Novartis announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Signifor long-acting release (LAR) (pasireotide) for injectable suspension, for intramuscular use, for the treatment of patients with acromegaly who have had an inadequate response to surgery and/or for whom surgery is not an option. The approval of Signifor LAR, a next-generation somatostatin analog (SSA), helps address a critical unmet need among the acromegaly patient population. Signifor LAR has been studied and found effective in both medically naive patients with acromegaly who have had prior surgery or for whom surgery was not an option, as well as patients whose disease is not fully controlled on first generation SSAs.
Acromegaly is a rare, debilitating endocrine disorder caused by the excess production of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). In the majority of cases, the disease is caused by a non-cancerous tumor on the pituitary gland. Prolonged exposure to GH and IGF-1 may cause patients to experience extreme physical changes including the enlargement of hands, feet and facial features.
Acromegaly is also associated with two- to three-fold increased mortality rates and serious health complications, including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and colon cancer. In fact, heart disease is responsible for approximately 60% of deaths among people with acromegaly.
“Treating acromegaly can be extremely challenging and the consequences of inadequate normalization of hormone levels can be serious for patients,” said Dr. Monica Gadelha, Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and pivotal trial study author. “With the approval of Signifor LAR, physicians now have a new acromegaly therapy that provides an enhanced mechanism to address elevated hormone levels. This is a significant achievement and much welcomed news for patients with acromegaly.”