Antihemorrhagics. ATC code:
Romiplostim is an Fc-peptide fusion protein (peptibody) that signals and activates intracellular transcriptional pathways via the thrombopoietin (TPO) receptor (also known as cMpl) to increase platelet production. The peptibody molecule is comprised of a human immunoglobulin IgG1 Fc domain, with each single-chain subunit covalently linked at the C-terminus to a peptide chain containing 2 TPO receptor-binding domains.
Romiplostim has no amino acid sequence homology to endogenous TPO. In pre-clinical and clinical studies no anti-romiplostim antibodies cross reacted with endogenous TPO.
The safety and efficacy of romiplostim have been evaluated for up to 3 years of continuous treatment. In clinical studies, treatment with romiplostim resulted in dose-dependent increases in platelet count. Time to reach the maximum effect on platelet count is approximately 10-14 days, and is independent of the dose. After a single subcutaneous dose of 1 to 10 μg/kg romiplostim in ITP patients, the peak platelet count was 1.3 to 14.9 times greater than the baseline platelet count over a 2 to 3 week period and the response was variable among patients. The platelet counts of ITP patients who received 6 weekly doses of 1 or 3 μg/kg of romiplostim were within the range of 50 to 450 x 109
/L for most patients. Of the 271 patients who received romiplostim in ITP clinical studies, 55 (20%) were age 65 and over, and 27 (10%) were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or efficacy have been observed between older and younger patients in the placebo-controlled studies.
Results from pivotal placebo-controlled studies:
The safety and efficacy of romiplostim was evaluated in two placebo-controlled, double-blind studies in adults with ITP who had completed at least one treatment prior to study entry and are representative of the entire spectrum of such ITP patients.
Study S1 (212) evaluated patients who were non-splenectomised and had an inadequate response or were intolerant to prior therapies. Patients had been diagnosed with ITP for approximately 2 years at the time of study entry. Patients had a median of 3 (range, 1 to 7) treatments for ITP prior to study entry. Prior treatments included corticosteroids (90% of all patients), immunoglobulins (76%), rituximab (29%), cytotoxic therapies (21%), danazol (11%), and azathioprine (5%). Patients had a median platelet count of 19 x 109
/L at study entry.
Study S2 (105) evaluated patients who were splenectomised and continued to have thrombocytopenia. Patients had been diagnosed with ITP for approximately 8 years at the time of study entry. In addition to a splenectomy, patients had a median of 6 (range, 3 to 10) treatments for ITP prior to study entry. Prior treatments included corticosteroids (98% of all patients), immunoglobulins (97%), rituximab (71%), danazol (37%), cytotoxic therapies (68%), and azathioprine (24%). Patients had a median platelet count of 14 x 109
/L at study entry.
Both studies were similarly designed. Patients (≥ 18 years) were randomised in a 2:1 ratio to receive a starting dose of romiplostim 1 μg/kg or placebo. Patients received single subcutaneous weekly injections for 24 weeks. Doses were adjusted to maintain (50 to 200 x 109
/L) platelet counts. In both studies, efficacy was determined by an increase in the proportion of patients who achieved a durable platelet response. The median average weekly dose for splenectomised patients was 3 μg/kg and for non-splenectomised patients was 2 μg/kg.
A significantly higher proportion of patients receiving romiplostim achieved a durable platelet response compared to patients receiving placebo in both studies. Following the first 4-weeks of study romiplostim maintained platelet counts ≥50 x 109
/L in between 50% to 70% of patients during the 6 month treatment period in the placebo-controlled studies. In the placebo group, 0% to 7% of patients were able to achieve a platelet count response during the 6 months of treatment. A summary of the key efficacy endpoints is presented below. (See Table 1.)
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Reduction in permitted concurrent ITP medical therapies:
In both placebo-controlled, double-blind studies, patients already receiving ITP medical therapies at a constant dosing schedule were allowed to continue receiving these medical treatments throughout the study (corticosteroids, danazol and/or azathioprine). Twenty-one non-splenectomised and 18 splenectomised patients received on-study ITP medical treatments (primarily corticosteroids) at the start of study. All (100%) splenectomised patients who were receiving romiplostim were able to reduce the dose by more than 25% or discontinue the concurrent ITP medical therapies by the end of the treatment period compared to 17% of placebo treated patients. Seventy-three percent of non-splenectomised patients receiving romiplostim were able to reduce the dose by more than 25% or discontinue concurrent ITP medical therapies by the end of the study compared to 50% of placebo treated patients (see Interactions).
Across the entire ITP clinical programme an inverse relationship between bleeding events and platelet counts was observed. All clinically significant (≥ grade 3) bleeding events occurred at platelet counts <30 x 109
/L. All bleeding events ≥ grade 2 occurred at platelet counts <50 x 109
/L. No statistically significant differences in the overall incidence of bleeding events were observed between Romiplate and placebo treated patients.
In the two placebo-controlled studies, 9 patients reported a bleeding event that was considered serious (5 [6.0%] romiplostim, 4 [9.8%] placebo; Odds Ratio [romiplostim/placebo] = 0.59; 95% CI = (0.15, 2.31)). Bleeding events that were grade 2 or higher were reported by 15% of patients treated with romiplostim and 34% of patients treated with placebo (Odds Ratio; [romiplostim/placebo] = 0.35; 95% CI = (0.14, 0.85)).
The pharmacokinetics of romiplostim involved target-mediated disposition, which is presumably mediated by TPO receptors on platelets and other cells of the thrombopoietic lineage such as megakaryocytes.
After subcutaneous administration of 3 to 15 μg/kg romiplostim, maximum romiplostim serum levels in ITP patients were obtained after 7-50 hours (median 14 hours). The serum concentrations varied among patients and did not correlate with the dose administered. Romiplostim serum levels appear inversely related to platelet counts.
The volume of distribution of romiplostim following intravenous administration of romiplostim decreased nonlinearly from 122, 78.8, to 48.2 mL/kg for intravenous doses of 0.3, 1.0 and 10 μg/kg, respectively in healthy subjects. This non-linear decrease in volume of distribution is in line with the (megakaryocyte and platelet) target-mediated binding of romiplostim, which may be saturated at the higher doses applied.
Elimination half-life of romiplostim in ITP patients ranged from 1 to 34 days (median, 3.5 days). The elimination of serum romiplostim is in part dependent on the TPO receptor on platelets. As a result for a given dose, patients with high platelet counts are associated with low serum concentrations and vice versa. In another ITP clinical study, no accumulation in serum concentrations was observed after 6 weekly doses of romiplostim (3 μg/kg).
Special patient populations:
Pharmacokinetics of romiplostim in patients with renal and hepatic impairment has not been investigated. Romiplostim pharmacokinetics appear not affected by age, weight and gender to a clinically significant extent.
Toxicology: Preclinical safety data:
Multiple dose romiplostim toxicology studies were conducted in rats for 4 weeks and in monkeys for up to 6 months. In general, effects observed during these studies were related to the thrombopoietic activity of romiplostim and were similar regardless of study duration. Injection site reactions were also related to romiplostim administration. Myelofibrosis has been observed in the bone marrow of rats at all tested dose levels. In these studies, myelofibrosis was not observed in animals after a 4-week posttreatment recovery period, indicating reversibility.
In 1-month rat and monkey toxicology studies, a mild decrease in red blood cell count, haematocrit and haemoglobin was observed. There was also a stimulatory effect on leukocyte production, as peripheral blood counts for neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, and eosinophils were mildly increased. In the longer duration chronic monkey study, there was no effect on the erythroid and leukocytic lineages when romiplostim was administered for 6 months where the administration of romiplostim was decreased from thrice weekly to once weekly. Additionally, in the phase 3 pivotal studies, romiplostim did not affect the red blood cell and white blood cells lineages relative to placebo treated subjects.
Due to the formation of neutralising antibodies pharmacodynamic effects of romiplostim in rats were often decreasing at prolonged duration of administration. Toxicokinetic studies showed no interaction of the antibodies with the measured concentrations. Although high doses were tested in the animal studies, due to differences between the laboratory species and humans with regard to the sensitivity for the pharmacodynamic effect of romiplostim and the effect of neutralising antibodies, safety margins cannot be reliably estimated.
Carcinogenesis: The carcinogenic potential of romiplostim has not been evaluated. Therefore, the risk of potential carcinogenicity of romiplostim in humans remains unknown.
Reproductive toxicology: In all developmental studies neutralising antibodies were formed, which may have inhibited romiplostim effects. In embryo-foetal development studies in mice and rats, reductions in maternal body weight were found only in mice. In mice there was evidence of increased post-implantation loss. In a prenatal and postnatal development study in rats an increase of the duration of gestation and a slight increase in the incidence of peri-natal pup mortality was found. Romiplostim is known to cross the placental barrier in rats and may be transmitted from the mother to the developing foetus and stimulate foetal platelet production. Romiplostim had no observed effect on the fertility of rats.