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Prolia

"Feb. 22, 2011 -- Women at risk of fractures who used the heart medicine nitroglycerin boosted their bone density modestly, according to a new study.

''We found nitroglycerin has a unique ability," says researcher Sophie Jamal, MD, PhD"...

Prolia

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism Of Action

Prolia binds to RANKL, a transmembrane or soluble protein essential for the formation, function, and survival of osteoclasts, the cells responsible for bone resorption. Prolia prevents RANKL from activating its receptor, RANK, on the surface of osteoclasts and their precursors. Prevention of the RANKL/RANK interaction inhibits osteoclast formation, function, and survival, thereby decreasing bone resorption and increasing bone mass and strength in both cortical and trabecular bone.

Pharmacodynamics

In clinical studies, treatment with 60 mg of Prolia resulted in reduction in the bone resorption marker serum type 1 C-telopeptide (CTX) by approximately 85% by 3 days, with maximal reductions occurring by 1 month. CTX levels were below the limit of assay quantitation (0.049 ng/mL) in 39% to 68% of patients 1 to 3 months after dosing of Prolia. At the end of each dosing interval, CTX reductions were partially attenuated from a maximal reduction of ≥ 87% to ≥ 45% (range: 45% to 80%), as serum denosumab levels diminished, reflecting the reversibility of the effects of Prolia on bone remodeling. These effects were sustained with continued treatment. Upon reinitiation, the degree of inhibition of CTX by Prolia was similar to that observed in patients initiating Prolia treatment.

Consistent with the physiological coupling of bone formation and resorption in skeletal remodeling, subsequent reductions in bone formation markers (i.e. osteocalcin and procollagen type 1 N-terminal peptide [PlNP]) were observed starting 1 month after the first dose of Prolia. After discontinuation of Prolia therapy, markers of bone resorption increased to levels 40% to 60% above pretreatment values but returned to baseline levels within 12 months.

Pharmacokinetics

In a study conducted in healthy male and female volunteers (n = 73, age range: 18 to 64 years) following a single subcutaneously administered Prolia dose of 60 mg after fasting (at least for 12 hours), the mean maximum denosumab concentration (C max ) was 6.75 mcg/mL (standard deviation [SD] = 1.89 mcg/mL). The median time to maximum denosumab concentration (T max ) was 10 days (range: 3 to 21 days). After Cmax , serum denosumab concentrations declined over a period of 4 to 5 months with a mean half-life of 25.4 days (SD = 8.5 days; n = 46). The mean area-under-the-concentration-time curve up to 16 weeks (AUC 0-16 weeks ) of denosumab was 316 mcg•day/mL (SD = 101 mcg•day/mL). No accumulation or change in denosumab pharmacokinetics with time was observed upon multiple dosing of 60 mg subcutaneously administered once every 6 months.

Prolia pharmacokinetics were not affected by the formation of binding antibodies.

A population pharmacokinetic analysis was performed to evaluate the effects of demographic characteristics. This analysis showed no notable differences in pharmacokinetics with age (in postmenopausal women), race, or body weight (36 to 140 kg).

Drug Interactions

In a study of 17 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, midazolam (2 mg oral) was administered two weeks after a single dose of denosumab (60 mg subcutaneous injection), which approximates the T max of denosumab. Denosumab did not affect the pharmacokinetics of midazolam, which is metabolized by cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4). This indicates that denosumab should not alter the pharmacokinetics of drugs metabolized by CYP3A4 in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Specific Populations

Gender: Mean serum denosumab concentration-time profiles observed in a study conducted in healthy men ≥ 50 years were similar to those observed in a study conducted in postmenopausal women using the same dose regimen.

Age: The pharmacokinetics of denosumab were not affected by age across all populations studied whose ages ranged from 28 to 87 years.

Race: The pharmacokinetics of denosumab were not affected by race.

Renal Impairment: In a study of 55 patients with varying degrees of renal function, including patients on dialysis, the degree of renal impairment had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of denosumab; thus, dose adjustment for renal impairment is not necessary.

Hepatic Impairment: No clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of denosumab.

Animal Toxicology And/Or Pharmacology

Denosumab is an inhibitor of osteoclastic bone resorption via inhibition of RANKL. In ovariectomized monkeys, once-monthly treatment with denosumab suppressed bone turnover and increased bone mineral density (BMD) and strength of cancellous and cortical bone at doses 50-fold higher than the recommended human dose of 60 mg administered once every 6 months, based on body weight (mg/kg). Bone tissue was normal with no evidence of mineralization defects, accumulation of osteoid, or woven bone.

Because the biological activity of denosumab in animals is specific to nonhuman primates, evaluation of genetically engineered (“knockout”) mice or use of other biological inhibitors of the RANK/RANKL pathway, namely OPG-Fc, provided additional information on the pharmacodynamic properties of denosumab. RANK/RANKL knockout mice exhibited absence of lymph node formation, as well as an absence of lactation due to inhibition of mammary gland maturation (lobulo-alveolar gland development during pregnancy). Neonatal RANK/RANKL knockout mice exhibited reduced bone growth and lack of tooth eruption. A corroborative study in 2-week-old rats given the RANKL inhibitor OPG-Fc also showed reduced bone growth, altered growth plates, and impaired tooth eruption. These changes were partially reversible in this model when dosing with the RANKL inhibitors was discontinued.

Clinical Studies

Postmenopausal Women With Osteoporosis

The efficacy and safety of Prolia in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis was demonstrated in a 3-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Enrolled women had a baseline BMD T-score between -2.5 and -4.0 at either the lumbar spine or total hip. Women with other diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and Paget's disease) or on therapies that affect bone were excluded from this study. The 7808 enrolled women were aged 60 to 91 years with a mean age of 72 years. Overall, the mean baseline lumbar spine BMD T-score was -2.8, and 23% of women had a vertebral fracture at baseline. Women were randomized to receive subcutaneous injections of either placebo (N = 3906) or Prolia 60 mg (N = 3902) once every 6 months. All women received at least 1000 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D supplementation daily.

The primary efficacy variable was the incidence of new morphometric (radiologically-diagnosed) vertebral fractures at 3 years. Vertebral fractures were diagnosed based on lateral spine radiographs (T4-L4) using a semiquantitative scoring method. Secondary efficacy variables included the incidence of hip fracture and nonvertebral fracture, assessed at 3 years.

Effect on Vertebral Fractures

Prolia significantly reduced the incidence of new morphometric vertebral fractures at 1, 2, and 3 years (p < 0.0001), as shown in Table 2. The incidence of new vertebral fractures at year 3 was 7.2% in the placebo-treated women compared to 2.3% for the Prolia-treated women. The absolute risk reduction was 4.8% and relative risk reduction was 68% for new morphometric vertebral fractures at year 3.

Table 2: The Effect of Prolia on the Incidence of New Vertebral Fractures in Postmenopausal Women

  Proportion of Women With Fracture (%)+ Absolute Risk Reduction (%)* (95% CI) Relative Risk Reduction (%)* (95% CI)
Placebo
N = 3691
(%)
Prolia
N = 3702
(%)
0-1 Year 2.2 0.9 1.4 (0.8, 1.9) 61 (42, 74)
0-2 Years 5.0 1.4 3.5 (2.7, 4.3) 71 (61, 79)
0-3 Years 7.2 2.3 4.8 (3.9, 5.8) 68 (59, 74)
+ Event rates based on crude rates in each interval.
* Absolute risk reduction and relative risk reduction based on Mantel-Haenszel method adjusting for age group variable.

Prolia was effective in reducing the risk for new morphometric vertebral fractures regardless of age, baseline rate of bone turnover, baseline BMD, baseline history of fracture, or prior use of a drug for osteoporosis.

Effect on Hip Fractures

The incidence of hip fracture was 1.2% for placebo-treated women compared to 0.7% for Prolia-treated women at year 3. The age-adjusted absolute risk reduction of hip fractures was 0.3% with a relative risk reduction of 40% at 3 years (p = 0.04) (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Cumulative Incidence of Hip Fractures Over 3 Years

Cumulative Incidence of Hip Fractures Over 3 Years - Illustration

Effect on Nonvertebral Fractures

Treatment with Prolia resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of nonvertebral fractures (Table 3).

Table 3: The Effect of Prolia on the Incidence of Nonvertebral Fractures at Year 3

  Proportion of Women With F racture (%)+ Absolute Risk Reduction (%) (95% CI) Relative Risk Reduction (%) (95% CI)
Placebo
N = 3906
(%)
Prolia
N = 3902
(%)
Nonvertebral fracture1 8.0 6.5 1.5 (0.3, 2.7) 20 (5, 33)*
+ Event rates based on Kaplan-Meier estimates at 3 years.
1Excluding those of the vertebrae (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar), skull, facial, mandible, metacarpus, and finger and toe phalanges.
* p-value = 0.01.

Effect on Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

Treatment with Prolia significantly increased BMD at all anatomic sites measured at 3 years. The treatment differences in BMD at 3 years were 8.8% at the lumbar spine, 6.4% at the total hip, and 5.2% at the femoral neck. Consistent effects on BMD were observed at the lumbar spine, regardless of baseline age, race, weight/body mass index (BMI), baseline BMD, and level of bone turnover.

After Prolia discontinuation, BMD returned to approximately baseline levels within 12 months.

Bone Histology and Histomorphometry

A total of 115 transiliac crest bone biopsy specimens were obtained from 92 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at either month 24 and/or month 36 (53 specimens in Prolia group, 62 specimens in placebo group). Of the biopsies obtained, 115 (100%) were adequate for qualitative histology and 7 (6%) were adequate for full quantitative histomorphometry assessment.

Qualitative histology assessments showed normal architecture and quality with no evidence of mineralization defects, woven bone, or marrow fibrosis in patients treated with Prolia.

The presence of double tetracycline labeling in a biopsy specimen provides an indication of active bone remodeling, while the absence of tetracycline label suggests suppressed bone formation. In patients treated with Prolia, 35% had no tetracycline label present at the month 24 biopsy and 38% had no tetracycline label present at the month 36 biopsy, while 100% of placebo-treated patients had double label present at both time points. When compared to placebo, treatment with Prolia resulted in virtually absent activation frequency and markedly reduced bone formation rates. However, the long-term consequences of this degree of suppression of bone remodeling are unknown.

Treatment To Increase Bone Mass In Men with Osteoporosis

The efficacy and safety of Prolia in the treatment to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis was demonstrated in a 1-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Enrolled men had a baseline BMD T-score between -2.0 and -3.5 at the lumbar spine or femoral neck. Men with a BMD T-score between -1.0 and -3.5 at the lumbar spine or femoral neck were also enrolled if there was a history of prior fragility fracture. Men with other diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and Paget's disease) or on therapies that may affect bone were excluded from this study. The 242 men enrolled in the study ranged in age from 31 to 84 years with a mean age of 65 years. Men were randomized to receive SC injections of either placebo (n = 121) or Prolia 60 mg (n = 121) once every 6 months. All men received at least 1000 mg calcium and at least 800 IU vitamin D supplementation daily.

Effect on Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

The primary efficacy variable was percent change in lumbar spine BMD from baseline to 1 year. Secondary efficacy variables included percent change in total hip, and femoral neck BMD from baseline to 1 year.

Treatment with Prolia significantly increased BMD at 1 year. The treatment differences in BMD at 1 year were 4.8% (+0.9% placebo, +5.7% Prolia; (95% CI: 4.0, 5.6); p < 0.0001) at the lumbar spine, 2.0% (+0.3% placebo, +2.4% Prolia) at the total hip, and 2.2% (0.0% placebo, +2.1% Prolia) at femoral neck. Consistent effects on BMD were observed at the lumbar spine regardless of baseline age, race, BMD, testosterone concentrations and level of bone turnover.

Bone Histology and Histomorphometry

A total of 29 transiliac crest bone biopsy specimens were obtained from men with osteoporosis at 12 months (17 specimens in Prolia group, 12 specimens in placebo group). Of the biopsies obtained, 29 (100%) were adequate for qualitative histology and, in Prolia patients, 6 (35%) were adequate for full quantitative histomorphometry assessment. Qualitative histology assessments showed normal architecture and quality with no evidence of mineralization defects, woven bone, or marrow fibrosis in patients treated with Prolia. The presence of double tetracycline labeling in a biopsy specimen provides an indication of active bone remodeling, while the absence of tetracycline label suggests suppressed bone formation. In patients treated with Prolia, 6% had no tetracycline label present at the month 12 biopsy, while 100% of placebo-treated patients had double label present. When compared to placebo, treatment with Prolia resulted in markedly reduced bone formation rates. However, the long-term consequences of this degree of suppression of bone remodeling are unknown.

Treatment Of Bone Loss In Men With Prostate Cancer

The efficacy and safety of Prolia in the treatment of bone loss in men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) were demonstrated in a 3-year, randomized (1:1), double-blind, placebo-controlled, multinational study. Men less than 70 years of age had either a BMD T-score at the lumbar spine, total hip, or femoral neck between -1.0 and -4.0, or a history of an osteoporotic fracture. The mean baseline lumbar spine BMD T-score was -0.4, and 22% of men had a vertebral fracture at baseline. The 1468 men enrolled ranged in age from 48 to 97 years (median 76 years). Men were randomized to receive subcutaneous injections of either placebo (n = 734) or Prolia 60 mg (n = 734) once every 6 months for a total of 6 doses. Randomization was stratified by age ( < 70 years vs. ≥ 70 years) and duration of ADT at trial entry ( ≤ 6 months vs. > 6 months). Seventy-nine percent of patients received ADT for more than 6 months at study entry. All men received at least 1000 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D supplementation daily.

Effect on Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

The primary efficacy variable was percent change in lumbar spine BMD from baseline to month 24. An additional key secondary efficacy variable was the incidence of new vertebral fracture through month 36 diagnosed based on x-ray evaluation by two independent radiologists. Lumbar spine BMD was higher at 2 years in Prolia-treated patients as compared to placebo-treated patients [-1.0% placebo, +5.6% Prolia; treatment difference 6.7% (95% CI: 6.2, 7.1); p < 0.0001].

With approximately 62% of patients followed for 3 years, treatment differences in BMD at 3 years were 7.9% (-1.2% placebo, +6.8% Prolia) at the lumbar spine, 5.7% (-2.6% placebo, +3.2% Prolia) at the total hip, and 4.9% (-1.8% placebo, +3.0% Prolia) at the femoral neck. Consistent effects on BMD were observed at the lumbar spine in relevant subgroups defined by baseline age, BMD, and baseline history of vertebral fracture.

Effect on Vertebral Fractures

Prolia significantly reduced the incidence of new vertebral fractures at 3 years (p = 0.0125), as shown in Table 4.

Table 4: The Effect of Prolia on the Incidence of New Vertebral Fractures in Men with Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer

  Proportion of Men With F racture (%)+ Absolute Risk Reduction (%)* (95% CI) Relative Risk Reduction (%)*(95% CI)
Placebo
N = 673 (%)
Prolia
N = 679 (%)
0-1 Year 1.9 0.3 1.6 (0.5, 2.8) 85 (33, 97)
0-2 Years 3.3 1.0 2.2 (0.7, 3.8) 69 (27, 86)
0-3 Years 3.9 1.5 2.4 (0.7, 4.1) 62 (22, 81)
+ Event rates based on crude rates in each interval.
* Absolute risk reduction and relative risk reduction based on Mantel-Haenszel method adjusting for age group and ADT duration variables.

Treatment Of Bone Loss In Women With Breast Cancer

The efficacy and safety of Prolia in the treatment of bone loss in women receiving adjuvant aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy for breast cancer was assessed in a 2-year, randomized (1:1), double-blind, placebo-controlled, multinational study. Women had baseline BMD T-scores between -1.0 to -2.5 at the lumbar spine, total hip, or femoral neck, and had not experienced fracture after age 25. The mean baseline lumbar spine BMD T-score was -1.1, and 2.0% of women had a vertebral fracture at baseline. The 252 women enrolled ranged in age from 35 to 84 years (median 59 years). Women were randomized to receive subcutaneous injections of either placebo (n = 125) or Prolia 60 mg (n = 127) once every 6 months for a total of 4 doses. Randomization was stratified by duration of adjuvant AI therapy at trial entry ( ≤ 6 months vs. > 6 months). Sixty-two percent of patients received adjuvant AI therapy for more than 6 months at study entry. All women received at least 1000 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D supplementation daily.

Effect on Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

The primary efficacy variable was percent change in lumbar spine BMD from baseline to month 12. Lumbar spine BMD was higher at 12 months in Prolia-treated patients as compared to placebo-treated patients [-0.7% placebo, +4.8% Prolia; treatment difference 5.5% (95% CI: 4.8, 6.3); p < 0.0001].

With approximately 81% of patients followed for 2 years, treatment differences in BMD at 2 years were 7.6% (-1.4% placebo, +6.2% Prolia) at the lumbar spine, 4.7 % (-1.0% placebo, +3.8% Prolia) at the total hip, and 3.6% (-0.8% placebo, +2.8% Prolia) at the femoral neck.

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/30/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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