Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming the lives of patients and their families living with hyperphagia and severe obesity caused by rare melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) pathway diseases, today announced a collaboration with Genpharm Services FZ LLC (Genpharm) to commercialize IMCIVREE® (setmelanotide) in Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
Under the terms of this exclusive agreement, Genpharm will distribute IMCIVREE to patients in GCC countries for the treatment of hyperphagia and obesity due to Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) or genetically-confirmed biallelic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 (PCSK1), or leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency. IMCIVREE is approved for these indications in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
“We are excited to expand access to IMCIVREE as we continue to increase the impact of this therapy globally,” said Yann Mazabraud, Rhythm’s Executive Vice President and Head of International. “With its commitment to patient centricity and extensive experience providing novel treatments for rare diseases to patients throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Genpharm is the ideal partner to help deliver IMCIVREE with its full suite of regulatory, medical, commercial and operational capabilities.”
Rhythm estimates that more than 800 people are living with BBS in GCC countries (prevalence of 1:30,000) and approximately 100 people are living with Biallelic POMC, PCSK1 or LEPR deficiency. Providers in the region now have the ability to prescribe IMCIVREE to qualifying patients who they believe will benefit from the therapy.
“Due to many factors, GCC countries have an increased prevalence of certain genetic diseases, creating a significant demand for precision therapies, like IMCIVREE, that address illnesses at their root cause,” said Kamel Ghammachi, Genpharm Chairman. “Rhythm is a pioneer in acknowledging and seeking to rectify the severe unmet need in rare MC4R pathway diseases, and we are thrilled to enter into this agreement allowing us to grant patients access to a treatment option that can control the hyperphagia and obesity associated with BBS and POMC, PCSK1, and LEPR deficiencies.”
About Genpharm Services
Genpharm Services is a regional pharmaceutical company, based in the Dubai Science Park (DSP), UAE, with operations across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region. Genpharm is the leading partner in the region for multinational companies with innovative therapeutics, in rare diseases and specialty care. Working with evidence-based medicine and through an established team of experts, Genpharm provides its partners with market access strategies and sustainable commercial solutions for MENAT.
About Rhythm Pharmaceuticals
Rhythm is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to transforming the lives of patients and their families living with hyperphagia and severe obesity caused by rare melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) diseases. Rhythm’s lead asset, IMCIVREE (setmelanotide) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and authorized by the European Commission (EC) and the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in accordance with product labeling. Additionally, Rhythm is advancing a broad clinical development program for setmelanotide in other rare MC4R pathway diseases, as well as a preclinical suite of investigational candidates for the treatment of congenital hyperinsulinism. Rhythm’s headquarters is in Boston, MA.
In the United States, setmelanotide is indicated for chronic weight management in adult and pediatric patients 6 years of age and older with monogenic or syndromic obesity due to POMC, PCSK1 or LEPR deficiency as determined by an FDA-approved test demonstrating variants in POMC, PCSK1 or LEPR genes that are interpreted as pathogenic, likely pathogenic, or of uncertain significance (VUS) or BBS.
In the European Union, setmelanotide is indicated for the treatment of obesity and the control of hunger associated with genetically confirmed Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) or genetically confirmed loss-of-function biallelic proopiomelanocortin (POMC), including PCSK1, deficiency or biallelic leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency in adults and children 6 years of age and above.
In Canada, setmelanotide is indicated for the treatment of obesity due to Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) or genetically-confirmed biallelic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 (PCSK1), or leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency due to variants interpreted as pathogenic, likely pathogenic, or of uncertain significance in adults and children 6 years of age and above.
Limitations of Use
Setmelanotide is not indicated for the treatment of patients with the following conditions as setmelanotide would not be expected to be effective:
In Europe, Setmelanotide should be prescribed and supervised by a physician with expertise in obesity with underlying genetic etiology.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Skin Monitoring: Setmelanotide may lead to generalized increased skin pigmentation and darkening of pre-existing naevi because of its pharmacologic effect. Full body skin examinations should be conducted annually to monitor pre-existing and new skin pigmentary lesions before and during treatment with setmelanotide.
Heart rate and blood pressure monitoring: Heart rate and blood pressure should be monitored as part of standard clinical practice at each medical visit (at least every 6 months) for patients treated with setmelanotide.
Prolonged penile erection: Spontaneous penile erections have been reported in clinical trials with setmelanotide. Patients who have a penile erection lasting longer than 4 hours should be instructed to seek emergency medical attention for potential treatment of priapism.
Depression: In clinical trials, depression has been reported in patients treated with setmelanotide. Patients with depression should be monitored at each medical visit during treatment with setmelanotide. Consideration should be given to discontinuing setmelanotide if patients experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Pediatric Population: The prescribing physician should periodically assess response to setmelanotide therapy. In growing children, the impact of weight loss on growth and maturation should be evaluated. The prescribing physician should monitor growth (height and weight) using age- and sex-appropriate growth curves.
Excipients: This medicinal product contains 10 mg benzyl alcohol in each ml. Benzyl alcohol may cause allergic reactions. Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be advised of the potential risk from the excipient benzyl alcohol, which might accumulate over time and cause metabolic acidosis. This medicinal product should be used with caution in patients with hepatic or renal impairment, because of the potential risk from the excipient benzyl alcohol which might accumulate over time and cause metabolic acidosis.
Sodium: This medicinal product contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, that is to say essentially “sodium-free.”
The most frequent adverse reactions are hyperpigmentation (51%), injection site reaction (39%), nausea (33%), and headache (26%).
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
There are no data from the use of setmelanotide in pregnant women. Animal studies do not indicate direct harmful effects with respect to reproductive toxicity. However, administration of setmelanotide to pregnant rabbits resulted in decreased maternal food consumption leading to embryo-fetal effects. As a precautionary measure, setmelanotide should not be started during pregnancy or while attempting to get pregnant as weight loss during pregnancy may result in fetal harm. If a patient who is taking setmelanotide has reached a stable weight and becomes pregnant, consideration should be given to maintaining setmelanotide treatment as there was no proof of teratogenicity in the nonclinical data. If a patient who is taking setmelanotide and still losing weight gets pregnant, setmelanotide should either be discontinued, or the dose reduced while monitoring for the recommended weight gain during pregnancy. The treating physician should carefully monitor weight during pregnancy in a patient taking setmelanotide.
It is unknown whether setmelanotide is excreted in human milk. A nonclinical study showed that setmelanotide is excreted in the milk of nursing rats. No quantifiable setmelanotide concentrations were detected in plasma from nursing pups. A risk to the newborn/infant cannot be excluded. A decision must be made whether to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue/abstain from setmelanotide therapy taking into account the benefit of breastfeeding for the child and the benefit of therapy for the mother.
No human data on the effect of setmelanotide on fertility are available. Animal studies did not indicate harmful effects with respect to fertility.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding the potential, safety, efficacy, and regulatory and clinical progress of setmelanotide for patients with BBS or POMC, PCSK1 and LEPR deficiencies, the potential benefits of our commercialization agreement with Genpharm, providers’ ability to prescribe IMCIVREE to qualifying patients in the Gulf region and related timing, and our business strategy and plans, including regarding commercialization of IMCIVREE in other international regions. Statements using word such as “expect”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “may”, “will” and similar terms are also forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks relating to our liquidity and expenses, our ability to enroll patients in clinical trials, the design and outcome of clinical trials, the ability to achieve necessary regulatory approvals, risks associated with data analysis and reporting, failure to identify and develop additional product candidates, unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party reimbursement practices or healthcare reform initiatives, risks associated with the laws and regulations governing our international operations and the costs of any related compliance programs, the impact of competition, risks relating to product liability lawsuits, inability to maintain our collaborations, or the failure of these collaborations, our reliance on third parties, risks relating to intellectual property, our ability to hire and retain necessary personnel, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and general economic conditions on our business and operations, including our preclinical studies, clinical trials and commercialization prospects, and the other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2023 and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligations to make any revisions to the forward-looking statements contained in this release or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.
Berry & Company Public Relations
Source: Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc.