FDA OKs Ivacaftor for Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis in Young Children

Officials with the FDA have approved ivacaftor (KALYDECO) as the first and only therapy indicated to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis in children aged 12 to

This article originally appeared on MD Magazine.

Officials with the FDA have approved ivacaftor (KALYDECO) as the first and only therapy indicated to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) in children aged 12 to <24 months with certain mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene.

The approval is based on data from an ongoing phase 3 open-label safety study (ARRIVAL) of 25 children with CF who have one of 10 mutations in the

CFTR

gene, in which ivacaftor demonstrated a consistent safety profile to that in previous phase 3 trials involving older children and adults with CF. The therapy was previously approved by the FDA for the treatment of CF in adults aged 2 years and older with 1 of 38 treatment-responsive mutations in the CFTR gene—also based on clinical and/or

in vitro

assay data.

CF—a rare, genetic disease affecting approximately 75,000 people in North America, Europe and Australia—is caused by a defective or missing CFTR protein resulting from mutations in the

CFTR

gene. The absense of the protein can result in poor water and salt flow into and out of various organ cells, resulting in abrnomally thick, sticky mucus buildup in the lungs. Patients are therefore often exposed to chronic lung infections and progressive lung damage.

There are currently about 2000 known mutations in the

CFTR

gene, and the median age of death in patients with CF is in the mid-to-late 20s.

In ARRIVAL data presented at the 41

st

European Cystic Fibrosis Society (ECFS) Conference in June and published in

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine,

the most advese events (AEs) were mild or moderate in severity, and none results in patients discontinuing therapy. The most common adverse events (≥30%) were cough (74%), pyrexia (37%), elevated aspartate aminotransferase (37%), elevated alanine aminotransferase (32%) and runny nose (32%). Two patients had reported 4 serious AEs.

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