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Takeda's New Investigational Drug Vedolizumab Is Granted Priority Review Status By U.S. Food And Drug Administration For Ulcerative Colitis

DEERFIELD, Ill. and OSAKA, Japan, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited ("Takeda") and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., today announced that the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Priority Review status for the Biologics License Application (BLA) for its new investigational drug vedolizumab for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. A BLA was submitted in June 2013 seeking approval for vedolizumab for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC). The application submitted for vedolizumab for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active CD will be reviewed by the FDA under the standard review timeline.  

An application can receive Priority Review designation if it is for a drug that treats a serious condition and, if approved, would provide a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness. Priority Review status allows for an eight month review period from the date of submission, compared to the standard review period of 12 months.

"Additional treatment options are needed for ulcerative colitis, and the acceptance for Priority Review of vedolizumab underscores this need," said Karen Lasch, M.D., medical director - GI, Medical Affairs, U.S. Region, Takeda. "Takeda is excited about the potential for vedolizumab and, if approved, the possibility of providing a new treatment option for people with CD and UC."

CD and UC are the two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and can be both painful and debilitating, sometimes leading to serious complications. While CD and UC treatment options are available, many patients may not achieve or maintain remission of their disease.  

The BLA filings were supported by the GEMINI™ Studies, a four-study clinical program investigating vedolizumab in 2,700 patients in nearly 40 countries, making it the largest Phase 3 clinical trial program conducted to date simultaneously evaluating both CD and UC. Enrolled patients had failed at least one conventional therapy, including glucocorticoids, immunomodulators and/or a tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) antagonists. TNF-alpha antagonist and conventional therapy failure patients included those with inadequate response (primary non-responders), loss of response (secondary non-responders) or those who were intolerant.

Phase 3 study results for vedolizumab were published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.

About the GEMINI™ StudiesAnnounced in early 2009, the GEMINI™ Studies is a Phase 3 program evaluating the effect of vedolizumab on clinical response and remission (along with effect on mucosal healing in UC), and long-term safety in moderately to severely active CD and UC patients who had failed at least one conventional therapy or a TNF-alpha antagonist. The GEMINI program consists of four separate studies – a placebo-controlled induction and maintenance study in patients with UC (GEMINI I), a placebo-controlled induction and maintenance study in patients with CD (GEMINI II), a placebo-controlled induction study in patients with CD with prior TNF-alpha antagonist failure (GEMINI III) and an open-label long-term safety study in patients with either CD or UC (GEMINI LTS).

About Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitisCrohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is marked by inflammation in the GI tract. CD can impact any part of the digestive tract and common symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, and fever. UC impacts the large intestine only, which includes the colon and the rectum. The most common symptoms of UC include abdominal discomfort and blood or pus in diarrhea. There is no known cause for CD or UC, although many researchers believe that the interaction between genes, the body's immune system, and environmental factors may play a role. The aim of CD and UC treatments is to induce and maintain remission, or achieve extended periods of time when patients do not experience symptoms.

About vedolizumabVedolizumab, under development for the treatment of CD and UC, is a humanized monoclonal antibody that specifically antagonizes the alpha4beta7 integrin, inhibiting the binding of alpha4beta7 to intestinal mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1). MAdCAM-1 is preferentially expressed on blood vessels and lymph nodes of the gastrointestinal tract. The alpha4beta7 integrin is expressed on a subset of circulating white blood cells. These cells have been shown to play a role in mediating the inflammatory process in CD and UC. 

About Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.Takeda is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine.

The company has a commercial presence covering around 70 countries, with particular strength in Asia, North America, Europe and fast-growing emerging markets including Latin America, Russia-CIS and China. Takeda is ranked 12th by global Rx sales, 14th in the BRIC countries and 18th in Europe. Areas of focus include cardiovascular and metabolic, oncology, respiratory and immunology, central nervous system, general medicine, and vaccines.Through the integration of Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Nycomed, Takeda has been transforming itself, broadening its therapeutic expertise and geographic outreach.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. is located in Deerfield, Ill., is the U.S. marketing and sales organization of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.

Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, www.takeda.com, and additional information about Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. is available through its website, www.takeda.us.

About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company LimitedLocated in Osaka, Japan, Takeda is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, www.takeda.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Takeda's plans, outlook, strategies, results for the future, and other statements that are not descriptions of historical facts. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "may," "believe," "will," "expect," "project," "estimate," "should," "anticipate," "plan," "assume," "continue," "seek," "pro forma," "potential," "target," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook" or "intend" or other similar words or expressions of the negative thereof. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by management that are believed to be reasonable, though they are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. Investors are cautioned not to unduly rely on such forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or experience to differ materially from that expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Some of these risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, (1) the economic circumstances surrounding Takeda's business, including general economic conditions in Japan, the United States and worldwide; (2) competitive pressures and developments; (3) applicable laws and regulations; (4) the success or failure of product development programs; (5) actions of regulatory authorities and the timing thereof; (6) changes in exchange rates; (7) claims or concerns regarding the safety or efficacy of marketed products or product candidates in development; and (8) integration activities with acquired companies.

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release, and Takeda undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or circumstances after the date of the forward-looking statement. If Takeda does update or correct one or more of these statements, investors and others should not conclude that Takeda will make additional updates or corrections.

SOURCE Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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