/synagis/index.asp.
MedImmune, the worldwide biologics business for AstraZeneca PLC (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN), has approximately 3,300 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With an advancing pipeline of promising candidates, we aim to be the next revolutionary force in biotechnology by delivering life-changing products, industry-leading performance, and a tireless commitment to improving patient health. For more information, visit MedImmune's website at www.medimmune.com.