ERLEADA® (apalutamide), First-and-Only Next-Generation Androgen Receptor Inhibitor with Once-Daily, Single-Tablet Option, Now Available in the U.S.
Addition of 240mg strength allows prescribers flexibility to prescribe one 240mg tablet or four 60mg tablets once-daily based on patient needs
HORSHAM, Pa., April 3, 2023 – The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson today announced the availability of an additional tablet strength of ERLEADA® (apalutamide) in the United States. The introduction of the 240mg tablet provides the first-and-only option for a once-daily, single-tablet Androgen Receptor Inhibitor (ARI) approved for the treatment of patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) and for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer (mCSPC).
With two strengths available, healthcare professionals will have the flexibility to prescribe the approved 240mg once-daily dose of ERLEADA® in either one 240mg tablet or four 60mg tablets. The single-tablet option may be preferable for patients in need of reducing their total number of daily pills.
ERLEADA® remains the only ARI with labeling to include approved alternate methods of administration for patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets whole. The 60mg tablets continue to have an approved option for dispersing with applesauce, while the 240mg tablet is approved for dispersing in orange juice, water or applesauce. The 240mg tablet may also be administered through a feeding tube.
“Each person and their cancer are unique and, as such, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment,” said Luca Dezzani, M.D., Vice President, Medical Affairs, Solid Tumor, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC. “The availability of 240mg and 60mg strength options of ERLEADA® demonstrates Janssen’s commitment to prostate cancer patients and provides prescribers flexibility in dosing and methods of administration to fit each patient’s unique needs.”
Both tablet strengths are available via prescription through existing specialty pharmacy networks.
ERLEADA® (apalutamide) is an androgen receptor inhibitor indicated for the treatment of patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) and for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer (mCSPC). ERLEADA® received U.S. Food and Administration (FDA) approval for nmCRPC in February 2018, and received U.S. FDA approval for mCSPC in September 2019. To date, more than 100,000 patients worldwide have been treated with ERLEADA®.
For more information, visit www.ERLEADA.com.
ERLEADA® IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Cerebrovascular and Ischemic Cardiovascular Events — In a randomized study (SPARTAN) of patients with nmCRPC, ischemic cardiovascular events occurred in 3.7% of patients treated with ERLEADA® and 2% of patients treated with placebo. In a randomized study (TITAN) in patients with mCSPC, ischemic cardiovascular events occurred in 4.4% of patients treated with ERLEADA® and 1.5% of patients treated with placebo. Across the SPARTAN and TITAN studies, 4 patients (0.3%) treated with ERLEADA® and 2 patients (0.2%) treated with placebo died from an ischemic cardiovascular event. Patients with history of unstable angina, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, stroke, or transient ischemic attack within 6 months of randomization were excluded from the SPARTAN and TITAN studies.
In the SPARTAN study, cerebrovascular events occurred in 2.5% of patients treated with ERLEADA® and 1% of patients treated with placebo. In the TITAN study, cerebrovascular events occurred in 1.9% of patients treated with ERLEADA® and 2.1% of patients treated with placebo. Across the SPARTAN and TITAN studies, 3 patients (0.2%) treated with ERLEADA®, and 2 patients (0.2%) treated with placebo died from a cerebrovascular event.
Cerebrovascular and ischemic cardiovascular events, including events leading to death, occurred in patients receiving ERLEADA®. Monitor for signs and symptoms of ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disorders. Optimize management of cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, or dyslipidemia. Consider discontinuation of ERLEADA® for Grade 3 and 4 events.
Fractures — In a randomized study (SPARTAN) of patients with nmCRPC, fractures occurred in 12% of patients treated with ERLEADA® and in 7% of patients treated with placebo. In a randomized study (TITAN) of patients with mCSPC, fractures occurred in 9% of patients treated with ERLEADA® and in 6% of patients treated with placebo. Evaluate patients for fracture risk. Monitor and manage patients at risk for fractures according to established treatment guidelines and consider use of bone-targeted agents.
Falls — In a randomized study (SPARTAN), falls occurred in 16% of patients treated with ERLEADA® compared with 9% of patients treated with placebo. Falls were not associated with loss of consciousness or seizure. Falls occurred in patients receiving ERLEADA® with increased frequency in the elderly. Evaluate patients for fall risk.
Seizure — In two randomized studies (SPARTAN and TITAN), 5 patients (0.4%) treated with ERLEADA® and 1 patient treated with placebo (0.1%) experienced a seizure. Permanently discontinue ERLEADA® in patients who develop a seizure during treatment. It is unknown whether anti-epileptic medications will prevent seizures with ERLEADA®. Advise patients of the risk of developing a seizure while receiving ERLEADA® and of engaging in any activity where sudden loss of consciousness could cause harm to themselves or others.
Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions — Fatal and life-threatening cases of severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs), including Stevens Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN), and drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) occurred in patients receiving ERLEADA®.
Monitor patients for the development of SCARs. Advise patients of the signs and symptoms of SCARs (e.g., a prodrome of fever, flu-like symptoms, mucosal lesions, progressive skin rash, or lymphadenopathy). If a SCAR is suspected, interrupt ERLEADA® until the etiology of the reaction has been determined. Consultation with a dermatologist is recommended. If a SCAR is confirmed, or for other Grade 4 skin reactions, permanently discontinue ERLEADA® [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)].
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity — The safety and efficacy of ERLEADA® have not been established in females. Based on findings from animals and its mechanism of action, ERLEADA® can cause fetal harm and loss of pregnancy when administered to a pregnant female. Advise males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose of ERLEADA® [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1, 8.3)].
The most common adverse reactions (≥10%) that occurred more frequently in the ERLEADA®-treated patients (≥2% over placebo) from the randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials (TITAN and SPARTAN) were fatigue, arthralgia, rash, decreased appetite, fall, weight decreased, hypertension, hot flush, diarrhea, and fracture.
Laboratory Abnormalities — All Grades (Grade 3-4)
Hematology — In the TITAN study: white blood cell decreased ERLEADA® 27% (0.4%), placebo 19% (0.6%). In the SPARTAN study: anemia ERLEADA® 70% (0.4%), placebo 64% (0.5%); leukopenia ERLEADA® 47% (0.3%), placebo 29% (0%); lymphopenia ERLEADA® 41% (1.8%), placebo 21% (1.6%).
Chemistry — In the TITAN study: hypertriglyceridemia ERLEADA® 17% (2.5%), placebo 12% (2.3%). In the SPARTAN study: hypercholesterolemia ERLEADA® 76% (0.1%), placebo 46% (0%); hyperglycemia ERLEADA® 70% (2%), placebo 59% (1.0%); hypertriglyceridemia ERLEADA® 67% (1.6%), placebo 49% (0.8%); hyperkalemia ERLEADA® 32% (1.9%), placebo 22% (0.5%).
Rash — In 2 randomized studies (SPARTAN and TITAN), rash was most commonly described as macular or maculopapular. Adverse reactions of rash were 26% with ERLEADA® vs 8% with placebo. Grade 3 rashes (defined as covering >30% body surface area [BSA]) were reported with ERLEADA® treatment (6%) vs placebo (0.5%).
The onset of rash occurred at a median of 83 days. Rash resolved in 78% of patients within a median of 78 days from onset of rash. Rash was commonly managed with oral antihistamines, topical corticosteroids, and 19% of patients received systemic corticosteroids. Dose reduction or dose interruption occurred in 14% and 28% of patients, respectively. Of the patients who had dose interruption, 59% experienced recurrence of rash upon reintroduction of ERLEADA®.
Hypothyroidism — In 2 randomized studies (SPARTAN and TITAN), hypothyroidism was reported for 8% of patients treated with ERLEADA® and 1.5% of patients treated with placebo based on assessments of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) every 4 months. Elevated TSH occurred in 25% of patients treated with ERLEADA® and 7% of patients treated with placebo. The median onset was at the first scheduled assessment. There were no Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions. Thyroid replacement therapy, when clinically indicated, should be initiated or dose adjusted.
Effect of Other Drugs on ERLEADA® — Co-administration of a strong CYP2C8 or CYP3A4 inhibitor is predicted to increase the steady-state exposure of the active moieties. No initial dose adjustment is necessary; however, reduce the ERLEADA® dose based on tolerability [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)].
Effect of ERLEADA® on Other Drugs
CYP3A4, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and UGT Substrates — ERLEADA® is a strong inducer of CYP3A4 and CYP2C19, and a weak inducer of CYP2C9 in humans. Concomitant use of ERLEADA® with medications that are primarily metabolized by CYP3A4, CYP2C19, or CYP2C9 can result in lower exposure to these medications. Substitution for these medications is recommended when possible or evaluate for loss of activity if medication is continued. Concomitant administration of ERLEADA® with medications that are substrates of UDP-glucuronosyl transferase (UGT) can result in decreased exposure. Use caution if substrates of UGT must be co-administered with ERLEADA® and evaluate for loss of activity.
P-gp, BCRP, or OATP1B1 Substrates — Apalutamide is a weak inducer of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), and organic anion transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1) clinically. Concomitant use of ERLEADA® with medications that are substrates of P-gp, BCRP, or OATP1B1 can result in lower exposure of these medications. Use caution if substrates of P-gp, BCRP, or OATP1B1 must be co-administered with ERLEADA® and evaluate for loss of activity if medication is continued.
Please see the full Prescribing Information for ERLEADA®.
About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At Janssen, we’re creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We’re the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular, Metabolism, & Retina; Immunology; Infectious Diseases & Vaccines; Neuroscience; Oncology; and Pulmonary Hypertension.
Learn more at www.janssen.com. Follow us at @JanssenUS and @JanssenGlobal. Janssen Research & Development, LLC; Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC; and Janssen Biotech, Inc. are part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding product development and the potential benefits and treatment impact of ERLEADA®. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, Janssen Biotech, Inc., any of the other Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: challenges and uncertainties inherent in product research and development; uncertainty of commercial success; challenges to patents; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; manufacturing difficulties and delays; product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2023, including in the sections captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and in Johnson & Johnson’s subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. None of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.