- Orkambi was first approved in 2015 in the US and is now available in more than 30 countries.
- Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated announced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved expanded use of Orkambi (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) to include children with cystic fibrosis (CF) ages 12 to <24 months who are homozygous for the F508del mutation (F/F genotype) in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene.
- Orkambi was previously approved by the FDA for use in people with CF ages 2 years and older with two copies of the F508del mutation.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated announced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved expanded use of Orkambi (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) to include children with cystic fibrosis (CF) ages 12 to <24 months who are homozygous for the F508del mutation (F/F genotype) in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene.
“Treating children with cystic fibrosis as early in life as possible is critically important, because early treatment has the potential to slow the progression of this devastating disease,” said Carmen Bozic, M.D., Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer, Vertex. “Today’s approval is another important step on our journey to reach people of all ages living with cystic fibrosis who may benefit from our medicines.”
- Description-Orkambi (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) is an oral medicine that is a combination of lumacaftor and ivacaftor. Lumacaftor is designed to increase the amount of mature protein at the cell surface by targeting the processing and trafficking defect of the F508del-CFTR protein. Ivacaftor, which is known as a CFTR potentiator, is designed to facilitate the ability of CFTR proteins to transport salt and water across the cell membrane. The combined actions of lumacaftor and ivacaftor help hydrate and clear mucus from the airways.
- Class –Amides; Aminophenols; Benzodioxoles; Benzoic acids; Cyclopropanes; Pyridines; Quinolones; Small molecules
- Mechanism of Action –Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator stimulants
- Orphan Drug Status –Yes – Cystic fibrosis
- Indication–Cystic fibrosis
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a rare, life-shortening genetic disease affecting more than 83,000 people globally. CF is a progressive, multi-organ disease that affects the lungs, liver, pancreas, GI tract, sinuses, sweat glands and reproductive tract. CF is caused by a defective and/or missing CFTR protein resulting from certain mutations in the CFTR gene. Children must inherit two defective CFTR genes — one from each parent — to have CF, and these mutations can be identified by a genetic test. While there are many different types of CFTR mutations that can cause the disease, the vast majority of people with CF have at least one F508del mutation. CFTR mutations lead to CF by causing the CFTR protein to be defective or by leading to a shortage or absence of CFTR protein at the cell surface. The defective function and/or absence of CFTR protein results in poor flow of salt and water into and out of the cells in a number of organs. In the lungs, this leads to the buildup of abnormally thick, sticky mucus, chronic lung infections and progressive lung damage that eventually leads to death for many patients. The median age of death is in the early 30s.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases. The company has multiple approved medicines that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) — a rare, life-threatening genetic disease — and has several ongoing clinical and research programs in CF. Beyond CF, Vertex has a robust pipeline of investigational small molecule, cell and genetic therapies in other serious diseases where it has deep insight into causal human biology, including sickle cell disease, beta thalassemia, APOL1-mediated kidney disease, pain, type 1 diabetes, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex’s global headquarters is now located in Boston’s Innovation District and its international headquarters is in London. Additionally, the company has research and development sites and commercial offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry’s top places to work, including 12 consecutive years on Science magazine’s Top Employers list and one of the 2021 Seramount (formerly Working Mother Media) 100 Best Companies.
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