MIAMI, Nov. 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OPKO Health, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPK), today announced that it will commence shipments of RAYALDEE™ (calcifediol) extended-release capsules to distributors in the United States on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. The product will be available nationwide at retail pharmacies as early as Wednesday, November 30, 2016.
The U.S. launch of RAYALDEE follows the successful introduction of the product to thousands of nephrologists attending the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week Meeting last week in Chicago. RAYALDEE was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 17, 2016.
“The RAYALDEE launch represents a major milestone for OPKO,” commented Phillip Frost, M.D., CEO and Chairman ofOPKO. “RAYALDEE is the first product developed by OPKO to be commercialized by our own marketing and sales teams,and represents an important contribution to the care of patients with chronic kidney disease. Based on the highly positivereception of RAYALDEE by nephrologists attending the recent ASN meeting, we believe that RAYALDEE will become amainstay in the armamentarium of treatment options available for kidney disease patients.”
RAYALDEE (calcifediol) extended-release capsules are approved by the FDA for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in adult patients with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) and serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels less than 30 ng/mL. RAYALDEE is not indicated for the treatment of SHPT in patients with stage 5 CKD or end-stage renal disease on dialysis. RAYALDEE has a patented formulation and is designed to raise serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (prohormone) concentrations to targeted levels (at least 30 ng/mL) and to reduce elevated intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH). The full prescribing information for RAYALDEE is available at www.rayaldee.com.
Potential side effects of RAYALDEE include hypercalcemia (elevated serum calcium), which can also lead to digitalis toxicity, and adynamic bone disease with subsequent increased risk of fractures if intact PTH levels are suppressed by RAYALDEE to abnormally low levels. Severe hypercalcemia may require emergency attention; symptoms of hypercalcemia may include feeling tired, difficulty thinking clearly, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst, increased urination, and weight loss. Digitalis toxicity can be potentiated by hypercalcemia of any cause. Excessive administration of RAYALDEE can cause hypercalciuria, hypercalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, or oversuppression of iPTH. Common symptoms of vitamin D overdosage may include constipation, decreased appetite, dehydration, fatigue, irritability, muscle weakness, or vomiting. Patients concomitantly taking cytochrome P450 inhibitors, thiazides, cholestyramine, phenobarbital or other anticonvulsants may require dose adjustments and more frequent monitoring.
The most common adverse reactions in clinical trials (≥3% and more frequent than placebo) were anemia, nasopharyngitis, increased blood creatinine, dyspnea, cough, congestive heart failure and constipation.
About Chronic Kidney Disease:
CKD is a condition characterized by a progressive decline in kidney function. The kidney is normally responsible for excreting waste and excess water from the body, and for regulating various hormones. CKD is classified in five stages — mild (stage 1) to severe (stage 5) disease — as measured by the kidney’s glomerular filtration rate. According to the National Kidney Foundation, CKD afflicts over 26 million people in the U.S., including more than 20 million patients with moderate (stages 3 or 4) and severe (stage 5) forms of CKD. In stage 5 CKD, kidney function is minimal to absent and patients require regular dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival. RAYALDEE is only indicated for treating SHPT in patients with stage 3 or stage 4 CKD.
About Secondary Hyperparathyroidism (SHPT):
SHPT is a condition commonly associated with CKD in which the parathyroid glands secrete excessive amounts of iPTH.
SHPT arises as a result of vitamin D insufficiency or impaired kidney function that prevents sufficient production of vitamin D hormone to properly regulate calcium and phosphorus metabolism, and PTH secretion. Prolonged elevation of blood PTH causes excessive calcium and phosphorus to be released from bone, leading to elevated serum calcium and phosphorus, softening of the bones (osteomalacia) and calcification of vascular and renal tissues. SHPT affects 40-60% of patients with moderate CKD and approximately 90% of patients with severe CKD.
About Vitamin D Insufficiency:
Vitamin D insufficiency is a condition in which the body has low vitamin D stores, characterized by inadequate blood levels of vitamin D prohormone, known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D. An estimated 70-90% of CKD patients have vitamin D insufficiency, which can lead to SHPT and resultant debilitating bone diseases. Vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with increased mortality in CKD.
About OPKO Health, Inc:
OPKO Health is a diversified healthcare company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets. Our diagnostics business includes Bio-Reference Laboratories, the nation’s third-largest clinical laboratory with a core genetic testing business and a 420-person sales force to drive growth and leverage new products, including the 4Kscore® prostate cancer test and the Claros® 1 in-office immunoassay platform. Our pharmaceutical business features RAYALDEE, an FDA-approved treatment for SHPT in stage 3-4 CKD patients with vitamin D insufficiency, VARUBI™ for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (oral formulation launched by partner TESARO and IV formulation PDUFA date: January 2017), TT401, a once or twice weekly oxyntomodulin for type 2 diabetes and obesity which is a clinically advanced drug candidate among the new class of GLP-1 glucagon receptor dual agonists, and TT701, an androgen receptor modulator for androgen deficiency indications. Our biologics business includes hGH-CTP, a once-weekly human growth hormone injection (in phase 3 and partnered with Pfizer), a long-acting Factor VIIa drug for hemophilia (in phase 2a) and a long-acting oxyntomodulin for diabetes and obesity (in phase 1). We also have production and distribution assets worldwide, multiple strategic investments and an active business development strategy. More information is available at
This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), regarding product commercialization efforts and other non-historical facts about our expectations, beliefs or intentions regarding our business, technologies and products, financial condition, strategies or prospects, including statements regarding the anticipated launch and availability of RAYALDEE, that RAYALDEE will effectively control secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease, whether RAYALDEE will be safe and effective in controlling SHPT, and the market potential for RAYALDEE. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly any factors that could affect the availability or commercial potential of RAYALDEE, as well as risks inherent in funding, developing and obtaining regulatory approvals of new, commercially-viable and competitive products and treatments, including the risks that others may develop products which are superior to RAYALDEE, and that RAYALDEE may not have advantages or prove to be superior over presently marketed products, including the currently used high monthly doses of prescription vitamin D2, activated vitamin D hormone and over-the-counter vitamin D supplements. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be adversely affected by general market factors, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and legislation, the regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, patent positions and litigation, among other factors. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA.