WALTHAM, Mass., June 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: APLS), a global biopharmaceutical company and leader in complement, today announced that the company has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for intravitreal pegcetacoplan, an investigational, targeted C3 therapy, for the treatment of 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
“Pegcetacoplan is the only treatment that has shown the potential to meaningfully slow disease progression across three large studies with a representative, real-world population of GA patients,” said Jeffrey Eisele, Ph.D., chief development officer at Apellis. “With the submission of our marketing application in the United States, we are now one step closer towards our goal of bringing the first GA treatment to patients living with this relentless and irreversible disease.”
The NDA submission is based on results from the Phase 3 DERBY and OAKS studies at 12 and 18 months and the Phase 2 FILLY study at 12 months. In the studies, treatment with both monthly and every-other-month pegcetacoplan resulted in a clinically meaningful reduction of GA lesion growth across a broad, heterogenous population of more than 1,500 patients. Pegcetacoplan demonstrated a favorable safety profile in all three studies.
The FDA decision on NDA filing acceptance is expected in August 2022. Apellis also plans to submit a marketing authorization application to the European Medicines Agency in the second half of 2022.
About DERBY and OAKS
DERBY (621 patients enrolled) and OAKS (637 patients enrolled) are Phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled studies comparing the efficacy and safety of intravitreal pegcetacoplan with sham injections in patients with geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The primary objective of the studies is to evaluate the efficacy of pegcetacoplan in patients with GA assessed by change in the total area of GA lesions from baseline as measured by fundus autofluorescence at 12 months. Patients in DERBY and OAKS will continue to receive masked treatment for 24 months. Secondary functional endpoints will be evaluated after all patients have received treatment for 24 months.
The FILLY study was a 246-patient, Phase 2, multicenter, randomized, single-masked, sham-controlled study evaluating the efficacy and safety of intravitreal pegcetacoplan in patients with geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The primary objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of pegcetacoplan in patients with GA assessed by change in square root GA lesion size from baseline as measured by fundus autofluorescence at 12 months followed by six months of monitoring after the end of treatment.
About Geographic Atrophy (GA)
Geographic atrophy (GA) is an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and a leading cause of blindness that impacts more than 5 million people worldwide, including one million people in the United States.1,2 This progressive disease can severely impair visual function, independence, and quality of life as it takes on average 2.5 years for GA lesions to encroach the fovea, which is responsible for central vision.3 GA is caused by destruction of retinal cells through irreversible lesion growth that is driven by excessive complement activation.4 C3 is the only target that can precisely control the complement cascade due to its central location. There are currently no approved treatments for GA.
About Pegcetacoplan for Geographic Atrophy (GA)
Pegcetacoplan is an investigational, targeted C3 therapy designed to regulate excessive activation of the complement cascade, part of the body’s immune system, which can lead to the onset and progression of many serious diseases. Pegcetacoplan was granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of geographic atrophy.
Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company that is committed to leveraging courageous science, creativity, and compassion to deliver life-changing therapies. Leaders in complement, we ushered in the first new class of complement medicine in 15 years with the approval of the first and only targeted C3 therapy. We are advancing this science to continually develop transformative medicines for people living with rare, retinal, and neurological diseases. For more information, please visit http://apellis.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Apellis Forward-Looking Statement
Statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects, as well as any other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding timing of anticipated regulatory submissions or decisions. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including whether the results of the FILLY, DERBY and OAKS trials are sufficient to support regulatory submissions; whether a submission for approval of intravitreal pegcetacoplan for GA on the basis of the FILLY, DERBY and OAKS trials will be accepted by the FDA or foreign regulatory agencies; whether intravitreal pegcetacoplan will receive approval from the FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies for GA when expected or at all; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Apellis’ Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 4, 2022 and the risks described in other filings that Apellis may make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Apellis specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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.
3 Lindblad AS, et al, and AREDS Research Group. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(9):1168-1174.
4 Seddon, JM, Rosner, B. Validated prediction models for macular degeneration progression and predictors of visual acuity loss identify high-risk individuals. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;198:223–261.