Obeticholic Acid: A Farnesoid X Receptor Agonist for Primary Biliary Cholangitis.
ABSTRACT: Objective: To review the pharmacology, efficacy, and safety of obeticholic acid (OCA) and determine its clinical role relative to other agents in the treatment of patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). Data Sources: A PubMed search (1946 to November 2016) was conducted using the terms INT-747, obeticholic acid, OCA, farnesoid X receptor agonists, FXR agonists, primary biliary cirrhosis, and primary biliary cholangitis. Study Selection and Data Extraction: Phase II and III studies evaluating the use of OCA in PBC patients were included in this review. Data Synthesis: OCA, a farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonist, is indicated for adult patients with PBC in combination with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) or as monotherapy if unable to tolerate UDCA. Two clinical trials were identified evaluating OCA for the treatment of PBC. Study end points utilized biochemical markers (alkaline phosphatase [ALP] and bilirubin). A phase II study (n = 165) to determine efficacy and safety of OCA at 3 different doses (10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg) demonstrated statistically significant reductions in ALP (P < .0001 for all OCA groups versus placebo) after 12 weeks. A phase III trial (n = 217) assessed lower OCA doses (5 mg and 10 mg) with a longer study duration (12 months). Statistically significant differences (P < .001) between the 5 to 10 mg group (46%) and the 10 mg group (47%) compared to the placebo group (10%) were found. The primary adverse effect reported in both trials was pruritus. Conclusions: OCA is the first FXR agonist approved for the treatment of PBC. Ongoing research to evaluate clinical outcomes with OCA is currently underway.
Project description:Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is an autoimmune inflammatory liver disease of the interlobular bile ducts that can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Until recently, the only effective treatment was ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). However, up to 40% of PBC patients have an inadequate response to UDCA and may continue to have disease progression. Several models have been developed, including the UK-PBC and GLOBE scores, to assist in identifying patients who may benefit from second-line therapies, such as the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonist obeticholic acid (OCA). The addition of OCA can significantly improve serum alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin, which are strong surrogate markers of clinical outcomes in PBC. Other alternatives, including the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-? agonists fenofibrate and bezafibrate, may also improve liver biochemistries in PBC patients with an inadequate response to UDCA, but further study is needed to demonstrate their safety and long-term efficacy. Other novel agents, including those targeting the FXR pathway and PPAR-? agonists, have shown promising results and may alter the therapeutic landscape of PBC in the near future. For now, OCA remains the only approved second-line agent for PBC patients with an inadequate response to UDCA while results of long-term studies of its safety and clinical benefit are awaited.
Project description:Obeticholic acid (OCA) is a semisynthetic farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonist, an analogue of chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) which is indicated for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in combination with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). OCA efficiently inhibits bile acid synthesis and promotes bile acid efflux via activating FXR-mediated mechanisms in a physiologically relevant in vitro cell system, Sandwich-cultured Transporter Certified ™ human primary hepatocytes (SCHH). The study herein evaluated the effects of UDCA alone or in combination with OCA in SCHH. UDCA (?100 ?mol/L) alone did not inhibit CYP7A1 mRNA, and thus, no reduction in the endogenous bile acid pool observed. UDCA ?100 ?mol/L concomitantly administered with 0.1 ?mol/L OCA had no effect on bile acid synthesis beyond what was observed with OCA alone. Furthermore, this study evaluated human Caco-2 cells (clone C2BBe1) as in vitro intestinal models. Glycine conjugate of OCA increased mRNA levels of FXR target genes in Caco-2 cells, FGF-19, SHP, OST?/?, and IBABP, but not ASBT, in a concentration-dependent manner, while glycine conjugate of UDCA had no effect on the expression of these genes. The results suggested that UDCA ?100 ?mol/L did not activate FXR in human primary hepatocytes or intestinal cell line Caco-2. Thus, co-administration of UDCA with OCA did not affect OCA-dependent pharmacological effects.
Project description:Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), previously known as primary biliary "cirrhosis", is a rare autoimmune liver disease characterized by the hallmark autoantibodies to mitochondrial antigens and immune-mediated destruction of small bile duct epithelial cells leading to cholestasis and cirrhosis. Surprisingly, while immune modulators have not been effective in the treatment of PBC, supplementation with the hydrophilic bile acid (BA) ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) has been demonstrated to slow the disease progression. However, a significant minority of PBC patients do not have a complete response to UDCA and remain at risk of continued disease progression. Although the mechanisms of action are not well understood, UDCA provided proof of concept for BA therapy in PBC. Obeticholic acid (OCA), a novel derivative of the human BA chenodeoxycholic acid, is a potent agonist of the nuclear hormone receptor farnesoid X receptor, which regulates BA synthesis and transport. A series of clinical trials of OCA in PBC, primarily in combination with UDCA, have established that OCA leads to significant reductions in serum alkaline phosphatase that are predicted to lead to improved clinical outcomes, while dose-dependent pruritus has been the most common adverse effect. On the basis of these studies, OCA was given conditional approval by the US Food and Drug Administration with plans to establish the long-term clinical efficacy of OCA in patients with advanced PBC.
Project description:Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a rare autoimmune cholestatic liver disease that may progress to fibrosis or cirrhosis. Treatment options are currently limited. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) remains first-line therapy and has been proven to normalize serum biochemistries, halt histologic disease progression, and lead to patient survival comparable to the general population. Obeticholic acid (OCA) was recently approved as adjunct therapy in PBC patients with inadequate response or intolerance to UDCA. However, OCA has been associated with worsening pruritus in clinical studies which may limit its use in this patient population. Several studies are currently underway to address the lack of treatment options for PBC. Of these, fibrates, which have been used in Japan for over a decade, have produced promising results. Furthermore, as currently approved therapies for PBC do not address the potentially debilitating clinical symptoms of PBC such as pruritus and fatigue, supplemental therapy is often required for symptom control.
Project description:Primary biliary cholangitis (formerly known as primary biliary cirrhosis, PBC) is an autoimmune liver disease in which a cycle of immune mediated biliary epithelial cell injury, cholestasis and progressive fibrosis can culminate over time in an end-stage biliary cirrhosis. Both genetic and environmental influences are presumed relevant to disease initiation. PBC is most prevalent in women and those over the age of 50, but a spectrum of disease is recognised in adult patients globally; male sex, younger age at onset (<45) and advanced disease at presentation are baseline predictors of poorer outcome. As the disease is increasingly diagnosed through the combination of cholestatic serum liver tests and the presence of antimitochondrial antibodies, most presenting patients are not cirrhotic and the term cholangitis is more accurate. Disease course is frequently accompanied by symptoms that can be burdensome for patients, and management of patients with PBC must address, in a life-long manner, both disease progression and symptom burden. Licensed therapies include ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and obeticholic acid (OCA), alongside experimental new and re-purposed agents. Disease management focuses on initiation of UDCA for all patients and risk stratification based on baseline and on-treatment factors, including in particular the response to treatment. Those intolerant of treatment with UDCA or those with high-risk disease as evidenced by UDCA treatment failure (frequently reflected in trial and clinical practice as an alkaline phosphatase >1.67?× upper limit of normal and/or elevated bilirubin) should be considered for second-line therapy, of which OCA is the only currently licensed National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended agent. Follow-up of patients is life-long and must address treatment of the disease and management of associated symptoms.
Project description:The main treatments for patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are currently based on lifestyle changes, including ponderal decrease and dietary management. However, a subgroup of patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), who are unable to modify their lifestyle successfully, may benefit from pharmaceutical support. Several drugs targeting pathogenic mechanisms of NAFLD have been evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of NASH. Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear key regulator controlling several processes of the hepatic metabolism. NAFLD has been proven to be associated with abnormal FXR activity. Obeticholic acid (OCA) is a first-in-class selective FXR agonist with anticholestatic and hepato-protective properties. Currently, OCA is registered for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis. However, promising effects of OCA on NASH and its metabolic features have been reported in several studies.
Project description:Patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) with incomplete response to ursodeoxycholic acid are at risk of disease progression and need additional therapy. Obeticholic acid (OCA) was approved in Canada in May 2017, but its effectiveness in a real-world setting has not been described. We sought to describe our experience with OCA in a Canadian cohort. OCA-naive patients treated at two Canadian centers were included. Clinical and biochemical data were collected at OCA initiation and during follow-up. Primary outcomes were changes in serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), and total bilirubin (TB) over the duration of therapy. Secondary outcomes were changes in alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), immunoglobulin M (IgM), platelets, and albumin; and achievement of the primary endpoint of the original phase 3 study that led to OCA approval (A Placebo-Controlled Trial of Obeticholic Acid in Primary Biliary Cholangitis [POISE]), dose reductions, discontinuations, and tolerability. Repeated-measures models were used to assess changes in biochemistry over time. Sixty-four patients were included; 4 carried a diagnosis of overlap with autoimmune hepatitis. Mean age was 54.6 years, median ALP was 250 U/L, TB was 13 µmol/L, platelet count was 225 × 109/L, and 24% had liver stiffness measurements ?16.9 kPa. There was a significant reduction in mean ALP of 55 U/L (P < 0.001), GGT of 138 U/L (P < 0.001), ALT of 11.9 U/L (P < 0.001), AST of 5.7 U/L (P < 0.05), and IgM of 0.70 g/L (P < 0.001) over 12 months; TB remained stable (P = 0.98). Forty-four patients met POISE-inclusion criteria, 39% (n = 17) of whom had 12-month biochemical measurements. In this subset, 18% (n = 3/17) met the 12-month POISE primary endpoint, but considering follow-up to 19 months, 43% achieved this target (n = 9/21). Pruritus was the most commonly reported complaint. Conclusion: Use of OCA was associated with improvement in biochemical surrogates of outcome in PBC in a real-world setting.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Obeticholic acid (OCA), a potent and selective farnesoid X receptor agonist, is indicated for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). We investigated the potential drug-drug interaction effect of OCA on metabolic CYP450 enzymes and drug transporters. METHODS:Five phase 1 single-center, open-label, fixed-sequence, inpatient studies were conducted in healthy adult subjects to evaluate the effect of oral daily doses of 10 or 25 mg OCA on single-dose plasma pharmacokinetics of specific probe substrates for enzymes CYP1A2 (caffeine, R-warfarin), CYP3A (midazolam, R-warfarin), CYP2C9 (S-warfarin), CYP2D6 (dextromethorphan), CYP2C19 (omeprazole), and drug transporters, BCRP/OATP1B1/OATP1B3 (rosuvastatin), and P-gp (digoxin). RESULTS:OCA showed no substantial suppression/inhibition of S-warfarin, digoxin, and dextromethorphan and weak interactions with caffeine, omeprazole, rosuvastatin, and midazolam. The maximal pharmacodynamic responses (E max) to warfarin-based INR, PT, and aPTT were reduced by 11%, 11%, and 1%, respectively, for the 10-mg dose group and by 7%, 7% and 0%, respectively, for the 25-mg dose group. Overall, drugs dosed in combination with OCA were well tolerated, and most adverse events were mild in severity. No clinically important trends were noted in laboratory evaluations, vital signs, or 12-lead ECGs. CONCLUSION:In these studies, OCA showed weak to no suppression/inhibition of metabolic enzymes and drug transporters at the highest recommended therapeutic dose in patients with PBC. On the basis on these analyses, monitoring and maintenance of target INR range are required during coadministration of OCA with drugs that are metabolized by CYP1A2 (R-warfarin). FUNDING:Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Project description:<h4>Background & aims</h4>Biochemical markers, including GLOBE score and aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), are used to stratify risk in patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of obeticholic acid (OCA) on categorical shifts in GLOBE score, APRI, and both combined, based on data from POISE, a phase III placebo-controlled trial in patients with PBC who had an incomplete response or were intolerant to ursodeoxycholic acid.<h4>Methods</h4>In a <i>post hoc</i> analysis, baseline and Month 12 data from POISE were used to calculate the APRI and GLOBE score. Patients were stratified into 3 risk groups based on a combination of APRI (0.54) and GLOBE (0.3 or age-specific) thresholds.<h4>Results</h4>The analysis included 215 patients (47 low risk; 79 moderate risk; 89 high risk). Using the combined GLOBE score (threshold of 0.3) and APRI thresholds, there was improvement in ?1 risk stage in 37% and 35% of patients in the OCA 5-10 mg and 10 mg groups, respectively, <i>vs.</i> 12% in the placebo group (both <i>p</i> <0.05). Progression occurred in 10% and 0% in the 5-10 mg and 10 mg groups <i>vs.</i> 37% in the placebo group. Results with GLOBE age-specific thresholds were similar.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Based on change in APRI and GLOBE score at 12 months, OCA treatment is associated with reduction in the predicted risk of liver-related complications in patients with PBC.<h4>Lay summary</h4>Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a chronic disease affecting the liver. People who suffer from PBC are at risk of serious long-term complications. Information from certain blood tests can be used to estimate the likelihood of experiencing long-term complications. The results of this study showed that based on blood test results, people taking obeticholic acid, with or without ursodeoxycholic acid, for PBC were predicted to have a better outcome than those taking placebo.<h4>Clinical trials registration</h4>NCT01473524.
Project description:Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a chronic autoimmune liver disease. Approximately 30% of patients do not respond to therapy with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). Previous studies have implicated increased senescence of cholangiocytes in patients who do not respond to UDCA. This may increase the release of cytokines which drive pathogenic T cell polarization. As FXR agonists are beneficial in treating UDCA non-responsive patients, the current study was designed to model the interactions between cholangiocytes and CD4+ T cells to investigate potential immunomodulatory mechanisms of bile acid receptor agonists. Human cholangiocytes were co-cultured with CD4+ T cells to model the biliary stress response. Senescent cholangiocytes were able to polarize T cells toward a Th17 phenotype and suppressed expression of FoxP3 (P = 0.0043). Whilst FXR and TGR5 receptor agonists were unable directly to alter cholangiocyte cytokine expression, FGF19 was capable of significantly reducing IL-6 release (P = 0.044). Bile acid receptor expression was assessed in PBC patients with well-characterized responsiveness to UDCA therapy. A reduction in FXR staining was observed in both cholangiocytes and hepatocytes in PBC patients without adequate response to UDCA. Increased IL-6 expression by senescent cholangiocytes represents a potential mechanism by which biliary damage in PBC could contribute to excessive inflammation.