PPMD is thrilled to learn that the FDA has granted accelerated approval to NS Pharma’s VILTEPSO™ (viltolarsen), a treatment of Duchenne in patients who have a confirmed mutation of the DMD gene that is amenable to exon 53 skipping. VILTEPSO™ is administered by a trained healthcare professional as an 80 mg per kg of body weight 60-minute weekly intravenous infusion.
This is the second FDA-approved targeted treatment for patients with this type of mutation and the fourth approval in the Duchenne community. Approximately 8% of patients with Duchenne have a mutation that is amenable to exon 53 skipping.
What Does Accelerated Approval Mean?
The FDA Accelerated Approval Program was established in 1992 to allow for products that meet regulatory rigor based on efficacy of a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to have clinical benefit for select patient communities in which there is significant unmet need.
By definition, limited clinical data for products approved through accelerated approval will exist at the time of approval and in early stages of the Phase 4 environment. In these circumstances, this lack of clinical data is not a reflection of the robustness of the therapy, but rather the regulatory review pathway agreed upon by the product developer and the Food and Drug Administration.
VILTEPSO™ is now an approved therapy and is no longer considered an investigational product.
VILTEPSO™ has been approved utilizing the Accelerated Approval pathway on the surrogate outcome measure of dystrophin production and the assessment by regulatory experts that dystrophin production in a disease caused by its absence is ‘reasonably likely to have clinical benefit’.
This demonstration of clinical benefit will depend upon product availability to amenable patients enabling the collection of data on long term outcomes. PPMD and the Duchenne clinical expert community – as convened by the leaders of the Certified Duchenne Care Centers – assert that coverage of a drug must reflect the FDA approval status of a drug.
PPMD launched an Access & Coverage Resources section of our site in order to inform the community about the process of accessing approved therapies for Duchenne. In addition, we have recorded webinars about navigating the access ecosystem and the many stakeholders involved in this new access and coverage landscape. These webinars feature speakers with decades of experience in payer, pharmacy, access, and reimbursement issues, and provide community members with a deep understanding of access considerations, an overview of current policy issues with potential impact coverage, and tools to empower personal access.
We will immediately begin folding VILTEPSO™ into our resource pages in an effort to curate answers to our community’s questions regarding access, coverage, and pricing. PPMD is committed to working towards community access to all approved products and will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure a favorable access environment for our community.
For 25 years, PPMD has been working with researchers, clinicians, industry and the Duchenne community to find treatments for all people living with Duchenne. And while we need to ensure that these approved therapies are accessible for patients, today we celebrate this approval and thank NS Pharma for their continued leadership in the fight to end Duchenne.
Join Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and NS Pharma for a webinar Wednesday, August 26 at 1pm eastern to learn more about VILTEPSO™ from Ben Yungher, PhD, NS Pharma’s Medical Science Liaison, and its associated patient support program from Randy McGonigal, NS Pharma’s Director of Market Access.Register for the Webinar >