FDA Approves Genzyme's Aubagio (teriflunomide), a Once-Daily, Oral Treatment for Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

Genzyme, a Sanofi company, announced that the FDA has approved Aubagio (teriflunomide) as a new once-daily, oral treatment indicated for patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Genzyme, a Sanofi company, announced that the FDA has approved Aubagio (teriflunomide) as a new once-daily, oral treatment indicated for patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Aubagio has shown significant efficacy across key measures of MS disease activity, including reducing relapses, slowing the progression of physical disability, and reducing the number of brain lesions as detected by MRI.

“We are very excited to introduce Aubagio as a new treatment option that can make a difference in the lives of people with multiple sclerosis,” said David Meeker, president and chief executive officer, Genzyme. “The approval of our first MS therapy represents an important milestone for Genzyme and underscores our commitment to long-term leadership and partnership in the MS community.”

The FDA approval was based on efficacy data from the TEMSO (

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ral) trial. In the Phase III TEMSO trial, Aubagio 14 mg significantly reduced the annualized relapse rate (p=0.0005) and the time to disability progression (p=0.0279) at 2 years versus placebo in patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Aubagio 7 mg significantly reduced the annualized relapse rate (p=0.0002) in the trial.

“Many people living with MS struggle with the additional burden of injectable therapies administered daily to weekly,” said Aaron E. Miller, MD, medical director, The Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis, Mount Sinai Medical Center. “The FDA’s approval of Aubagio, a new oral treatment option, is an encouraging advancement for the MS community and may be a valuable treatment for people living with this often debilitating disease.”

The ongoing Aubagio clinical development program, involving more than 5000 patients in 36 countries, is amongst the largest of any MS therapy. Some patients in extension trials have been treated for up to 10 years.

“We are greatly encouraged to see a new oral therapeutic option become available to people living with MS,” said Timothy Coetzee, MD, chief research officer at the National MS Society. “With collaborative research underway around the world today, this is an extremely hopeful time for anyone who is diagnosed with MS.”

The Aubagio label includes a boxed warning citing the risk of hepatotoxicity and, teratogenicity (based on animal data).

In MS clinical studies with Aubagio, the incidence of serious adverse events were similar among Aubagio and placebo-treated patients. The most common adverse events associated with Aubagio in MS patients included increased ALT levels, alopecia, diarrhea, influenza, nausea and paresthesia.

The labeling for Aubagio was also informed by the estimated 2.1 million years of patient exposure globally since the launch of leflunomide, which is indicated in the United States for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Teriflunomide is the principal active metabolite of leflunomide. Severe liver injury including fatal liver failure has been reported in patients treated with leflunomide.

Please click here for full Prescribing Information for once-daily oral Aubagio (teriflunomide), including boxed warning and contraindications, for treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis.

The Aubagio clinical development program in MS also included the recently reported TOWER study. TOWER assessed the efficacy and safety of once-daily, oral Aubagio in patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). In the study, patients receiving teriflunomide 14 mg had a statistically significant reduction in annualized relapse rate and risk of disability progression. In addition, a significant reduction in annualized relapse rate was observed in patients treated with teriflunomide 7 mg compared to placebo. Adverse events observed in the trial were consistent with previous clinical trials with teriflunomide in MS. Analysis of the full TOWER data is ongoing and results will be presented at a forthcoming scientific meeting.

Aubagio is an immunomodulator with anti-inflammatory properties. Although the exact mechanism of action for Aubagio is not fully understood, it may involve a reduction in the number of activated lymphocytes in the central nervous system (CNS).

As part of its commitment to MS patients, Genzyme has developed the MS One to One program. MS One to One provides information about multiple sclerosis, Aubagio and other relevant resources and is available and staffed by dedicated MS nurses and highly trained representatives who can provide support for individuals living with MS, their health care providers, family and loved ones. For more information about these support services, call the MS One to One line at 1-855-MSOne2One (1-855-676-6326) Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. Information and support are also available at www.MSOnetoOne.com.

Marketing applications for Aubagio are under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other regulatory authorities.

SOURCE: Genzyme