Apellis Announces Top-Line Results from Phase 3 DERBY and OAKS Studies in Geographic Atrophy (GA) and Plans to Submit NDA to FDA in the First Half of 2022
WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: APLS), a global biopharmaceutical company and leader in complement, today reported top-line results from the Phase 3 DERBY and OAKS studies evaluating intravitreal pegcetacoplan, an investigational targeted C3 therapy, in 1,258 adults with geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). GA is a leading cause of blindness that impacts more than five million people globally including one million people in the United States.1,2 Based on results from the studies, the company plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for pegcetacoplan for GA to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the first half of 2022.
“These results underscore the potential for pegcetacoplan to become the first treatment for geographic atrophy, a progressive and irreversible disease that robs patients of their vision and for which no treatment exists,” said Jeffrey S. Heier, M.D., principal investigator of the DERBY study and director, retina service and director, retinal research, Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston. “Pegcetacoplan demonstrated a clinically meaningful slowing of disease progression with an even stronger effect in GA patients with extrafoveal lesions.”
Monthly and every-other-month treatment with pegcetacoplan met the primary endpoint in OAKS, significantly reducing GA lesion growth by 22% (p=0.0003) and 16% (p=0.0052), respectively, compared to pooled sham at 12 months. DERBY did not meet the primary endpoint, showing a reduction in GA lesion growth of 12% (p=0.0528) and 11% (p=0.0750) with monthly and every-other-month treatment, respectively, compared to pooled sham at 12 months. In a prespecified analysis of the combined DERBY and OAKS studies, monthly and every-other-month treatment with pegcetacoplan reduced GA lesion growth by 17% (p<0.0001) and 14% (p=0.0012), respectively, compared to pooled sham at 12 months.
In a prespecified analysis of the primary endpoint, pegcetacoplan demonstrated a greater effect in patients with extrafoveal lesions at baseline. Patients with GA typically present first with extrafoveal lesions, which then progress toward the fovea where central vision is impacted. In the combined studies, monthly and every-other-month treatment with pegcetacoplan decreased GA lesion growth by 26% (p<0.0001) and 23% (p=0.0002), respectively, in patients with extrafoveal lesions compared to pooled sham at 12 months.
“Our mission is to develop transformative therapies for people with complement-driven diseases and now, after decades of challenges in this complex disease, pegcetacoplan is the first investigational therapy to significantly slow the progression of GA in a large Phase 3 study,” said Federico Grossi, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer, Apellis. “Across our ophthalmology development program, pegcetacoplan has demonstrated an efficacy and safety profile with both monthly and every-other-month dosing that we believe supports treatment for GA patients. We look forward to working with regulatory authorities to bring this medicine to patients in need as quickly as possible.”
Pegcetacoplan was well tolerated in both Phase 3 studies. The pooled rate of new-onset exudations as 6.0% of patients in the monthly pegcetacoplan groups, 4.1% in the every-other-month pegcetacoplan groups, and 2.4% in the sham groups. Two cases of confirmed infectious endophthalmitis and one case of suspected infectious endophthalmitis were observed in the study eye out of a total of 6,331 injections (0.047%). Thirteen events of intraocular inflammation were observed in the studies (0.21% per injection). No events of retinal vasculitis or retinal vein occlusion were observed. There were no clinically relevant changes in vision for patients who developed infectious endophthalmitis or intraocular inflammation.
“On the heels of our recent FDA approval in PNH, these pivotal results further reinforce the platform potential of targeting C3 across multiple diseases with few or no treatments,” said Cedric Francois, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer, Apellis. “Apellis is singularly positioned to make a meaningful difference for patients living with a broad range of retinal, rare, and neurological diseases by targeting C3 to comprehensively control complement.”
The company continues to analyze results from the studies, and detailed data will be presented at upcoming scientific meetings.
Conference Call and Webcast
About DERBY and OAKS
About Geographic Atrophy (GA)
About Pegcetacoplan for Geographic Atrophy (GA)
1 Rudnicka AR, Jarrar Z, Wormald R, et al. Age and gender variations in age-related macular degeneration prevalence in populations of European ancestry: a meta analysis. Ophthalmology 2012;119:571–580.
2 Wong WL, Su X, Li X, et al. Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health 2014;2:e106–116.
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