Health technology appraisals are ongoing with the relevant authorities in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Vertex’s goal is to help all eligible people with cystic fibrosis in the UK gain access to this medicine as soon as possible.
Ivacaftor was discovered as part of a collaboration with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc., the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Ivacaftor is the first medicine to treat the underlying cause of CF in people with the G551D mutation in the
gene. Known as a CFTR potentiator, ivacaftor is an oral medicine that aims to help the CFTR protein function more normally once it reaches the cell surface, to help hydrate and clear mucus from the airways. Ivacaftor (150mg, q12h) was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2012, by the European Medicines Agency in July 2012 and by Health Canada in November 2012 for use in people with CF ages 6 and older who have at least one copy of the G551D mutation in the
Vertex retains worldwide rights to develop and commercialize ivacaftor. A Marketing Authorization application is under review by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia.
Indication and Important Safety Information
Ivacaftor (150mg tablets) is indicated for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients age 6 years and older who have a G551D mutation in the
Ivacaftor is not for use in people with CF due to other mutations in the
gene. It is not effective in CF patients with two copies of the F508del mutation (F508del/F508del) in the
gene. The efficacy and safety of ivacaftor in children younger than 6 years of age have not been evaluated.
High liver enzymes (transaminases, ALT and AST) have been reported in patients receiving ivacaftor. It is recommended that ALT and AST be assessed prior to initiating ivacaftor, every 3 months during the first year of treatment, and annually thereafter. Patients who develop increased transaminase levels should be closely monitored until the abnormalities resolve. Dosing should be interrupted in patients with ALT or AST of greater than 5 times the upper limit of normal. Following resolution of transaminase elevations, consider the benefits and risks of resuming ivacaftor dosing. Moderate transaminase elevations are common in subjects with CF. Overall, the incidence and clinical features of transaminase elevations in clinical trials was similar between subjects in the ivacaftor and placebo treatment groups. In the subset of patients with a medical history of elevated transaminases, increased ALT or AST have been reported more frequently in patients receiving ivacaftor compared to placebo.