FDA accepts new drug application for investigational compound Epanova for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridaemia

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

AstraZeneca today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review a New Drug Application (NDA) for EpanovaTM, an investigational compound for the treatment for patients with severe hypertriglyceridaemia (triglyceride levels greater than or equal to 500mg/dL). The NDA submission for Epanova was filed by Omthera Pharmaceuticals, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca, as a 505(b)(1) application in July 2013. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date for the FDA is 5 May 2014.

The US submission included data from pharmacokinetic and Phase III clinical studies to investigate the safety and efficacy profile of Epanova, a coated soft gelatin capsule containing a complex mixture of polyunsaturated free fatty acids derived from fish oils. In 2012, positive results were reported from two Phase III trials (EVOLVE and ESPRIT) examining the effectiveness of Epanova in lowering very high triglycerides, and in reducing non-HDL cholesterol in combination with a statin for patients with high triglycerides. Both trials were conducted under a Special Protocol Assessment with the US FDA.


About Epanova™

Epanova is a patent protected, novel, ultra-pure mixture of the free fatty acid forms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that meaningfully reduces triglycerides, improves other key lipid parameters and is expected to increase patient convenience with 2-gram once-a-day dosing with or without meals. Epanova is a coated soft gelatin capsule containing a complex mixture of polyunsaturated free fatty acids derived from fish oils, including multiple long-chain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, with EPA, DHA, and docosapentaenoic acid being the most abundant forms of omega-3 fatty acids.

Epanova was developed by Omthera Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Princeton, New Jersey, focused on the development and commercialisation of new therapies for abnormal levels of lipids in the blood, referred to as dyslipidaemia. Omthera holds worldwide rights to Epanova under a license from Chrysalis Pharma AG, a privately held Swiss company that is the owner of the product.  As announced previously, Omthera is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca. 

About hypertriglyceridaemia

 Hypertriglyceridaemia is a serum lipid disorder (dyslipidaemia) defined by serum triglyceride levels of ≥150 mg/dL. It is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease, or acute risk of pancreatitis if triglyceride levels exceed 500 mg/dL. In 2011, dyslipidaemia affected 352 million people aged 20 or older across the major

pharmaceutical markets (United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan), caused by genetic predisposition and various secondary/contributing factors, such as lifestyle and dietetic behaviour (e.g. obesity, malnutrition, metabolic syndrome), as well as by numerous diseases (e.g. diabetes, renal disease, autoimmune diseases). It is estimated that there are five million patients in the US with triglyceride levels > 500 mg/dL. A recent NHANES analysis of dyslipidaemia in the US indicated that low-density lipoprotein levels have actually declined since the last analysis, but the percentage of patients with severe hypertriglyceridaemia has risen sharply along with the dramatic increases in obesity.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com


Media Enquiries    
Esra Erkal-Paler (UK/Global) +44 20 7604 8030
Vanessa Rhodes (UK/Global) +44 20 7604 8037
Ayesha Bharmal (UK/Global) +44 20 7604 8034
Michele Meixell
(US) +1 302 885 6351
Jacob Lund
(Sweden) +46 8 553 260 20


Investor Enquiries      
Ed Seage +1 302 886 4065 mob: +1 302 373 1361
Karl Hård +44 20 7604 8123 mob: +44 7789 654364
Colleen Proctor +1 302 886 1842 mob: +1 302 357 4882
Anthony Brown +44 20 7604 8067 mob: +44 7585 404943
Jens Lindberg +44 20 7604 8414 mob: +44 7557 319729