fgen-10k_20151231.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K 

 

(Mark One)

x

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015

OR

o

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from            to           .

Commission file number: 001-36740 

 

FIBROGEN, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter) 

 

 

Delaware

 

77-0357827

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

409 Illinois Street

San Francisco, CA

 

94158

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(zip code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:

(415) 978-1200 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: 

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, $0.01 par value

 

The NASDAQ Global Select Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    No  o

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  o     No  x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x     No  o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x     No  o

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:

 

Large accelerated filer

 

x

  

Accelerated filer

 

o

Non-accelerated filer

 

o  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

  

Smaller reporting company

 

o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Exchange Act Rule 12b-2).    Yes  o    No  x

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant, computed by reference to the closing price as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, June 30, 2015, was approximately $1,151.1 million. Shares of Common Stock held by each executive officer and director and stockholders known by the registrant to own 10% or more of the outstanding stock based on public filings and other information known to the registrant have been excluded since such persons may be deemed affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

The number of shares of common stock outstanding as of January 31, 2016 was 62,074,139.

 

 

 

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

  

3

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

  

80

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

  

119

Item 2.

 

Properties

  

119

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

  

119

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

  

119

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

  

120

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

  

122

Item 7.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

  

124

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risk

  

142

Item 8.

 

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

  

143

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosures

  

178

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

  

178

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

  

178

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

  

179

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

  

179

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

  

179

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

  

179

Item 14.

 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

  

179

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

  

180

 

 

Signatures

  

181

 

 

Exhibit Index

  

183

 

 

 

1


 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report filed on Form 10-K and the information incorporated herein by reference, particularly in the sections captioned “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business,” contains forward-looking statements, which involve substantial risks and uncertainties. In this Annual Report, all statements other than statements of historical or present facts contained in this Annual Report, including statements regarding our future financial condition, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “believe,” “will,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “contemplate,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “should,” “plan,” “expect,” “predict,” “could,” “potentially” or the negative of these terms or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements appear in a number of places throughout this Annual Report and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things, our ongoing and planned preclinical development and clinical trials, the timing of and our ability to make regulatory filings and obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for roxadustat, FG-3019 and our other product candidates, our intellectual property position, the potential safety, efficacy, reimbursement, convenience clinical and pharmaco-economic benefits of our product candidates, the potential markets for any of our product candidates, our ability to develop commercial functions, our ability to operate in China, expectations regarding clinical trial data, our results of operations, cash needs, spending of the proceeds from our initial public offering and the concurrent private placement, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth and strategies, the industry in which we operate and the trends that may affect the industry or us. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions described in the section of this Annual Report captioned “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report.

These risks are not exhaustive. Other sections of this Annual Report may include additional factors that could adversely impact our business and financial performance. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in, or implied by, any forward-looking statements.

You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We cannot assure you that the events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report are based on circumstances as of the date on which the statements are made. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this Annual Report or to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations.

This Annual Report also contains market data, research, industry forecasts and other similar information obtained from or based on industry reports and publications, including information concerning our industry, our business, and the potential markets for our product candidates, including data regarding the estimated size and patient populations of those and related markets, their projected growth rates and the incidence of certain medical conditions, as well as physician and patient practices within the related markets. Such data and information involve a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to such estimates.

You should read this Annual Report with the understanding that our actual future results, levels of activity, performance and achievements may be materially different from what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

 

 

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PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

OVERVIEW

We are a research-based, biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapeutic agents to treat serious unmet medical needs. We have capitalized on our extensive experience in fibrosis and hypoxia inducible factor (“HIF”), biology to generate multiple programs targeting various therapeutic areas. Our most advanced product candidate, roxadustat, or FG-4592, is an oral small molecule inhibitor of HIF prolyl hydroxylases (“HIF-PHs”), in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of anemia in chronic kidney disease (“CKD”). Our second product candidate, FG-3019, is a monoclonal antibody in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (“IPF”), pancreatic cancer, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (“DMD”) and liver fibrosis. We have taken a global approach to the development and future commercialization of our product candidates, and this includes development and commercialization in the People’s Republic of China (“China”).

We intend to leverage our extensive experience in fibrosis and HIF biology to build a successful biopharmaceutical company with a strong pipeline of products and product candidates for the treatment of anemia, fibrosis, cancer, corneal blindness and other serious unmet medical needs. The chart below is a summary of our most advanced product candidates:

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ROXADUSTAT FOR THE TREATMENT OF ANEMIA IN CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE

Roxadustat is an internally discovered HIF-PH inhibitor that acts by stimulating the body’s natural pathway of erythropoiesis, or red blood cell production. Roxadustat, the first HIF-PH inhibitor to enter Phase 3 clinical development, represents a new paradigm for the treatment of anemia in CKD patients, with the potential to offer a safer, more effective, more convenient and more accessible therapy than the current therapies available for anemia in CKD, such as injectable erythropoiesis stimulating agents (“ESAs”).

Roxadustat is currently in Phase 3 global development for the treatment of anemia in patients with CKD. Over 1,400 subjects have participated in 26 completed Phase 1 and 2 clinical studies for roxadustat in North America, Europe and Asia. These studies have demonstrated roxadustat’s potential for a favorable safety and efficacy profile in anemic CKD patients, both those who are dialysis-dependent (“DD-CKD’), including hyporesponsive patients, and those who are not dialysis-dependent (“NDD-CKD”). According to IMS Health, 2013 global ESA sales in all anemia indications totaled $8.6 billion. While the use of ESAs to treat anemia in CKD has largely been limited to use in DD-CKD patients, we and our partners believe that, as an oral agent with a potentially more favorable safety profile, roxadustat could increase accessibility and expand the market for anemia treatment by penetrating the NDD-CKD market. In the longer term, we believe roxadustat has the potential to address non-CKD anemia markets, including chemotherapy-induced anemia, anemia related to inflammation (such as inflammatory bowel disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis), myelodysplastic syndrome (“MDS”), and surgical procedures requiring transfusions.

We, along with our collaboration partners Astellas Pharma Inc. (“Astellas”), and AstraZeneca AB (“AstraZeneca”), have designed a global Phase 3 program to support regulatory approval of roxadustat in both NDD-CKD and DD-CKD patients in the United States (“U.S.”), the European Union (“EU”), Japan and China. Our U.S. and EU Phase 3 program has an aggregate target enrollment of approximately 7,000 to 8,000 patients worldwide and is the largest Phase 3 clinical program ever conducted for an anemia product candidate. Our Phase 3 program is also designed and sized for, and will incorporate major adverse cardiac events (“MACE”), composite safety endpoints that we believe will be required for approval in the U.S. for all new anemia therapies. Our Phase 3 program will study multiple patient populations, including patients within the first four months of initiating dialysis, or incident dialysis, and non-incident, or stable, dialysis patients and will include multiple NDD-CKD studies comparing roxadustat against placebo control.

Background of Anemia in CKD

Anemia is a serious medical condition in which patients have insufficient red blood cells and low levels of hemoglobin (“Hb”), a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells throughout the body. Anemia is associated with increased risks of hospitalization, cardiovascular complications, need for blood transfusion, exacerbation of other serious medical conditions and death. In addition, anemia frequently leads to significant fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and decreased quality of life. The more severe the anemia, as measured in lower Hb levels, the greater the health impact on patients. Severe anemia is common in patients with CKD, cancer, MDS, inflammatory diseases, and other serious illnesses. Even when it accompanies prevalent and serious diseases, anemia is often not effectively treated.

Anemia is particularly prevalent in patients with CKD, which is a critical healthcare problem and is most commonly caused by diabetes and hypertension in the U.S. and Europe. CKD affects over 200 million people worldwide and anemia significantly increases healthcare costs for those patients. CKD is generally a progressive disease characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function that may eventually lead to kidney failure, also known as end stage renal disease (“ESRD”). Patients with ESRD require renal replacement therapy — either dialysis treatment or kidney transplantation. CKD accompanied by anemia is associated with worse health outcomes than CKD alone, including more rapid progression of CKD and increased death rate. There are 5 stages of CKD which are primarily defined by a measure of the filtration function of the kidney (GFR).

4


 

Stages of CKD and Prevalence in the United States

 

*

US prevalence is estimated for adults 20 years of age or older

GFR: Glomerular Filtration Rate (ml/min/1.73m2)

Sources: The prevalence of stage 1 through stage 4 CKD was calculated based on 2013 estimates by the United States Renal Data System (“USRDS”) presented in the 2015 USRDS annual data report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States (“2015 USRDS ADR”), using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (“NHANES”) 2007-2012 and 2013 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The prevalence of stage 5 CKD was calculated based on 2013 data from the 2015 USRDS ADR using data from the U.S. National ESRD database, NHANES 2007-2012 and 2013 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The prevalence rate of anemia in patients with Hb<12 g/dL is set forth below.

Sources: The prevalence of anemia in stage 1 through stage 4 CKD and stage 5 NDD-CKD were derived from Stauffer and Fan, Prevalence of Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, PLoS ONE (2014). The prevalence of anemia in patients undergoing dialysis was derived from Goodkin et al, Naturally Occurring Higher Hemoglobin Concentration Does Not Increase Mortality among Hemodialysis Patients, J Am Soc Nephrol (2011).

In the U.S., according to the USRDS, a majority of dialysis eligible CKD patients are currently on dialysis. According to USRDS data as of 2013, approximately 470,000 patients were receiving dialysis in the U.S., of whom approximately 80% were being treated with ESAs for anemia. Despite the presence of anemia in stages 3 and 4 CKD patients, in clinical practice, patients typically do not receive ESA treatment for their anemia until they initiate dialysis. Approximately 16% of U.S. NDD-CKD patients were being treated with ESAs prior to initiation of dialysis as of 2013 (2015 USRDS ADR). In many CKD patients, the disease progresses gradually over decades and, therefore, patients can spend years suffering from the symptoms and negative health impacts of anemia before they receive treatment. Many of these patients die from cardiovascular events before they initiate dialysis.

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Limitations of the Current Standard of Care for Anemia in CKD

Current therapies to treat anemia in CKD include injectable ESAs, intravenous iron (“IV iron”), oral iron and blood transfusions. ESAs have been used in the treatment of anemia in CKD for over 20 years and are administered intravenously or subcutaneously, typically in conjunction with IV iron. NDD-CKD patients who are not under the care of nephrologists, including those with diabetes and hypertension, do not typically receive ESAs and are often left untreated. ESAs currently on the market are all synthetic recombinant versions of human erythropoietin (“EPO”), a hormone that stimulates erythropoiesis and increases Hb levels by binding to receptors on red blood cell precursors in the bone marrow.

The introduction of the first ESA in 1989 was viewed as a major advance in the treatment of anemia in CKD because it significantly decreased the need for blood transfusions. Since then, ESAs have become one of the most commercially successful drug classes. However, because ESAs were never studied relative to placebo in large randomized clinical trials prior to approval, it was not until years later that their safety profile became better elucidated. Studies published in 2006 to 2009 demonstrated the safety risks of higher ESA doses used to target Hb levels of 13 to 15 g/dL, prompting physicians to balance serious safety concerns against the efficacy of ESAs. The safety concerns observed with injectable ESAs in these studies included an increased risk of cardiovascular adverse events and death as well as a potentially increased rate of tumor recurrence in patients with cancer.

The emergence of the safety issues resulted in several changes to ESA drug labeling. This combination of safety concerns and labeling changes, in addition to the subsequent reimbursement changes, described below, was followed by a decline in ESA sales revenues beginning in 2007. While we believe this decline in ESA sales is primarily due to complete suspension of the label for use of ESAs in anemias associated with cancer, and restrictions on use in chemotherapy induced anemia, we believe the decline in sales is also partly due to the progressive decline in ESA dose administered to CKD patients. Compared to the average ESA dose at the end of 2006, the mean monthly ESA dose in patients on hemodialysis dropped by 18%, 36%, 45% and 45% by the end of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively (2015 USRDS ADR).

Safety Issues of ESAs

Several large clinical trials were designed to demonstrate that targeting higher as opposed to lower Hb levels results in better outcomes. However, they instead generated data showing that targeting higher Hb levels with ESAs resulted in an increase in adverse events, including cardiovascular adverse events. These adverse events were initially observed in 1998 in the NHCT (Normal Hematocrit Cardiac Trial) in CKD patients on dialysis, where the high Hb level treatment arm targeted Hb levels of 13 to 15 g/dL. Additional safety concerns emerged following the CHOIR (Correction of Hemoglobin in Outcomes and Renal Insufficiency), CREATE (Cardiovascular Risk Reduction by Early Anemia Treatment with Epoetin Beta), and TREAT (Trial to Reduce Cardiovascular Events with Aranesp Therapy) studies in NDD-CKD patients, which were published between 2006 and 2009.

Secondary analyses of NHCT, CHOIR and TREAT, as well as subsequent observational studies in dialysis patients, suggest that these safety concerns, particularly the increased cardiovascular risk associated with ESAs, may result from the high ESA doses used to target higher Hb levels rather than the achieved Hb levels themselves. For example, a secondary analysis of CHOIR showed that patients who achieved the desired Hb level with the lowest amounts of ESA have the lowest risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes as measured by composite endpoints consisting of hospitalization for heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and death. Patients who were treated with the highest ESA doses and, particularly those who achieved the lowest Hb levels, had the greatest risk for these events. In addition, observational studies in patients undergoing dialysis highlighted these risks with high ESA doses and also indicated that higher Hb levels achieved with lower ESA doses were associated with better outcomes.

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For example, in an analysis of data from the USRDS of 94,569 hemodialysis patients, increased mortality was found in patients with increased epoetin alfa dose. Patients who achieved the highest hematocrit level (which is a measure of the percentage of volume of whole blood made up of red blood cells; under typical conditions, Hb level can be estimated as one-third the hematocrit level) and received the lowest ESA doses (lowest dose quartile, Q1) had the lowest mortality rate, and, at any particular ESA dose quartile, patients with higher hematocrit levels tended to have lower mortality levels, according to Zhang et al (Am J Kidney Dis 44:866-876) as illustrated in the chart below.

Unadjusted 1-Year Mortality Rates (per 1000)

by Hematocrit and ESA dosing quartile

Warnings about these risks have been incorporated into guidelines and position papers from major kidney societies and thought leaders. Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (“KDIGO”), a non-profit foundation established in 2003 and operated by the National Kidney Foundation, committed to improving global clinical guidelines for kidney patients, for example, states that, “[t]here may be toxicity from high doses of ESA, as suggested, though not proven, by recent post-hoc analyses of major ESA randomized controlled trials, especially in conjunction with the achievement of high Hb levels. Therefore, in general ESA dose escalation should be avoided.” In addition, the European Renal Best Practices Group specified in a recent position statement that caution should be used in ESA therapy in patients with specific risk factors.

Limited Effectiveness of ESAs in Certain Patient Populations

Hb responses to ESA doses are on a continuum with some patients responding with a satisfactory Hb increase to a small ESA dose and others responding very poorly to very high doses. In addition, patients’ responsiveness to ESAs can change over time and as a result of circumstances such as acute illness or surgery. In an attempt to reach target Hb level, ESA doses are increased in treatment-resistant patients (“hyporesponders”), which can result in up to a 40-fold difference in ESA doses between the most ESA-resistant and the most ESA-responsive DD-CKD patients. Even with high doses of ESAs and concomitant IV iron, some of these hyporesponders are unable to reach target Hb levels.

Hyporesponsiveness is a significant problem in incident dialysis patients, for whom ESA doses are typically high, and is associated with a combination of critically low kidney function and accompanying illnesses, such as infections and chronic inflammation. Incident dialysis patients are generally more anemic, and have a higher risk of death, than patients who have been on dialysis for many months.

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A major cause of ESA hyporesponsiveness is an underlying chronic inflammatory state that exists in many CKD patients. Chronic inflammation has a suppressive effect on erythropoiesis in CKD via two main mechanisms. Firstly, pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (“TNF-alpha”), and interleukin-6 (“IL-6”), have been implicated in the suppression of erythropoiesis through inhibition of the response of erythroid progenitor cells to EPO. Secondly, pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 elevate the levels of hepcidin, the major hormone that regulates iron metabolism. The consequence of elevated hepcidin levels is a reduction in iron absorption from the gastrointestinal tract (“GI tract”), and the trapping of iron in cellular stores. Together this leads to inadequate availability of iron to keep pace with the demands of the bone marrow for erythropoiesis, despite adequate total body iron stores. This condition is referred to as functional iron deficiency.

In the presence of inflammation, even high doses of ESAs may be ineffective to achieve target Hb levels, and to the extent Hb levels are raised, the risks associated with the higher ESA doses required may outweigh the benefits of any increased Hb levels.

Requirement for IV Iron to Support ESA Activity and Associated Safety Risks

IV iron supplementation is used to support anemia correction in a majority of hemodialysis patients treated with ESAs in the U.S. ESA labeling indicates that physicians should evaluate the iron status in all patients before and during CKD anemia treatment and maintain iron repletion. Many CKD patients have deficient iron stores, or absolute iron deficiency, and cannot absorb enough iron from diet or oral iron supplements to correct this deficiency. Physicians administer IV iron to ensure patients are iron replete prior to initiating ESA treatment and continue IV iron to mitigate iron depletion caused by ESA-mediated erythropoiesis.

Additionally, many CKD patients who have adequate iron stores suffer from functional iron deficiency. IV iron is administered in an attempt to address this shortage of available iron in these CKD patients, resulting in many patients having elevated body iron stores. While IV iron can help correct anemia when used with ESAs, published studies have suggested acute and chronic risks of both morbidity and mortality associated with the use of IV iron. The acute risks of IV iron supplementation include hypersensitivity reactions (which can be life-threatening and the warning of anaphylaxis risk appears in every IV iron product package insert in the U.S.), infection, as well as less severe but more common side-effects, such as skin problems, hypotension and GI tract symptoms. In addition to acute side-effects, there may also be chronic adverse effects on organ systems related to the cumulative deposits of iron resulting from the volume of iron administered.

Increased use of IV iron has been associated with increased risk of hospitalization and death. Using data from 12 countries obtained over the past twelve years, Bailie et al. demonstrated a direct dose risk relationship between the amount of IV iron administered per month to dialysis patients and the risk of hospitalization and death (Kidney International (2014)). The study identified that, even after controlling for other risk factors and adjusting for different practice patterns globally, dialysis patients receiving greater than 300 mg of IV iron per month had a greater risk of hospitalization or death than those receiving less than 300 mg. Mortality was 13% greater among those receiving between 300 and 400 mg of IV iron per month and 18% greater among those receiving greater than 400 mg of IV iron per month. Furthermore, hospitalization risk was 12% greater among those who received greater than 300 mg per month. The current paradigm of administrating greater doses of IV iron to decrease ESA doses in light of this recently described associated risk underscores the significant unmet need in the treatment of anemia. However, new and purportedly safer and more effective iron supplementation therapies are being developed and introduced, and if such new therapies are accepted by patients and physicians as a superior alternative to traditional IV iron supplementation therapies, they may help maintain or increase the attractiveness of ESA therapy.

Elevated Blood Pressure

ESAs have long been associated with increased blood pressure, including new onset hypertension and exacerbation of pre-existing hypertension. As a result, ESA labeling carries a warning for the potential for increased blood pressure with ESA usage. Hypertension has been shown to accelerate CKD progression and significantly increase the risk of death in CKD patients due to the increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Increased Thromboembolism and Vascular Access Thrombosis

ESA use has been associated with thromboembolic events, including stroke, vascular access thrombosis (where the dialysis access shunt is blocked due to blood-clotting), blood clots in the leg, which may in part be due to increases in circulating platelet levels. As a result, ESA labeling carries a warning for an increased risk of thromboembolic events.

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FDA Restrictions on ESA Usage

In response to safety concerns elucidated in the large clinical studies described above, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), steadily increased restrictions on the use of injectable ESAs from 2007 through 2011. During 2007, following the NHCT, CHOIR and CREATE studies and several oncology studies, the FDA mandated the inclusion of a boxed warning, or “Black Box” warning, in the package insert for ESAs. A Black Box warning is the strongest warning that the FDA can require in the package insert of prescription drugs. In June 2011, the FDA required further modification to the package insert for ESAs. The current boxed warning states that ESAs increase the risk of death, myocardial infarction, or heart attack, stroke, venous thromboembolism, thrombosis of vascular access and tumor progression or recurrence. In addition, the package insert changes include more conservative dosing guidelines for the use of injectable ESAs in anemic CKD patients. Specifically, the FDA removed the prior target Hb range of 10 to 12 g/dL and recommends that physicians initiate treatment of CKD patients when the Hb level is less than 10 g/dL and reduce or interrupt ESA dosing if the Hb level approaches or exceeds 10 g/dL for NDD-CKD patients and 11 g/dL for DD-CKD patients. In addition, physicians are advised to use only the lowest dose needed to avoid red blood cell transfusions.

Reimbursement Challenges Associated with ESAs

In addition to the safety concerns and labeling changes for ESAs, the reimbursement applicable to dialysis, including associated drugs such as ESAs, has also changed significantly in recent years, which made ESAs less economically attractive for providers to administer. Prior to January 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) reimbursed dialysis centers and other healthcare providers for use of ESAs at average selling price plus a premium to their cost, which enabled providers to realize a profit on the administration of ESAs, regardless of the quantity dosed. Under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (“MIPPA”), a basic case-mix adjusted composite, or bundled, payment system commenced in January 2011 and transitioned fully by January 2014 to a single reimbursement rate for drugs and all services furnished by renal dialysis centers for Medicare beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease. Specifically, under MIPPA the bundle now covers drugs, services, lab tests and supplies under a single treatment base rate for reimbursement by CMS based on the average cost per treatment, including the cost of ESAs and IV iron doses, typically without adjustment for usage.

ESAs administered to NDD-CKD patients have long been reimbursed under Medicare Part B, which requires providers to purchase and store ESAs in advance of being reimbursed, and in many healthcare practices, the amount reimbursed does not cover the cost of ESA administration. For many of these providers, including in nephrology practices where purchase and storing is most common, due to label changes and related reduction in patients available for treatment, ESA administration in NDD-CKD has become economically unattractive. Furthermore, non-nephrologists generally have elected not to provide ESAs. Accordingly, ESA treatment has been limited outside of dialysis centers.

Inconvenience of ESAs

In addition to safety, labeling, reimbursement and efficacy limitations, ESAs must be administered intravenously or subcutaneously, often with IV iron in order for ESAs to be effective at treating to target Hb levels. ESAs are therefore inconvenient for the NDD-CKD population, the peritoneal dialysis population, for whom treatment is often administered at home, and other non-CKD anemia patients who are not already regularly visiting a hospital or dialysis center.

Our Solution

We believe that there is a significant need for a safer, more effective, more convenient and more accessible alternative to injectable ESAs for the treatment of anemia in CKD patients. In addition, we believe there is a significant opportunity for treatment of anemia in markets not effectively addressed by ESAs, such as in the NDD-CKD population, DD-CKD in the presence of inflammation, and non-CKD anemia markets.

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Roxadustat — A Novel, Orally Administered Treatment for Anemia

Roxadustat is an orally administered small molecule that corrects anemia by a different mechanism of action from that of ESAs. As a HIF-PH inhibitor, roxadustat activates a response that is naturally activated when the body responds to reduced oxygen levels in the blood, such as when a person adapts to high altitude. The response activated by roxadustat involves the regulation of multiple, complementary processes to promote erythropoiesis and increase the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity.

This coordinated erythropoietic response includes both the stimulation of red blood cell progenitors, by increasing the body’s production of EPO, and an increase in iron availability for Hb synthesis. Patients taking roxadustat typically have circulating endogenous EPO levels at peak concentration within or near the physiologic range naturally experienced by people adapting to hypoxic conditions such as at high altitude, following blood donation or impaired lung function, such as pulmonary edema. By contrast, ESAs act only to stimulate red blood cell progenitors without a corresponding increase in iron availability, and are typically dosed at well above the natural physiologic range of EPO. The sudden demand for iron stimulated by ESA-induced erythropoiesis can lead to functional or absolute iron deficiency. We believe these high doses of ESAs are a main cause of the significant safety issues that have been attributed to this class of drugs. In contrast, the differentiated mechanism of action of roxadustat, which involves induction of the body’s own natural pathways to achieve a more complete erythropoiesis, has the potential to provide a safer and more effective treatment of anemia, including in the presence of inflammation, which normally limits iron availability.

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Our HIF-PH inhibitor technology relies on the natural mechanism by which the body responds to low oxygen levels. HIF is a transcription factor comprised of a HIF-alpha and a HIF-beta subunit, both of which are required to stimulate erythropoiesis. Under normal oxygen conditions, the HIF-alpha subunit is targeted for rapid degradation through the activity of a family of HIF-PH enzymes. However, under low oxygen conditions, the HIF-PH enzymes cannot function and HIF-alpha accumulates. HIF-alpha then combines with HIF-beta, and the newly formed HIF complex initiates transcription of a number of genes involved in the erythropoietic process, which ultimately leads to increased oxygen delivery to tissues. Roxadustat works by reversibly inhibiting the HIF-PH enzymes, thus mimicking this coordinated natural erythropoietic response through genes transcribing the proteins shown below involved in iron absorption, mobilization and transport as well as stimulation of red blood cell progenitors.

11


 

Our discovery and development of roxadustat resulted from years of experience working with prolyl hydroxylase enzymes, such as those that regulate HIF, and a deep understanding of the complexities of HIF biology. We have explored therapeutic activation of HIF to treat anemia from an integrated perspective with a focus on applying our HIF-PH inhibitor technology to produce coordinated effects on erythropoiesis and iron homeostasis and metabolism. As part of these progressive efforts, we have explored the ability of our HIF-PH inhibitor technology to increase sensitivity to endogenous EPO by increasing EPO receptor expression on red blood cell progenitors. We have investigated multiple effects of HIF-PH inhibitors on iron metabolism, including their ability to regulate genes that can increase iron bioavailability. We have also shown that administration of HIF-PH inhibitors can decrease expression of hepcidin, the key hormone that regulates iron metabolism. Hepcidin is elevated under conditions of chronic inflammation, leading to reduced iron availability for erythropoiesis. Based on our gene expression and hepcidin data, we believe HIF-PH inhibitors can increase intestinal iron absorption and enhance the mobilization and uptake of iron. In addition, we have shown that HIF-PH inhibitors can improve transferrin saturation (a measure of circulating iron available for erythropoiesis) and can correct anemia associated with chronic inflammation by overcoming the hepcidin-mediated sequestration of iron that cannot be overcome by ESA therapy.

We selected roxadustat from our extensive library of compounds from various chemical classes of HIF-PH inhibitors, including heterocyclic carboxamides and 2-oxoglutarate mimetics. Roxadustat was selected based on our belief that stabilizing the two main forms of HIF in the cell, HIF-1 and HIF-2, leads to a more complete erythropoietic response.

Although HIF-PH inhibitor programs have been subsequently initiated at several other companies, we expect to remain the leader in the development of HIF-PH inhibitors for anemia, with more patients dosed and more studies conducted with roxadustat than with any other HIF-PH inhibitor.

Potential Advantages of Roxadustat for Treatment of Anemia in CKD

We believe that roxadustat has the potential to offer several safety, efficacy, reimbursement, and convenience advantages over ESAs.

Potential Safety and Efficacy Advantages

Our clinical trials to date have shown that roxadustat can treat anemia in CKD with much lower circulating EPO levels than with treatment by ESAs, mitigate the need for IV iron and treat anemia in the presence of inflammation, thereby offering potential safety and efficacy benefits over ESAs. We have incorporated several endpoints into our Phase 3 studies to further elucidate and demonstrate these and other potential clinical benefits of roxadustat.

12


 

Potential Cardiovascular Benefits

The CKD patient population is at high risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. One known side effect of ESAs is elevation of blood pressure, which is particularly dangerous in this high risk patient population. In contrast, we did not observe increases in blood pressure in patients treated with roxadustat beyond the background levels observed for the comparable placebo-treated patients in a NDD-CKD Phase 2 trial. However, these data should be cautiously assessed due to the limited number of patients exposed. In Study 041, the NDD-CKD patients treated with roxadustat three times weekly for more than 12 weeks had a modest decrease in blood pressure in a subgroup analysis of our Phase 2 NDD-CKD study.

In our Phase 2 studies, we did not observe a safety signal for thromboembolic risk. In contrast to the platelet increase with ESA treatment, platelet counts reported in roxadustat-treated patients did not increase, as those with platelet levels in the top 25th percentile at baseline saw their platelet levels decrease towards normal levels while those with platelet levels in the lower 75th percentile at baseline saw their platelet levels remain stable. This finding supports our belief in a potential safety benefit over ESAs since the platelet increase with ESAs could be a contributing factor in the thromboembolic risk associated with ESAs.

In addition, in our Phase 2 clinical trials, we observed reductions in total cholesterol and an improvement in average HDL / LDL ratio. Since many CKD patients have high cholesterol levels, which contribute to cardiovascular-related morbidity and mortality, the improvement in the average HDL / LDL ratio observed with roxadustat treatment could confer a benefit to patients.

Based on our preclinical and clinical data generated to date, we believe roxadustat could offer cardiovascular benefits to a CKD patient population that typically has cardiovascular-related co-morbidities and is at a high risk for cardiovascular events.

Potential for Anemia Correction with Moderate EPO Levels

Randomized trials have suggested that high doses of ESAs administered in an attempt to achieve a target Hb level may cause the safety issues associated with ESA therapy. These high doses result in serum EPO levels much higher than physiological range. In contrast, the level of endogenous EPO elevation among patients treated with roxadustat is typically within or near the range observed when ascending to a higher elevation or giving blood. Treating anemia while maintaining lower circulating EPO levels may mitigate, or even avoid, the risks from ESA therapy, including cardiovascular events and death.

The following graph depicts:

 

1)

the circulating endogenous EPO levels in natural physiologic adaptations, such as adjustment to high altitude, blood loss, or pulmonary edema [left, ];

 

2)

transient peak endogenous EPO levels estimated for CKD patients who achieved a Hb response to therapeutic doses of roxadustat in our Phase 2 clinical studies [middle, ];

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3)

the estimated peak circulating recombinant EPO levels resulting from IV ESA doses in distributions reported by the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (“DOPPS”), for the fourth quarter of 2011 in the U.S. (after bundling was initiated and when the Hb target in ESA labeling was in the range of 10-11 g/dL [right, ]). 

1Milledge & Cotes (1985) J Appl Physiol 59:360; 2Goldberg et al. (1993), Clin Biochem 26:183, Maeda et al. (1992) Int J Hematol 55:111; 3 Kato et al. (1994) Ren Fail 16:645; 4 The transient peak endogenous EPO concentrations (“Cmax”), data for roxadustat was derived from a subset of 243 patients who achieved a Hb response to roxadustat in our Phase 2 studies for whom we believe doses depicted approximated therapeutic doses. Hb target ranges for these patients were above the Hb levels specified in the current ESA package insert for CKD patients. Only doses in those patients whose Hb responded in Phase 2 studies are reflected in the figure. The subset of patients included 134 NDD-CKD patients treated to thrice-weekly, twice-weekly, or weekly doses of roxadustat for >16 weeks. The subset also included 109 DD-CKD patients, including incident dialysis patients whose anemia was corrected with therapeutic doses, and stable dialysis patients who received maintenance doses. Cmax of endogenous EPO levels were not measured in all patients; instead the range of EPO Cmax levels were estimated based on data derived from a more limited number of patients in whom EPO levels were measured at various roxadustat doses and among whom there was substantial variation in measured EPO levels. Accordingly, individual patients who received roxadustat may have realized EPO Cmax levels significantly above or below these estimated levels. Moreover, the estimates reflected in the graph may not be reflective or predictive of actual EPO Cmax levels or ranges that will be realized in larger populations of patients receiving roxadustat in our Phase 3 clinical trials. 5 EPO C max was computed from ESA dose distributions based on Flaherty et al. (1990) Clin Pharmacol Ther 47:557.

Potential for Anemia Correction for Patient Populations that are Hyporesponsive to ESAs

Incident dialysis patients and patients who have chronic inflammation are often hyporesponsive to ESAs, which necessitates the use of higher doses of ESAs to increase Hb levels, thus increasing both safety risk and treatment cost. In contrast, the dose of roxadustat may not need to be increased in incident dialysis patients or to overcome the suppressive effects of inflammation on erythropoiesis, which we believe may confer significant safety and efficacy benefits.

As a result of roxadustat’s different mechanism of action, the ability of roxadustat to stimulate erythropoiesis does not appear to be impaired by chronic inflammation.

Our preclinical studies indicate that roxadustat can overcome the direct suppressive effects of inflammatory cytokines on erythropoiesis. In addition, in our preclinical studies, we have seen an ability of roxadustat to reduce hepcidin expression, thus increasing absorption of iron from the GI tract and the release of iron from intracellular stores and mitigating the functional iron deficiency associated with chronic inflammation.

14


 

In our Phase 2 studies, patients’ Hb response to roxadustat was independent of the degree of underlying inflammation, as assessed by circulating levels of C-reactive protein (“CRP”), a well-recognized marker of inflammation. Incident dialysis patients have the highest levels of mortality of all dialysis patients. The incident dialysis period is also the period during which mean ESA doses are generally highest. To the extent the increased levels of mortality are associated with high ESA doses, roxadustat may offer a benefit to incident dialysis patients. The median roxadustat dose in our dialysis Study 053 was 1.3 mg/kg; the Cmax of endogenous EPO levels usually associated with this dose level are comparable to the physiologic range naturally experienced by people adapting to high altitude or following blood donation. Refer to additional information on endogenous EPO levels under the heading “Potential for Anemia Correction with Moderate EPO Levels.

Potential for Reduced Hepcidin Levels and Anemia Correction Without IV Iron

An important differentiator of roxadustat from ESAs is that roxadustat is expected to correct anemia and maintain Hb without IV iron supplementation. Patients with chronic illness, such as CKD, often suffer from absolute iron deficiency or functional iron deficiency. We believe that elevated levels of hepcidin, the major hormone that regulates iron metabolism, contributes to both absolute and functional iron deficiency.

Our Phase 2 clinical trials have shown that roxadustat can significantly reduce hepcidin levels in patients with DD-CKD and NDD-CKD. The following figure shows a reduction in serum hepcidin level of approximately two thirds, observed at week 5, in 52 incident dialysis patients treated with roxadustat.

Reduction of Serum Hepcidin Levels (Study 053) in Incident Dialysis Patients

In addition, we believe roxadustat increases the levels of proteins involved in iron uptake, release and transport. Data from our Phase 2 clinical trials indicate that oral iron supplementation alone is adequate to correct anemia during treatment with roxadustat, in contrast to ESAs which typically require IV iron supplementation. Additionally, our data indicate that unlike ESAs, roxadustat treatment does not require that patients be iron replete before initiating therapy.

Avoiding IV iron helps to avoid the significant safety risks associated with IV iron described above, and, because the cost of oral iron is significantly less than the cost of IV iron, could also confer significant costs savings.

15


 

Potential Reimbursement and Convenience Advantages

Potentially Differentiated Reimbursement Framework

ESAs are included in the MIPPA bundled payment system in the DD-CKD setting and reimbursed under Medicare Part B in the NDD-CKD setting. Based on our roxadustat data to date, we believe roxadustat has the potential to correct anemia through a differentiated mechanism of action and different therapeutic effects that create the potential to displace multiple drugs in current use (such as ESAs and IV iron), or those in development (such as agents for suppression of hepcidin). Although the bundle currently covers ESAs or oral equivalents of ESAs or other IV products encompassed by the bundle, due to the differentiated nature of roxadustat and a lack of definition in the regulations on oral equivalency, for which there may be a CMS determination later this year, it is unclear whether roxadustat will be included in or excluded from the bundle. Under MIPPA, agents that have no IV equivalent in the bundle are currently expected to be excluded from the bundle until 2024. We believe that there may be commercial benefits in either event but are unable to predict the potential benefits until further guidance from CMS becomes available.

In the NDD-CKD setting, we expect that roxadustat, an oral treatment, should be subject to Medicare Part D, which would allow physicians to prescribe roxadustat without the financial and reimbursement risk associated with purchasing and storing injectable ESAs. We believe that this should encourage significantly greater usage outside of the dialysis setting.

Potential Reduction of Other Medications

In addition to potentially eliminating the need for IV iron, based on our Phase 2 clinical trial results to date, we believe that roxadustat has the potential to reduce the use of other medications frequently required in some CKD anemia patients, such as anti-hypertensives, anti-coagulants, and statins.

Oral Administration

Many physicians that treat CKD patients, particularly cardiologists, endocrinologists, and internists, do not typically stock or administer ESAs. An easily accessible oral agent that is dispensed by pharmacies could significantly increase the number of physicians treating anemia in patients with CKD and therefore the number of patients receiving treatment.

In addition, the oral administration of roxadustat potentially offers a significant convenience advantage for CKD patients who have yet to initiate dialysis and are therefore not regularly visiting a dialysis center. Patients can more easily self-administer medicine in any setting, rather than being subject to the inconvenience and restrictions of regular visits to physicians’ offices or infusion centers for treatment with ESAs.

Potential Pharmacoeconomic Advantages

Based on our Phase 2 clinical trial results to date, we believe that roxadustat’s potential pharmacoeconomic advantages over ESA therapy may include safety (with a potential decrease in cardiovascular events and consequently lower associated treatment costs), lower administrative cost, reduction or elimination of IV iron and potentially other medications. If we can demonstrate any of these pharmacoeconomic advantages in our Phase 3 studies, they may help support reimbursement worldwide, including Europe and China.

The Market Opportunity for Roxadustat

We believe that there is a significant opportunity for roxadustat to address markets currently served by injectable ESAs. According to IMS Health, 2013 global ESA sales in all indications totaled $8.6 billion, driven primarily by $6.2 billion in the U.S. and Europe. We believe that a substantial portion of ESA sales are for CKD anemia. For example, in the U.S., EPOGEN, which is primarily used in the DD-CKD patient population, had 2014 sales of approximately $2 billion. We further believe that the number of patients requiring anemia therapy will grow steadily as the global CKD population and access to dialysis care continue to expand, particularly in China and other emerging markets including the rest of Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Furthermore, we believe that there is a significant opportunity for roxadustat to address patient segments that are currently not effectively served by ESAs, such as anemia in the NDD-CKD patient population, which is substantially larger than the DD-CKD patient population. Diabetes and hypertension are the leading causes of secondary CKD. Although we estimate approximately 36% of diabetic and 20% of hypertensive CKD patients are anemic (Hb<12g/dL), we believe the majority of these patients are currently untreated for anemia since they are under the care of non-nephrology specialists, such as endocrinologists, diabetologists, cardiologists and internists, where ESA therapies are not readily available.

16


 

We also believe that roxadustat may provide a safer option to re-establish the chemotherapy induced anemia market, which was once a market of comparable size to the DD-CKD anemia market. Other non-CKD anemias, including anemia related to inflammatory diseases, MDS and surgical procedures requiring transfusions, which are not addressed adequately with currently available therapies, could form another opportunity.

OUR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR ROXADUSTAT

In addition to the over 1,100 subjects who have been exposed to roxadustat in Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical studies, including treatment of some patients for 24 weeks in Phase 2 studies and several patients for approximately 4 years in a safety extension study, our ongoing Phase 3 program, which requires a minimum treatment duration of a year, provides additional long term safety data.

We along with our partners, Astellas and AstraZeneca, have designed our global Phase 3 program to support regulatory approval of roxadustat in both NDD-CKD and DD-CKD patients in the U.S., the EU, Japan and China. Our U.S. and EU Phase 3 program has an aggregate target enrollment of approximately 7,000 to 8,000 patients worldwide. Our U.S. Phase 3 program is also designed and sized for demonstrating non-inferiority to comparators for the MACE composite safety endpoints in two separate patient pools, NDD-CKD and DD-CKD. We believe this will be required for approval in the U.S. for all new anemia therapies. Our Phase 3 program will study multiple patient populations, including incident dialysis patients and stable dialysis patients and will include multiple NDD-CKD studies comparing roxadustat against placebo controls. Five of the six Phase 3 studies supporting approval in the EU use the same patients that are intended to support approval in the U.S. However, the EU requires shorter treatment duration and less overall patient exposure.

For our three roxadustat Phase 3 studies, we have reached approximately 90% of our cumulative target enrollment agreed upon with our partners. We completed patient enrollment in one of these three studies and the second should complete in early March 2016; we currently expect to complete enrollment in the third U.S. study in the third quarter of 2016. We currently anticipate filing for New Drug Application (“NDA”) approval for roxadustat in the U.S. in 2018.

Our subsidiaries, FibroGen China Anemia Holdings, Ltd. and FibroGen (China) Medical Technology Development Co., Ltd. (individually or collectively referred to as “FibroGen China”), began enrolling patients in our China Phase 3 studies in December 2015. The primary efficacy endpoint is 26 weeks for the 300 subject dialysis study and 8 weeks for the 150 subject non-dialysis study. We expect to complete enrollment of the dialysis study in the second quarter of 2016 and the non-dialysis study in the third quarter of 2016. We expect to complete enrollment of the 52 week extension study (100 subjects) in the first half of 2016.

We are operating within the context of a Class 1.1 drug approval pathway for Domestic innovative drugs, and we currently anticipate initiating the NDA process in the fourth quarter of 2016 after we have reached the primary efficacy endpoint for both studies. Given that there is little precedent in China for the approval pathway, and the China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”) is in the process of enacting regulatory reform, we continue to regularly consult with the CFDA. We currently do not expect to announce the interim data publicly prior to initiating the NDA process. We expect that the Beijing CFDA will conduct the manufacturing review and site inspections first, to be followed by technical review of the preclinical, clinical and Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control filing by the Center for Drug Evaluation.  

Our Phase 2 Program

We have completed and analyzed six roxadustat Phase 2 studies, three in NDD-CKD patients and three in DD-CKD patients, to assess the efficacy of roxadustat to both correct anemia (“correction”) and maintain the Hb response (“maintenance”). Data from these studies have been published and presented at various medical conferences and medical journals. Two of the six completed Phase 2 studies were conducted in China. The efficacy and safety data generated from our China studies were consistent with our U.S. Phase 2 studies and further contributed to the promising efficacy and safety results to date. Astellas’ Phase 2 DD-CKD and NDD-CKD studies in Japan have been completed, and data reconciliation and analysis are in progress.

The data from our completed Phase 2 studies demonstrated that roxadustat achieved a clinically meaningful increase in Hb levels in anemic NDD-CKD and DD-CKD patients and maintained Hb levels in DD-CKD patients who were converted from ESA therapy. Roxadustat corrected anemia without the need for IV iron supplementation and exhibited an acceptable safety profile. Specifically, our Phase 2 studies achieved the following objectives:

 

 

 

Identified optimal roxadustat dosing regimens for anemia correction and maintenance of Hb response.

 

 

 

Demonstrated roxadustat’s potential to treat anemia in both NDD-CKD and DD-CKD patients, including incident dialysis patients, the most unstable and high risk CKD patient population.

 

17


 

 

 

Generated substantial safety data, indicating that roxadustat is well tolerated, appears safe and could offer an improved cardiovascular profile relative to ESAs. Including our Phase 1, 2 and 3 studies over 1,500 subjects have been exposed to roxadustat.

 

 

 

Demonstrated that roxadustat may be able to treat anemia without the need for IV iron supplementation.

 

 

 

Demonstrated that roxadustat can reduce hepcidin levels and potentially treat anemia in a significant subset of patients with inflammation.

The following chart summarizes the design of our completed studies in DD-CKD and NDD-CKD patients and indicates the primary objectives of each study.

Completed Phase 2 Studies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of

 

 

 

 

 

 

Study Number,

 

 

 

 

 

Number of

 

Comparator

 

 

 

Treatment

 

 

Study

 

CKD Patient

 

Study

 

Roxadustat

 

Patients

 

Total Number of

 

Duration

 

 

Location

 

Population

 

Objective

 

Patients

 

Placebo

 

ESA

 

Patients in Study

 

(Weeks)

 

Dose Frequencies

FGCL-4592-017 US

 

Non-dialysis

 

Correction,

 

88

 

29

 

 

 

117

 

4

 

TIW, BIW

 

 

 

 

PK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FGCL-4592-041 US

 

Non-dialysis

 

Correction & Maintenance

 

145

 

 

 

 

 

145

 

16;24

 

TIW, BIW, QW

FGCL-4592-047 China

 

Non-dialysis

 

Correction

 

61

 

30

 

 

 

91

 

8

 

TIW

FGCL-4592-040 US

 

Stable Dialysis

 

Conversion & Maintenance

 

117

 

4

 

40

 

161

 

6;19

 

TIW

FGCL-4592-053 Russia, US, Hong Kong

 

Incident Dialysis

 

Correction

 

60

 

 

 

 

 

60

 

12

 

TIW

FGCL-4592-048 China

 

Stable Dialysis

 

Conversion, PK

 

74

 

 

 

22

 

96

 

6

 

TIW

1517-CL-0303 Japan*

 

Non-dialysis

 

Correction

 

75

 

25

 

 

 

100

 

24

 

TIW, QW

1517-CL-0304 Japan*

 

Dialysis

 

Maintenance

 

90

 

 

 

30

 

120

 

24

 

TIW

FGCL- 4592-059 US**

 

Non-dialysis & Dialysis

 

Long Term Safety & Maintenance

 

15

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

Up to 4 years

 

TIW, BIW, QW

Total

 

 

 

 

 

725

 

 

 

 

 

905

 

 

 

 

 

*

Final report pending, study conducted by Astellas

**

7 patients remain in ongoing study

 

QW = weekly; BIW = twice weekly; TIW = three times weekly

Study 017: Dose Escalating Study in NDD-CKD patients

Study 017 established proof of concept for roxadustat by showing a significant increase in Hb in a dose-dependent manner, and provided data on the relationship between roxadustat dose and Hb response. This formed the basis for the dosing rules that we applied in subsequent studies of longer duration and in a larger number of patients.

This study, a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation study, was the first Phase 2 study to assess the safety and efficacy of a range of roxadustat doses in the correction of anemia in NDD-CKD stage 3 and 4 patients, over four weeks of treatment, and a 12-week safety follow-up period. A total of 117 patients (of which 96 were evaluable) were randomized sequentially into four weight-based dose cohorts: 1 mg/kg, 1.5 mg/kg, 2 mg/kg, and 0.7 mg/kg, respectively. Roxadustat was administered either twice weekly or three times weekly.

Weight Based, Three Times Weekly and Twice Weekly Dosing Leads to Hb Improvement. We tested 4 different roxadustat weight-based doses administered for four weeks with Hb measurements over a six week period. As shown in the table below, all of the patients in the highest weight-based dose cohort met the criteria for response in that they achieved Hb rise > 1 g/dL in four weeks. As roxadustat achieved 100% Hb response at the 2 mg/kg dose, higher doses were not pursued in this study despite the absence of dose limiting toxicity. Roxadustat was well tolerated without any safety concerns.

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Significant, Dose Dependent Increases in Hb. As shown in the table below, the dose-dependent change in Hb from baseline in roxadustat patients was statistically significant from placebo by Day 8 (p=0.025) and remained so at each assessment through Week 6 (p=0.0001 at Day 22; p<0.0001 at Day 26–29/end of treatment).

A p-value is a statistical measure of the probability that the difference in two values could have occurred by chance. The smaller the p-value, the greater the statistical significance and confidence in the result. Typically, results are considered statistically significant if they have a p-value less than 0.05, meaning that there is less than a one-in-20 likelihood that the observed results occurred by chance. The FDA requires that sponsors demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of their product candidates through the conduct of adequate and well-controlled studies in order to obtain marketing approval. Typically, the FDA requires a p-value of less than 0.05 to establish the statistical significance of a clinical trial, although there are no laws or regulations requiring that clinical data be statistically significant, or that require a specific p-value, in order for the FDA to grant approval.

Hb Responses to a Range of Roxadustat Doses in FGCL-4592-017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.7 mg/kg

 

 

1 mg/kg

 

 

1.5 mg/kg

 

 

 

Placebo

 

 

BIW

 

 

TIW

 

 

BIW

 

 

TIW

 

 

BIW

 

 

TIW

 

N

 

 

23

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

11

 

Mean Maximum Change in Hb

 

 

0.44

 

 

 

0.82

 

 

 

1.22

 

 

 

1.12

 

 

 

0.81

 

 

 

1.74

 

 

 

2.03

 

Standard Error of the Mean

 

 

0.11

 

 

 

0.28

 

 

 

0.37

 

 

 

0.26

 

 

 

0.45

 

 

 

0.32

 

 

 

0.26

 

% Hb Responder

 

 

13

%

 

 

30

%

 

 

58

%

 

 

60

%

 

 

40

%

 

 

80

%

 

 

91

%

Median Time to Response (Days)

 

NA

 

 

NA

 

 

 

26.5

 

 

 

42

 

 

NA

 

 

 

24.5

 

 

 

14

 

 

BIW = twice weekly; TIW = three times weekly

Standard error of the mean (“SE”), is a statistical measure of the amount that an observed mean may be expected to differ by chance from the true mean. For a population that follows a normal distribution, 68% of observed means will be within one standard error of the mean.

Dose-Dependent Reduction in Hepcidin Levels. Roxadustat reduced serum hepcidin levels in a dose-dependent fashion.

Study 041: Study for Optimization of Starting Dose and Dose Titration in NDD-CKD Patients

Study 041 demonstrated that both tier-weight and fixed starting doses can initiate anemia correction. In tier-weight based dosing for this study, we used starting doses based on the patient’s body weight category: high, middle or low. This randomized, open-label Phase 2 study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of roxadustat over 16 to 24 weeks in 145 NDD-CKD patients (of which 143 were efficacy evaluable), and to evaluate the effects of dosing regimens in order to determine an optimized approach to anemia correction. In this trial, we tested six different starting dose regimens: three fixed doses, and three tier-weight doses. In fixed dosing, all patients in the same cohort were given the same starting dose.

We tested both three times weekly and twice weekly dosing frequencies for anemia correction, similar to Study 017, and further demonstrated that Hb levels can be maintained using 3 dosing frequencies (three times weekly, twice weekly and weekly) once target Hb ³11 g/dL was achieved. We also studied various dose adjustment rules, with dose adjustment decisions made from 5 weeks onward, and every 4 weeks thereafter, to seek the best dose titration scheme.

Hb Correction. We met the primary efficacy endpoint of cumulative number (%) of patients with a Hb response, defined as an increase in Hb ³ 1.0 g/dL from baseline and Hb ³ 11.0 g/dL at the end of treatment. Regardless of the starting dose or dose titration scheme, 92% of patients collectively from all cohorts achieved an Hb increase of at least 1 g/dL from baseline. These data suggest the doses studied are of adequate range for anemia correction. The following figure shows mean Hb levels for the six dose groups.

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FGCL-4592-041 Hb Response Over Various Dosing Regimens

*

n at baseline

TIW = three times weekly; BIW = twice weekly; QW= once weekly

Hb Correction was Independent of Inflammation Status. In this study, in a post-hoc analysis, we observed that the magnitude of increases in Hb in response to roxadustat treatment was comparable for both patients with inflammation (elevated CRP levels) and without inflammation (normal CRP levels).

FGCL-4592-041 Mean (± SE) Maximum Change in Hb (g/dL) in 12 Weeks

This stands in contrast to treatments with ESAs, where elevated CRP is frequently associated with lower Hb response to ESAs. We observed a 30% reduction in mean hepcidin level from baseline with eight weeks of roxadustat treatment (p=0.0003), which supports our belief in roxadustat’s ability to overcome inflammation and to maintain iron availability for erythropoiesis.

20


 

FGCL-4592-041 Mean (± SE) Serum Hepcidin Level (ng/mL)

Hb Correction Without IV Iron and in Patients Who Have Low Iron Levels at Study Initiation. In connection with the conduct of the study, we also evaluated several iron parameters to assess roxadustat’s ability to improve Hb without the use of IV iron. At baseline, 49% of the efficacy evaluable patients did not have sufficient iron levels in the body to qualify for initiation of ESA treatment under current practice guidelines and would have been excluded from participation in all prior ESA Phase 3 trials. These patients would not be considered iron replete and are typically first treated with IV iron prior to ESA treatment initiation in an effort to ensure an adequate response to ESA and to minimize the risk of iron depletion. Of all patients in this study receiving roxadustat, only 38% were taking oral iron supplements. A mean Hb increase of 1.8 g/dL was achieved in the first 16 weeks of treatment without IV iron supplementation. There was no evidence for iron depletion as CHr, reticulocyte Hb content or the amount of Hb in newly formed red blood cells, was maintained. Furthermore, there was evidence for improved iron utilization with increases in the MCV and increase in mean corpuscular Hb concentration (MCHC) over the first 16 weeks of treatment with roxadustat from baseline (p=0.0018 and p<0.0001, respectively); both MCV and MCHC typically decrease when there is iron deficiency.

Despite the minimal use of oral iron and lack of IV iron usage, patients who were not iron replete had similar Hb responses at Week 16 as patients who were iron replete.

Reduction in Cholesterol Levels. In a post-hoc analysis of all cohorts, total cholesterol decreased during treatment with roxadustat. Mean reductions in total cholesterol were greater for patients with abnormally high cholesterol levels (> 200mg/dL). Decreases in cholesterol levels were independent of whether patients were taking statins or other lipid lowering agents. Furthermore, the HDL/LDL ratio improved with roxadustat treatment in the subgroup of patients in whom lipid profiles were conducted.

Improvement in Quality of Life. Finally, in an analysis of exploratory endpoints we observed improved quality of life in patients treated with roxadustat using a standard questionnaire called the SF-36 HRQOL. The largest positive changes from baseline occurred in the Vitality subscale (>4 points, p<0.0001) and Physical Component (>1.6 points, p<0.005) subscales of the questionnaire. We believe these data demonstrate that by correcting patients’ anemia, roxadustat may improve quality of life.

Study 040: ESA Conversion Study in DD-CKD Patients

Study 040 was designed to evaluate the short- and long-term dosing of roxadustat in patients on hemodialysis (“HD”) treatment. These results established a conversion dose relationship between ESAs and roxadustat that will be used for Phase 3 trials. Roxadustat maintained Hb without the use of IV iron, which is generally required for the treatment of anemia by ESAs.

21


 

This randomized, single-blind study was the first roxadustat study in patients on HD treatment. Part 1 was a six week open-label Phase 2 dose ranging study in 54 patients (of which 42 were efficacy evaluable) to evaluate the impact of 4 sequential doses of roxadustat on dialysis patients’ Hb levels over six weeks upon switching from epoetin alfa, in comparison to those continuing prior epoetin alfa doses. Part 2 was a 19 week treatment study in 90 patients (of which 83 were efficacy evaluable) to establish optimal conversion doses and dose adjustments. Patients included had previously demonstrated a wide range of ESA-responsiveness. Study 040 met its primary endpoint in Part 1 of maintaining Hb in patients previously treated with epoetin alfa at Week 6, indicating that roxadustat can replace ESAs in DD-CKD. Study 040 also met its primary endpoint in Part 2 of maintaining Hb at Week 19, indicating that roxadustat may be effective at long-term maintenance of Hb. IV iron was prohibited in both roxadustat treated patients and ESA treated control patients during this study.

Maintenance of Hb Levels Following Conversion from ESAs. In Part 1 of this study (six week treatment), 41 patients were randomized to one of four roxadustat dose cohorts, and 13 were randomized to continue on epoetin alfa treatment. The primary endpoint was maintaining an Hb level equal to or above 0.5 g/dL below baseline Hb by the end of six weeks. As shown in the figure below, roxadustat had a dose-response effect for maintaining Hb levels. The lowest roxadustat dose cohort of 1.0 mg/kg was comparable to epoetin alfa with maintenance in 44% of roxadustat patients and 33% of the control arm, patients who continued treatment with epoetin alfa (but who were required to stop concomitant treatment with IV iron). Roxadustat doses of 1.5 mg/kg or higher were better than epoetin alfa at maintaining Hb, with 79.2% overall maintenance and with 80% maintenance at the 1.5 mg/kg roxadustat dose, 80% maintenance at the 1.8 mg/kg roxadustat dose and 77.8% maintenance at 2 mg/kg roxadustat dose.

In Part 2 of the study (19 week treatment), 67 patients (with baseline ESA dose requirements ranging from 7 to 164.5 U/kg three times weekly) were randomized to seven cohorts of roxadustat (with various starting doses) and 23 patients were randomized to continue on epoetin alfa. Hb correction in the roxadustat treated patients pooled across all treatment cohorts was maintained over the 19 week treatment period and was comparable to epoetin alfa. The average roxadustat dose requirement for Hb maintenance was approximately 1.70 mg/kg three times weekly.

In Part 1, which was dose ranging, we observed an increase in Hb level at doses of 1.5 to 2.0 mg/kg TIW as shown in the figures below. In Part 2, which was to establish the optimal conversion dose, we observed similar Hb maintenance between roxadustat and epoetin alfa.

FGCL-4592-040 Mean: (± SE) Hb Over Time During Anemia Treatment with Roxadustat or Epoetin Alfa in Dialysis Patients

 

Part 1 (6 Weeks Dosing)

 

Part 2 (19 Weeks Dosing)

In addition, in an exploratory analysis of this study we observed a dose dependent decrease in hepcidin in Part 1 of this study.

22


 

FGCL-4592-040: Change in Hepcidin Level from Baseline (ng/mL)

*

n at baseline

**

p<0.05 (comparing hepcidin change from baseline between the 2.0 mg/kg roxadustat group and the epoetin alfa group).

DD-CKD patients who switched from ESA treatment to treatment with 2.0 mg/kg roxadustat had significantly greater reduction in serum hepcidin level than those who continued ESA treatment (p=0.038).

FGCL-4592-040 Mean (± SE) Serum Hepcidin Level (ng/mL)

23


 

Roxadustat Doses are Associated with Lower Circulating EPO Levels than Epoetin Alfa. The following chart shows the result of six patients who were highly responsive to epoetin alfa and participated in a substudy in which their EPO levels during treatment with roxadustat were compared to EPO levels when the patients were receiving epoetin alfa prior to randomization. Their mean peak EPO concentration after an average dose of 44 U/kg was significantly higher when patients were receiving epoetin alfa relative to when they were receiving a mean roxadustat dose of 1.3 mg/kg as illustrated below. This observation is consistent with the mechanisms of action of ESA and roxadustat, respectively, and we believe the lower EPO exposure observed with roxadustat offers potential safety benefits.

FGCL-4592-040: Mean (+SE) Plasma EPO Levels During Treatment With Roxadustat Compared With Prior Epoetin Alfa Dosing In the Same Patients (n=6)

Maintenance of Adequate Iron Supply. The concentrations of Hb within newly formed red blood cells (“CHr”) is a measure of iron availability for erythropoiesis. In an exploratory analysis of this study, without IV iron supplementation (which was prohibited in this study), CHr was maintained during roxadustat treatment but declined in patients who continued treatment with epoetin alfa. This finding indicates that unlike epoetin alfa, roxadustat allows endogenous stores of iron to provide an adequate supply to newly forming red blood cells without any IV iron supplementation.

24


 

FGCL-4592-040: Mean Reticulocyte Hb Content (CHr) Over Time in Subjects Treated with Roxadustat and Epoetin Alfa

*

n at baseline

Reduction in Total Cholesterol. Consistent with our Phase 2 studies in NDD-CKD patients, we observed in a post-hoc analysis that roxadustat reduced total cholesterol levels in stable dialysis patients, and this effect appeared durable throughout the 19 week treatment period as depicted below.

FGCL-4592-040: Mean (±SE) Total Cholesterol Over Time During Treatment of Dialysis Patients with Roxadustat or epoetin alfa-Treated

25


 

Study 053: Correction of Anemia in Incident Dialysis Patients

Incident dialysis patients are at increased risk of serious cardiovascular events and death as compared to stable dialysis patients. The mortality rate among dialysis patients is highest during the first few months of dialysis initiation, and on average, patients also require the highest doses of ESA in this period. These patients typically have high levels of systemic inflammation and require IV iron supplementation for ESA to be effective.

This randomized, open-label study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of roxadustat for correction of anemia in 60 incident dialysis patients (of which 55 were efficacy evaluable) who were on dialysis for at least two weeks and not more than four months and had not been treated with ESAs, and to compare the treatment responses to roxadustat under the different iron supplementation conditions. All treatment groups in Study 053 met their primary endpoint in increasing Hb level during treatment: each cohort achieved maximum mean Hb increases from baseline, ranging between 2.8 g/dL to 3.5 g/dL, resulting from 12 weeks of roxadustat treatment. We observed that at week 12 in excess of 90% of the patients achieved a greater than 1 g/dL increase in Hb from baseline. In addition, while roxadustat corrected anemia without iron supplementation, oral iron enabled an optimal Hb response. More importantly, oral iron was as effective as IV iron for Hb correction by roxadustat. In contrast, ESA therapy requires IV iron supplementation in this patient population.

This study also showed that roxadustat can correct anemia regardless of the patient’s level of inflammation as measured by CRP. At Week 12, the median weekly dose of roxadustat was 4.0 mg/kg in this trial of incident dialysis patients and is similar to the median weekly dose of 4.45 mg/kg at Week 12 in Study 040, our trial of roxadustat in stable dialysis patients. In contrast, ESA therapy typically involves higher doses at the time of dialysis initiation.

The 48 HD patients were randomized to one of the three iron supplementation options: oral iron, IV iron or no iron. Included in the 60 patients were 12 peritoneal dialysis (“PD”), patients who received oral iron. This study incorporated the same tier-weight based dosing regimen utilized in Study 041.

Hb Correction in Incident Dialysis Patients Without IV Iron Administration. All three cohorts of roxadustat treated HD patients (no iron, oral iron or IV iron supplementation) and PD patients (oral iron) achieved a significant increase in the maximum Hb change from baseline, the primary efficacy endpoint. Most importantly, the maximum increase in Hb was not significantly different between roxadustat treated HD patients supplemented with oral iron (3.5 g/dL) and those supplemented with IV iron (3.5 g/dL). In contrast, a published study of ESAs in this patient population showed that patients supplemented with oral iron achieved a Hb response comparable to no iron supplementation and significantly lower Hb response than those supplemented with IV iron. These Phase 2 data demonstrate that roxadustat, unlike ESAs, may eliminate the need for IV iron and thus avoid the side effects of IV iron in DD-CKD patients.

26


 

FGCL-4592-053: Hb Over Time During Anemia Correction with Roxadustat in Incident Dialysis Patients, with No Iron, Oral Iron, or IV Iron Supplementation

Note: Hb = hemoglobin; HD = hemodialysis; PD = peritoneal dialysis; n= number of patients

Note: *p<0.05 compared to IV iron and oral iron

Maintenance of Iron Stores. In an exploratory analysis of this study, transferrin saturation (“TSAT”), a marker of iron stores, was well maintained during this period of intensive production of red blood cells with oral iron alone, indicating that iron stores can be maintained without IV iron.

FGCL-4592-053: TSAT Over Time During Anemia Correction With Roxadustat In Incident Dialysis Patients, With No Iron, Oral Iron, or IV Iron Supplementation

Hb Correction Independent of Inflammation Status. As is typical of incident dialysis patients, about half of all patients had elevated CRP levels at baseline. In a post-hoc analysis of this study, we observed that Hb responses following roxadustat treatment were independent of baseline CRP levels. These data demonstrate that, unlike the ESAs, roxadustat has the potential to overcome the suppressive effects of inflammation on Hb responsiveness to treatment.

27


 

Significant Reduction in Hepcidin. Consistent with our other studies, in an exploratory analysis of this study we observed that patients’ hepcidin levels were significantly reduced, most notably in the no iron and oral iron cohorts, by > 50% from baseline, and to a lesser extent in the IV iron cohort. At follow-up (4 weeks after stopping roxadustat), hepcidin levels returned towards baseline values. Hepcidin reduction may be one of the mechanisms for overcoming the Hb suppressive effects of inflammation by making iron more available for roxadustat-induced erythropoiesis.

China Phase 2 Studies

In China, roxadustat is known as FG-4592. We performed two Phase 2 studies in China, one trial in NDD-CKD patients, and another trial in DD-CKD patients. In these trials, Hb correction in NDD-CKD patients and Hb maintenance in DD-CKD patients replicated the results seen in the U.S. trials.

Study 047: 8 Week Placebo-Controlled NDD-CKD

In this multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 91 anemic CKD patients were randomized 2:1 to roxadustat or placebo treatment groups, respectively, in two sequential dose cohorts or placebo. Iron repletion at baseline was not required and IV iron supplementation was prohibited during the trial; oral iron supplementation was allowed during the trial, similar to the corresponding U.S. Study 041. The study used tier-weight starting dose for four weeks after which the roxadustat dose was adjusted, depending upon the initial response to treatment. Study 047 met its primary endpoint of a mean maximum increase from baseline Hb at the end of Week 8. The mean Hb increases at the end of eight weeks of treatment were 1.6 g/dL and 2.4 g/dL in the low-dose and the high dose cohort, respectively, compared to 0.4 g/dL for placebo, p < 0.0001 for each cohort compared to placebo.

FGCL-4592-047: Hb Over Time (g/dL) in Chinese NDD-CKD Patients

*

n at baseline

28


 

Study 048: Stable Dialysis Conversion in China

In this multi-center, open-label, ESA-controlled study, 87 HD patients (of which 82 were efficacy evaluable) with Hb 9 to 12 g/dL previously maintained with ESAs were randomized 3:1 to roxadustat or epoetin alfa treatment groups, respectively, in three sequential dose cohorts of increasing starting doses of roxadustat. This study design was similar to Part 1 of Study 040. Study 048, an exploratory study, achieved its objective of number (%) of patients with successful dose conversion whose Hb levels are maintained at no lower than 0.5 g/dL below their mean baseline value at the end of Weeks 5 and 6 (59.1% for the low-dose, 88.9% for the mid-dose, and 100% for the high dose). The Hb responses to the roxadustat treatment of Chinese dialysis patients, with the low dose cohort were numerically similar to epoetin alfa, while the mid-dose and the high-dose cohorts each had a statistically significantly higher Hb response rate than epoetin alfa. Hb responses to the roxadustat treatment of Chinese dialysis patients (as shown in the figure below) were similar to Part 1 of Study 040 in the U.S.

FGCL-4592-048: Hb Over Time in Chinese Stable Dialysis Patients

Safety Summary

A range of roxadustat doses, up to 3.0 mg/kg in DD-CKD patients and up to 5.0 mg/kg in healthy volunteers, have been administered and all roxadustat doses have been well-tolerated. In January 2016, the roxadustat data safety monitoring board (“DSMB”) completed its scheduled review of the data from all active Phase 3 roxadustat clinical trials and recommended that the program proceed with no protocol changes. The following summarizes the safety findings of our preclinical, Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies:

 

·

No Overall Safety Signals. An independent data monitoring committee consisting of external experts in nephrology, hepatology, and biostatistics reviewed safety data from all U.S. and Europe Phase 2 studies, and determined there were no safety signals. The overall frequency and type of treatment-emergent adverse events (“TEAEs”) and serious adverse events (“SAEs”) observed in these clinical studies reflect events that would be expected to occur in each of the NDD-CKD and DD-CKD patient populations. Safety analyses did not reveal any association between the rates of occurrence of cardiovascular events with roxadustat dose, rate of Hb rise or Hb level. The SAEs experienced in our studies identified by the principal investigator as possibly related to roxadustat were a stroke in a patient with a prior history of multiple strokes, one incident of vomiting, and one incident of deep venous thrombosis. The most commonly reported TEAE in the Phase 2 studies were diarrhea, nausea, urinary tract infection, nasopharyngitis, peripheral edema, hyperkalemia, headache, hypertension and upper respiratory tract infection.

Of our completed Phase 2 clinical studies, four (Studies 017, 047, 040 and 048) were controlled, two with placebo and two with ESA.

29


 

For Study 017, which had a treatment period of 4 weeks, for 88 subjects on roxadustat, and 28 subjects on placebo, we observed treatment emergent SAEs (“TSAEs”), in 4 patients (4.5%) on roxadustat, with 0 cardiovascular SAEs and 0 SAEs for the composite safety endpoint. There were also TSAEs in 1 patient (3.6%) in the placebo arm of the study, including 1 cardiovascular SAE and 0 SAEs for the composite safety endpoint. The composite safety endpoint (exploratory analysis) includes death, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, subendocardial ischaemia, cerebrovascular accident, thrombosis (fistula), arteriovenous fistula occlusion, angina pectoris, and vascular graft thrombosis. A patient may experience more than one SAE, in which case a patient is only counted once in this analysis. TSAEs observed in patients treated with roxadustat were arteriovenous fistula site complications, dyspnea, femoral neck fracture and non-cardiac chest pain. SAEs observed in patients treated with placebo were acute renal failure and pericarditis.

For Study 047, which had a treatment period of 8 weeks, for 61 subjects on roxadustat, and 30 subjects on placebo, we observed TSAEs in 8 patients on roxadustat (13.1%), with 0 cardiovascular SAEs, and 0 SAEs for the composite safety endpoint, and TSAEs in 4 patients on placebo (13.3%), including 1 cardiovascular SAE (3.3%), and 1 SAE (3.3%) for the composite safety endpoint. TSAEs observed in patients treated with roxadustat were chronic renal failure (4), upper respiratory tract infection (1), hyperkalaemia (2) and urinary tract infection (1). TSAEs observed in patients treated with placebo were unstable angina (1), anemia (1), retinal detachment (1), pneumonia (1) and gastritis (1).

For Study 040, for those who had a treatment period of 19 weeks, for 66 subjects on roxadustat, and 23 subjects on ESAs, we observed TSAEs in 15 patients on roxadustat (22.7%), including 1 cardiovascular SAEs (1.5%), and 8 SAEs for the composite safety endpoint (12.1%), and TSAEs in 4 patients on ESAs (17.4%), including 2 cardiovascular SAEs (8.7%), and 4 SAEs (17.4%) for the composite safety endpoint. TSAEs categorized by System Organ Class, a standard event classification, observed in patients treated with roxadustat were infections and infestations (5), metabolism and nutrition disorders (2), cardiac disorders (1), gastrointestinal disorders (1), nervous system disorders (2), respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders (2), skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders (1), injury, poisoning and procedural complications (2), and psychiatric disorders (1). TSAEs categorized by System Organ Class observed in patients treated with ESA were infections and infestations (3), metabolism and nutrition disorders (3), cardiac disorders (1), respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders (1), blood and lymphatic system disorders (1) and vascular disorders (1).

For Study 048 which had a treatment period of 6 weeks, for 74 subjects on roxadustat, and 22 subjects on ESAs, we observed 0 TSAEs in patients on roxadustat, including cardiovascular SAEs and for the composite safety endpoint. There were also 0 TSAEs in the patients taking ESAs.

The differences in the SAE percentages described are not considered statistically significant.

The three SAEs described above that were considered by the principal investigator to be possibly related to roxadustat did not occur in these four studies.

No Liver Enzyme Safety Signal. Liver enzymes were monitored closely in the roxadustat Phase 2 clinical development program. No evidence of hepatotoxicity was observed in any of the roxadustat clinical trials, and the independent data monitoring committee concluded that there was no concern for hepatotoxicity to date. Liver enzymes are being monitored in Phase 3 according to current FDA guidelines, without any special requirements.

 

·

Extensive Evaluation of Cancer Risk. Furthermore, to assess the potential cancer risk of roxadustat, we conducted 12 tumor studies in rodents. These studies included xenograft, syngeneic, or spontaneous tumors of lung, colon, breast, pancreas, melanoma, ovarian, renal, prostate and leukemic origin, several of which are reported to be dependent on vascular endothelial growth factor (“VEGF”), a protein that can be regulated by HIF for which increased levels have potentially been linked to increased tumor growth. No effect on tumor promotion was observed with roxadustat in any of the studies. In addition, roxadustat had no effect on tumor initiation or metastasis in the studies in which these end-points were also measured. Five other HIF-PH inhibitors from our library have been evaluated in many of the same rodent tumor models as roxadustat, as well as some additional ones (35 studies of six HIF-PH inhibitors in 18 models total), with no observed effect on tumor initiation, promotion or metastasis. Finally, no significant increases in plasma VEGF levels have been observed in any of our nonclinical studies at clinically relevant erythropoietic doses of roxadustat.

In March 2015, we received final reports for two-year rat and mouse carcinogenicity studies of roxadustat. Roxadustat treatment had no adverse effect on survival and did not cause carcinogenic effects in either species. Two-year rodent carcinogenicity studies that were conducted with one of the other HIF-PH inhibitors evaluated in the tumor models showed no effect on mortality or incidence of tumors.

In clinical studies to date, we and our independent data monitoring committee have not identified any evidence to suggest tumor risk in the use of roxadustat.

30


 

 

·

No QT Prolongation. We conducted a Thorough QT study evaluating roxadustat doses up to 5 mg/kg (approximately four times the average maintenance dose studied in the NDD-CKD patient population). A lengthened QT interval is a biomarker for certain ventricular arrhythmias and a risk factor for sudden death. Our results demonstrate that roxadustat did not affect the QT interval in this study. Based on the extensive safety data collected to date, we believe that roxadustat has a favorable safety profile that supports its further development in Phase 3 clinical studies. 

Our Global Phase 3 Program for Roxadustat

In support of our efforts for regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe, we have continued with our partners to progress on our global Phase 3 clinical program for roxadustat. FibroGen China has also begun enrolling patients in its Phase 3 program in China, and Astellas is responsible for Phase 3 studies in Japan. Roxadustat is the first HIF-PH inhibitor to enter Phase 3 clinical trials. This broad Phase 3 program is designed to meet regulatory approval requirements of multiple regions, and is being jointly implemented with our partners, Astellas and AstraZeneca. The below chart summarizes our ongoing and planned Phase 3 clinical trials, all of which include Hb level maintenance as a study objective once correction or conversion is achieved.

Ongoing Roxadustat Phase 3 Clinical Trials

 

Study Number,

Enrollment Start Date

 

Company

Sponsor

 

Dose

Frequencies

for Ongoing

Trials

 

Comparator

 

Estimated # of

Patients to be

Enrolled

 

 

Randomization

 

Study

Objective

For Approval in U.S. and Europe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NON-DIALYSIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FGCL-4592-060, November 2012

 

FibroGen

 

TIW, BIW, QW

 

Placebo

 

Up to 600

 

 

2:1

 

Correction

1517- CL-0608, October 2013

 

Astellas

 

TIW, BIW, QW

 

Placebo

 

450 to 600

 

 

2:1

 

Correction

D5740C00001, July 2014

 

AstraZeneca

 

TIW

 

Placebo

 

 

2,600

 

 

1:1

 

Correction

1517-CL-0610, April 2014

 

Astellas

 

TIW, BIW, QW

 

Darbepoetin alfa

 

570

 

 

2:1

 

Correction

 

 

NDD-CKD Sub Total

 

4,000 to 4,500

 

 

 

 

 

DIALYSIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stable and Incident Dialysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*   FGCL-4592-063, February 2014

 

FibroGen

 

TIW

 

Epoetin alfa

 

Up to 750

 

 

1:1

 

Correction

     1517- CL-0613 December 2014

 

Astellas

 

TIW

 

Epoetin alfa or Darbepoetin alfa

 

750

 

 

376:200:174

 

Conversion

     FGCL-4592-064 January 2015

 

FibroGen

 

TIW

 

Epoetin alfa

 

750

 

 

1:1

 

Conversion

*   D5740C00002, July 2014

 

AstraZeneca

 

TIW

 

Epoetin alfa

 

 

1,425

 

 

1:1

 

Correction &

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversion

 

 

DD-CKD Sub Total

 

3,000 to 3,700

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NDD and DD-CKD Total for the U.S. and EU

 

7,000 to 8,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Approval in China:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NON-DIALYSIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FGCL-4592-808

 

FibroGen

 

TIW

 

Placebo

 

150

 

 

2:1

 

Correction

STABLE DIALYSIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FGCL-4592-806

 

FibroGen

 

TIW

 

Epoetin alfa

 

300

 

 

2:1

 

Correction & Conversion

 

 

 

 

 

 

China Total

 

450**

 

 

 

 

 

TIW = three times weekly; BIW = twice weekly; QW = weekly

*

Study ‘063 consists of only incident dialysis patients, Study ‘002 consists of both incident dialysis patients and conversion of stable dialysis patients. All other dialysis studies consist of only conversion of stable dialysis patients.

**

Mandatory post-approval safety study of approximately 2,000 patients expected to be required in China.

31


 

The below chart summarizes the planned and ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials by regulatory approval region, emphasizing the differences in estimated patients enrolled, minimum and average treatment durations, and resulting “patient years” (the product of estimated number of patients and average patient treatment duration). The studies supporting both U.S. and EU approval have extended treatment durations in the U.S. (52+ weeks) as compared with the EU (36+ weeks).

Regional Differences in Estimated Approval Requirements

Roxadustat Phase 3 Clinical Trials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estimated # of Patients

to be Enrolled

 

 

 

Study Sponsor

 

Study Number

 

U.S.

 

 

Europe

 

 

China

 

Non-Dialysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FibroGen

 

FGCL-4592-060

 

Up to 600*

 

 

Up to 600*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astellas

 

1517-CL-0608

 

450-600*

 

 

450-600*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AstraZeneca

 

D5740C00001

 

 

2,600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astellas

 

1517-CL-0610

 

 

 

 

 

 

570

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FibroGen

 

FGCL-4592-808

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

150

 

NDD-CKD Sub Total by Region

 

 

 

 

 

Up to 3,800

 

 

Up to 1,770

 

 

 

150

 

Stable and Incident Dialysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FibroGen

 

FGCL-4592-063**

 

Up to 750*

 

 

Up to 750*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astellas

 

1517-CL-0613

 

750*

 

 

750*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FibroGen

 

FGCL-4592-064

 

750*

 

 

750*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AstraZeneca

 

D5740C00002**

 

 

1,425

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FibroGen

 

FGCL-4592-806

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

300

 

DD-CKD Sub Total by Region

 

 

 

 

 

Up to 3,675

 

 

Up to 2,250

 

 

 

300

 

Total by Approval Region

 

 

 

 

 

~7,500

 

 

~4,000

 

 

450***

 

Combined U.S. and EU total

 

 

 

 

 

~7,000 – 8,000

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Treatment Duration

 

 

 

 

 

52 Weeks

 

 

36 Weeks

 

 

26-52 Weeks

 

Average Patient Treatment Duration

 

 

 

 

 

~1.3-1.5 years

 

 

~1 year

 

 

~32 Weeks****

 

Patient Years by Approval Region

 

 

 

 

 

~10,000+

 

 

~4,000

 

 

~275

 

Estimated Time to Complete Patient Enrollment

 

 

 

 

 

1H 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

1H 2016

 

 

*

Same patients used for U.S. approval and Europe approval, with extended treatment durations for U.S. approval.

**

Study ‘063 consists of only incident dialysis patients, Study ‘002 consists of both incident dialysis patients and conversion of stable dialysis patients. All other dialysis studies consist of only conversion of stable dialysis patients.

***

Mandatory post-approval safety study of approximately 2,000 patients expected to be required in China.

****

350 patients will be treated for a minimum of 26 weeks and 100 patients will be treated for a minimum of 52 weeks.

To maximize the commercial potential for roxadustat, we have incorporated several unique elements into our Phase 3 program. We are performing the first placebo-controlled Phase 3 studies in NDD-CKD patients to potentially demonstrate the benefits of anemia therapy and safety of roxadustat compared to placebo. We are also performing the largest Phase 3 study in incident dialysis anemia patients, who have the highest risk for death, and are the most difficult patients to stabilize and treat for anemia in CKD. Based on data from our Phase 2 studies, we believe that roxadustat may offer a safer alternative to ESAs for this particularly vulnerable patient population. We are also evaluating the cardiovascular safety of roxadustat compared to placebo in NDD-CKD patients to first demonstrate a lack of increased risk to qualify for marketing approval by the FDA, and in these patients we will have an opportunity to measure improvements in patient outcomes with anemia therapy. Separately, we are evaluating cardiovascular safety of roxadustat compared to ESA in DD-CKD patients.

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Primary and Secondary Endpoints of Our Phase 3 Program

With our partners, we have designed our Phase 3 studies to evaluate the following endpoints, most of which were evaluated in our Phase 2 studies.

 

·

Primary efficacy endpoints for anemia correction studies:

 

o

U.S.: Hb change from baseline to the average Hb level during weeks 28-52.

 

o

EU: Cumulative % patients with Hb response by week 24. Hb response is defined as Hb of 11 g/dL and an increase of at least 1 g/dL from baseline.

 

·

Primary efficacy endpoints for conversion and maintenance studies:

 

o

U.S.: Hb change from baseline to the average Hb level during weeks 28-52.

 

o

EU: Hb change from baseline to the average Hb level during weeks 28-36.

 

·

The primary safety endpoints for U.S. approval will be MACE, which is a composite endpoint designed to identify major safety concerns, in particular relating to cardiovascular events such as cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction and stroke, and will be pooled across multiple studies and evaluated separately in our NDD-CKD trials and our DD-CKD trials.

 

·

We expect that our Phase 3 clinical trials supporting approval in Europe will be required to include MACE+ as a safety endpoint which, in addition to the MACE endpoints, also incorporates measurements of hospitalization rates due to heart failure or unstable angina.

 

·

We also plan to evaluate secondary endpoints, including the following:

 

o

IV iron usage in roxadustat-treated patients relative to ESA-treated patients with DD-CKD.

 

o

Red blood cell transfusion rate in roxadustat-treated relative to placebo treated patients with NDD-CKD.

 

o

Hypertension adverse events in roxadustat-treated patients relative to ESA-treated patients with DD-CKD, and blood pressure in roxadustat-treated patients relative to placebo-treated patients with NDD-CKD.

 

o

Total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and VLDL-cholesterol levels in roxadustat-treated patients relative to placebo-treated patients with NDD-CKD and relative to ESA-treated patients in all three anemic CKD patient populations.

 

o

Quality of life in roxadustat-treated patients relative to placebo-treated patients with NDD-CKD.

 

o

CKD progression in roxadustat-treated patients relative to placebo-treated patients with NDD-CKD.

 

o

Hospitalization rate in roxadustat-treated patients relative to placebo-treated patients with NDD-CKD and relative to ESA-treated patients in all three anemic CKD patient populations.

 

o

Rate of vascular access thrombosis in roxadustat-treated patients relative to ESA-treated patients in DD-CKD.

Dosing Regimen

Our Phase 3 studies incorporate dosing regimens that were extensively tested in our six Phase 2 studies.

 

·

Identified Dosing Regimen. The dosing regimens for our Phase 3 studies are designed to achieve an appropriate rate and magnitude of Hb rise. In our Phase 2 studies, we explored ranges of therapeutic doses under several dosing regimens, including both tier-weight and fixed starting doses and conversion doses. Our Phase 3 program will use two tier-weight starting doses for ESA-naive patients (70 mg for patients between 45 and 70 kg and 100 mg for patients between 70 and 160 kg). Our Phase 3 dosing strategies are based on our understanding of effective approaches, derived from our Phase 2 studies, tested in modeling and simulation, and were designed to achieve Hb correction for patients with varying dose requirements in a manner that is optimal for both patients and physicians.

 

·

Dose Titration. Our Phase 3 program will use a pre-determined sequence of dose steps to titrate to a patient’s particular response to roxadustat, which we found to be simple to use and sufficient to correct anemia in our Phase 2 studies. In our Phase 2 anemia correction studies, only one or two cycles of dose titration were necessary to achieve Hb correction in at least 80% of patients on average.

 

·

Dose Conversion for Dialysis Patients Previously Treated with ESAs. In our Phase 2 conversion studies, we tested a variety of starting doses and developed a mathematical relationship between baseline ESA dose and roxadustat dose required to maintain Hb levels. We use dose conversion tables derived from these Phase 2 studies to formulate starting roxadustat doses in our Phase 3 trials for patients who switch to roxadustat from ESAs.

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·

Dose Frequency. In preclinical and Phase 1 studies, we observed that intermittent dosing yielded optimal responses to roxadustat. Our Phase 2 studies indicated that three times weekly, twice weekly and weekly dosing regimens achieved Hb maintenance. Our Phase 3 program will dose three times weekly for all studies except two (060 and 0608) which will dose some patients twice per week and some patients once per week. We believe that intermittent dosing may help ensure a consistent and durable treatment effect for several reasons: 

 

·

Greater Hb Response While Minimizing Total Drug Exposure. Early preclinical studies in rodents with a HIF-PH inhibitor (that was not FG-4592) indicated that a greater Hb response could be achieved using a lower total weekly dose with intermittent dosing compared to daily dosing. In the studies shown below, rats were dosed with HIF-PH inhibitor using either a daily or twice weekly dosing regimen. Both a higher Hb response and a better dose response were observed in animals dosed with HIF-PH inhibitor twice weekly compared to animals that were dosed daily. Furthermore, the total weekly dose required to achieve this greater Hb response was lower than with daily dosing exposure.

In addition, our previous preclinical studies suggested that a wider therapeutic window was achieved with intermittent dosing compared with daily dosing. Preclinical observations such as these led us to conclude that intermittent dosing could enable a better Hb response with a lower overall drug exposure and offer a potentially wider therapeutic window.

 

·

Reduce the Risk of Changing the HIF Set Point. The HIF system has a built-in negative feedback mechanism. Genes for two of the PHD enzymes that are responsible for degrading HIF under normal oxygen conditions are actually HIF target genes. Thus, while these PHD enzymes are inhibited by hypoxia (or by a HIF-PH inhibitor), the resulting HIF activation leads to an increase in the very enzymes that are responsible for its degradation following the re-oxygenation (or potentially removal of the HIF-PH inhibitor). This negative feedback mechanism is important in enabling the HIF system to reset. However, under chronically hypoxic conditions, it has been shown that the elevation in PHD enzyme levels is maintained, leading to a change in the HIF set-point. Based on this knowledge of HIF biology, it is our belief that prolonged HIF activation by a HIF-PH inhibitor  drug could similarly lead to a change in the HIF set-point, which we believe may then require an increased HIF-PH inhibitor  dose to elicit the same HIF response. In an effort to avoid this potential risk, and to potentially prolong drug effectiveness, we have undertaken an intermittent dosing regimen.

 

·

Increase Intervals Between HIF Activation. The kinetics of HIF target gene induction (including genes encoding PHD enzymes) are variable, with some HIF target genes being induced very quickly after HIF activation and others requiring longer periods of HIF activation for significant induction. We believe that increasing the intervals between HIF activation using an intermittent dosing regimen has the potential to limit the HIF target gene response.

 

·

Potential Commercial Advantages. We expect that a dosing regimen that enables dosing concurrently with hemodialysis treatment, typically administered on a thrice weekly basis, will be more commercially attractive in the dialysis market.

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Our Phase 2 studies indicated that intermittent dosing enabled anemia correction up to 24 weeks and Hb maintenance up to 19 weeks when converting a patient from ESA.

Clinical Trial Eligibility, Iron Status, and Iron Supplementation During Treatment

Unlike ESA clinical trials where patient study eligibility criteria included a requirement of adequate iron availability (measured by ferritin ³ 100 ng/mL and TSAT ³ 20%) and encouraged IV iron use, roxadustat Phase 2 studies included anemic NDD-CKD patients with ferritin ³ 30 ng/mL and TSAT ³ 5% and anemic DD-CKD patients with ferritin ³ 50 ng/mL and TSAT ³ 10%, which permits the inclusion of patients who are iron deficient. Hb response was generally achieved in iron deficient NDD-CKD and DD-CKD patients (ferritin <100 ng/mL and TSAT< 20%) despite the fact that IV iron was not allowed during roxadustat treatment.

Our placebo-controlled Phase 3 NDD-CKD studies will use iron eligibility criteria employed in our Phase 2 studies, allow oral iron, but prohibit the use of IV iron (except as a rescue medication). In our Phase 3 DD-CKD studies, since ESA serves as the comparator and similar treatment conditions are required for roxadustat and ESA, study eligibility criteria include ferritin ³ 100 ng/mL and TSAT ³ 20%. Patients will be randomized to roxadustat or ESA, and will be encouraged to take oral iron as a first line supplemental agent. IV iron is permitted if there is inadequate Hb response to treatment and if the patient is iron deficient (ferritin <100 ng/mL and TSAT< 20%).

Status with Regulatory Agencies

In the last four years, we and our collaboration partners have had interactions with regulatory agencies in multiple territories regarding the planned development and potential path to approval of roxadustat.

We met with the FDA in May, June and July of 2014 to discuss the overall scope of our Phase 3 development program. In order to comply with FDA’s recommendation, we have designed and sized our Phase 3 program for, and will incorporate MACE composite safety endpoints that we believe will be required for approval in the U.S. for all new anemia therapies.

We have also discussed our Phase 3 clinical development program with three National Health Authorities in the EU and obtained scientific advice from the European Medicines Agency, which was confirmed in writing in January 2014 with respect to the adequacy of our current clinical development program to support the indication for the treatment of anemia in NDD-CKD and DD-CKD patients. We expect the MAA submission in Europe to precede our NDA filing in the U.S.

Investigational New Drug and Clinical Trial Applications

Roxadustat is being studied under one Investigational New Drug Application (“IND”), and several Clinical Trial Applications (“CTAs”), all with a specified indication of treatment of anemia in CKD. We originally submitted the IND in the U.S. to the FDA in April 2006. Our collaboration partner, Astellas, submitted the CTA in Japan to the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency in June 2009. We and our collaboration partners Astellas and AstraZeneca have also submitted CTAs in Europe, Latin America, Canada, Russia, and Asia, beginning in 2013.

Opportunities in Other Anemia Indications

Based on roxadustat’s safety and efficacy profile to date and other potential advantages over ESAs, we believe that in addition to treating anemia in CKD, roxadustat has the potential to treat anemia associated with many other conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced anemia, anemia related to inflammatory diseases, MDS and surgical procedure requiring transfusions. We think that roxadustat, if successful, could potentially address the significant unmet need in these anemia markets. In the first half of 2016, we plan on submitting a clinical trial application in China to study roxadustat in MDS. We also plan on submitting a clinical trial application in China to study roxadustat in chemotherapy induced anemia in 2016.

We investigated the effects of roxadustat in rats with cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury (“AKI”), a model of chemotherapy induced anemia. Cisplatin injection (5 mg/kg) induced AKI as reflected by an increase in serum creatinine and a significant increase in Blood Urea Nitrogen (“BUN”) concentrations. Animals were treated with vehicle control (n=8) or roxadustat at 20 and 40 mg/kg (n=6/group) via oral dosing 3 times a week for 2 weeks starting at 2 hours after cisplatin administration.

Cisplatin treatment significantly decreased reticulocyte counts at day 4 and roxadustat restored the reticulocyte counts in a dose dependent fashion. By day 14, cisplatin caused significant reduction of Hb levels and roxadustat normalized Hb concentration in a dose dependent fashion in the cisplatin-treated rats. Treatment with roxadustat at the higher dose (40 mg/kg), but not at the lower dose (20 mg/kg), prevented the increase in serum creatinine and BUN levels. This study demonstrated that roxadustat, in an intermittent dosing regimen starting 2 hours before cisplatin administration, improved renal function as measured by creatinine and BUN levels in a cisplatin-induced AKI and effectively ameliorated cisplatin-induced anemia.

35


 

HIF-PH Inhibitor Platform

We have been a world leader in prolyl hydroxylase inhibition since the mid-nineties. Over the past two decades, we have built a robust drug discovery platform based on our deep understanding of the inhibition of prolyl hydroxylase enzymes using small molecules. Our platform is supported not only by internal research but also by numerous academic collaborations, including a long-standing funded collaboration with a research group at the University of Oulu, Finland, headed for many years by our scientific co-founder, Dr. Kari I. Kivirikko. Dr. Kivirikko is one of the world’s leading experts in collagen prolyl hydroxylases, and he remains an advisor to us.

Prior to the discovery of HIF regulation by prolyl hydroxylase activity, we had acquired compound collections from several pharmaceutical companies and assembled a diverse library of prolyl hydroxylase inhibitors to target collagen prolyl hydroxylase enzymes for fibrosis. Consequently, we were particularly well positioned to rapidly generate proof-of-concept for a number of aspects of HIF biology, and to direct medicinal chemistry efforts towards increasing potency and selectivity for the newly identified HIF-PH enzymes.

We have applied our expertise in the field of HIF-PH inhibition to develop an understanding, not only of the role of HIF in erythropoiesis, but also of other areas of HIF biology with important therapeutic implications. This consistent progression of discovery has led to findings relating to HIF-mediated effects associated with inflammatory pathways, various aspects of iron metabolism, insulin sensitivity and glucose and fat metabolism, neurological disease, and stroke. The extensive patent portfolio covering our discoveries represents an important competitive advantage.

The strength of our platform capitalizes on these internal discoveries, as well as some of the complexities of HIF biology that we and the scientific community have uncovered over the past decade. There are at least three different HIF-PH enzymes that are known to regulate the stability of HIF — these enzymes are commonly referred to in the scientific literature as PHD1, PHD2 and PHD3. Studies of genetically modified mice, in which the individual HIF-PH enzymes have been deleted, have revealed that PHD2 plays a major role in the regulation of erythropoiesis by HIF. In contrast, PHD1 and PHD3 appear to play less important roles in HIF-mediated erythropoiesis, but instead have been implicated in other important biological pathways.

We believe that inhibitors selectively targeting PHD1 or PHD3 could have important therapeutic applications beyond anemia. For example, as PHD1 has been implicated in ischemic tissue injury, it has been proposed that PHD1 inhibitors may provide a novel therapeutic approach to protect organs and tissues from ischemic damage. PHD3 on the other hand has been implicated in insulin signaling, raising the possibility that PHD3 inhibitors may have therapeutic utility in the treatment of diabetes. Despite the challenges associated with selectively inhibiting just one enzyme from a closely related family, we have made important advances in the identification of selective HIF-PH inhibitors. We currently have active research programs focused on exploring the therapeutic utility of PHD1 selective inhibitors and PHD3 selective inhibitors for use as cardioprotective agents or for the treatment of metabolic disease such as diabetes.

ROXADUSTAT FOR THE TREATMENT OF ANEMIA IN CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE IN CHINA

We are currently performing two Phase 3 trials in China to support approval of roxadustat for treatment of anemia in DD-CKD and NDD-CKD patients. Our ongoing Phase 3 trials are designed to confirm Phase 2 results and are similar in design and endpoints to our Phase 2 trials in DD-CKD and NDD-CKD, except that our Phase 3 trials will include a larger number of patients and will study longer dosing durations.

We believe there is a particularly significant unmet medical need for the treatment of anemia in CKD in China. Specifically, anemia is undertreated in the rapidly growing number of dialysis stage patients and anemia is not treated in non-dialysis patients including patients who are eligible for dialysis but are not treated due to a shortage of dialysis facilities, and cannot easily obtain anemia treatment outside of the dialysis system. In the context of the rapidly growing Chinese pharmaceutical market, we believe that the demand for anemia therapy will continue to grow as a result of an expanding CKD population, as well as the central government’s mandate to make dialysis, which is still in the early stages of infrastructure development, more available through expansion of government reimbursement and build-out of dialysis facilities. We believe that roxadustat is a particularly promising product candidate for this market.

Addressable Patient Populations in China

Based on a cross-sectional survey performed between September 2009 and September 2010 published in the Lancet (Zhang, et al. Lancet (2012)), there are an estimated 119.5 million CKD patients in China. There were approximately 19 million patients in CKD stage 3, stage 4 and stage 5 which we have grouped into three categories: DD-CKD patients; Dialysis Eligible patients who need dialysis under treatment guidelines but are not dialyzed (“Dialysis Eligible NDD-CKD”); and stages 3 and 4 patients as well as stage 5 patients who are not eligible for dialysis (“Other NDD-CKD”).

36


 

DD-CKD (Dialysis)

Dialysis can be delivered in the form of HD, or peritoneal dialysis (“PD”). In China, HD is mostly performed at dialysis clinics within hospitals, not at freestanding dialysis centers outside of hospitals which is the common practice in the U.S. PD is self-administered at home by patients, and they visit their nephrologists on a monthly basis at the hospital for monitoring and follow-up.

Dialysis Eligible NDD-CKD

Dialysis Eligible NDD-CKD refers to patients who need dialysis under Chinese treatment guidelines but are not dialyzed. The Chinese treatment guidelines recommend initiation of dialysis at eGFR<10 mL/min/1.73 m 2 (and eGFR<15 mL/min/1.73m 2 for diabetic nephropathy patients). The Minister of Health estimated that one to two million people in China were eligible for dialysis in 2011, and of those we believe that only 300,000 to 400,000 are on dialysis. While the size of dialysis population is large and approaches that of the U.S., it nevertheless falls far short of the number who require dialysis treatment. We believe that this Dialysis Eligible NDD-CKD population is characteristic of developing markets like China and is at risk for severe anemia.

Other NDD-CKD

Other NDD-CKD refers to the other sub-groups of CKD patients within non-dialysis who are earlier stage: CKD patients in stage 3 and stage 4, as well as stage 5 who are not eligible for dialysis. Many of these patients receive medical care in endocrinology, cardiology or internal medicine clinics where they are treated for their primary disease.

Unmet Medical Need

DD-CKD Patients are Under-Treated for Anemia

We believe there is chronic under-treatment for anemia within the DD-CKD patient population, as many patients do not reach target Hb levels despite ESA therapy. The consensus opinion of the expert panel assembled by the Chinese Journal of Nephrology in 2013 advocated treating to Hb 11.0 g/dL to 13.0 g/dL, whereas we believe, based on our key opinion leader Advisory Board Meeting in Shanghai in March 2013 that in clinical practice, nephrologists generally use Hb 10.0 g/dL to 12.0 g/dL as the target. However, according to the 2012 Shanghai Dialysis Registry, approximately 50% of patients in Shanghai did not exceed a Hb level of 10.0 g/dL and approximately 75% did not exceed Hb 11.0 g/dL. Over 19% of dialysis patients failed to reach a severely low Hb level of 8.0 g/dL. The Chinese Renal Data System reported that in 2011, the most recently reported data, the average Hb level of DD-CKD patients in the registry was approximately 9.1 g/dL and the percentage of patients who reached Hb levels greater than or equal to 11.0 g/dL was only about 21%.

We believe there are a number of factors that have led to under-treatment of anemia in the dialysis population, including:

 

·

The ESA doses used are generally not sufficient to treat to target Hb levels for certain patient populations. We believe that the reasons include constraints on reimbursement for anemia treatment and fixed hospital pharmacy budgets, as well as safety and efficacy limitations of these drugs. Lower dose levels are particularly ineffective in the hypo-responsive patient population.

 

·

The use of IV iron, which is often needed to correct Hb to target levels with ESAs, is limited due to limited reimbursement and perceived clinical risk. According to the Shanghai Dialysis Registry, in 2011, less than 9% of dialysis patients in Shanghai were treated with IV iron.

 

·

For the PD population, where patients are not already visiting the hospital for HD and are receiving ESA treatment during dialysis, similar logistical and financial issues that impede ESA use in the NDD-CKD population discussed below apply to these patients.

Dialysis Eligible NDD-CKD and Other NDD-CKD Patients are Largely Un-Treated for Anemia

Apart from the ESAs used by the dialysis patients in China, we believe that there is a low level of use of ESAs in the non-dialysis population. Based on our clinical trial experience in China, we believe use of ESAs in this population is generally limited to “CKD Clinics” at major research hospitals in top cities where CKD patients are admitted into programs for academic research purposes. We believe there are a number of significant impediments that inhibit the use of ESAs in the outpatient setting, for patients who are not already visiting the hospital for dialysis treatment on a regular basis.

 

·

Generally, under the Chinese healthcare system, patients do not have a personal physician but rather are seen by the physician on the schedule on the day of the visit. This limited continuity of care makes managing the potential risks of ESAs and the titration of ESA treatment needed to maintain Hb within target range particularly difficult.

37


 

 

·

Hypertension and associated co-morbidities are top risk factors for the CKD population. Many physicians in China believe that for the outpatient NDD-CKD population, the risk of developing new or exacerbating existing hypertension from ESA with the attendant risk of worsening renal failure outweigh the benefits of treating anemia. 

 

·

Injectable drugs like ESAs present a challenge in China because even subcutaneous administration is performed at hospitals and not in the home. Frequent hospital visits for injections, for the sole purpose of receiving ESA treatment, can present a substantial logistical and financial burden on patients.

 

·

Nephrologists are the primary prescribers of ESAs. Those CKD patients with hypertension or diabetes who are treated by other physicians, such as cardiologists and endocrinologists, are generally not treated with ESAs.

 

·

Non-dialysis patients are covered under outpatient reimbursement, unlike dialysis patients who are covered under Severe Disease reimbursement, when available. The lower level of reimbursement coverage means a higher patient co-pay, which further limits ESA use and compliance.

We believe that these impediments have contributed to a low rate of ESA use in the NDD-CKD population in China, and that roxadustat, as an oral agent triggering the HIF mechanism of action, has the potential to make this population accessible for effective anemia treatment in CKD.

Growing Market Opportunity

Healthcare expenditures in China have more than doubled between 2006 and 2011, from $156 billion to $357 billion. China is projected by IMS Health to become the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market after the U.S. by 2016 (IMS Market Prognosis, May 2012). We believe several factors will continue to drive the growth of the overall pharmaceutical market in China as well as the market for the treatment of anemia in CKD. These factors include continuing urbanization, an aging population and the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases (particularly diabetes and hypertension which are common causes of CKD), and income growth. We also believe that the increasing standard of living will drive higher rates of disease awareness, leading to greater rates of diagnosis and treatment.

The strong growth in the China healthcare sector is a direct result of central government policy. In 2009, the Chinese government implemented healthcare reform that greatly expanded reimbursement coverage across population, scope, and level of coverage, and in 2011, the 12th Five Year Plan placed the biomedical industry and development of innovative medicines as a strategic priority for the country. The following table shows the growth and size of the China healthcare market:

 

 

 

2006

($US)

 

2011

($US)

Total Healthcare Expenditures

 

$156 billion

 

$357 billion

Per Capita Healthcare Expenditures

 

$119

 

$261

Market Size for Pharmaceuticals

 

$27 billion

 

$71 billion

Percentage of Population with Health Insurance

 

43%

 

>95%

China in Global Ranking of Pharmaceutical Markets

 

9th

 

3rd

Source: Health care in China: Entering “uncharted waters,” McKinsey & Company, healthcare systems and services practice, November 2012

Current ESA Market Size and Drivers of Market Growth in China

Total ESA sales in China were approximately $145 million in 2013, and the ESA market in China has grown at a 25% compound annual growth rate between 2006 and 2013 based on data from IMS Health.

38


 

We believe that given the limited availability of dialysis in China, the dialysis market is still in the early stages of development relative to the U.S., and has the potential for sustained long-term growth. We believe growth of dialysis will be driven by the expansion of reimbursement and expansion of dialysis facilities. We further believe that the growing pipeline of CKD patients and expansion of reimbursement will drive growth in demand for anemia treatment in CKD patients.

 

·

Expansion of Reimbursement. Reimbursement exists for the use of ESAs in the treatment of anemia in CKD and the coverage levels are expanding. Under Basic Medical Insurance, the reimbursement program for the urban population, coverage for healthcare and drugs is categorized into one of three categories: outpatient, inpatient, and Severe Disease. Both the Dialysis Eligible and Other NDD-CKD patients are reimbursed under outpatient coverage. As an example, coverage levels for outpatient are in the 60-85% range in Shanghai, depending on level of hospital visited and patient age. Dialysis patients, on the other hand, receive reimbursement under the more generous Severe Disease coverage, which is reimbursement for catastrophic healthcare expenditures. Coverage levels are set at a minimum level of 50% by policy and are as high as 85% for employees and 92% for retirees in Shanghai. We expect the availability of Severe Disease reimbursement to significantly drive the utilization of dialysis services and ESAs in the coming years.

 

·

Expansion of Dialysis Infrastructure. The number of DD-CKD patients increased from approximately 70,000 in 2007 to an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 in 2013 and has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 25% to 30% per year from 2007 to 2013. Despite this substantial rate of growth, the Ministry of Health and the Chinese Society of Nephrology have publicly recognized the need for further investment in dialysis infrastructure to accommodate the expected continued growth of the patient population requiring dialysis. PD is an alternative to HD and does not require the level of capital investment in facilities and equipment that is necessary to enable HD. At the end of 2012, PD was estimated to account for 10% of the current dialysis population.

 

·

Demographics-Driven Growth. Diabetes and hypertension are common causes of CKD, the rates of which have been growing in China over past two decades. China is experiencing epidemiological changes in metabolic diseases due to economic development, urbanization and an aging population. We believe the increase in diabetes and hypertension prevalence will result in increasing numbers of patients with CKD in the future.

Our China Solution

We believe that roxadustat, if approved, has the potential to address the unmet medical need for the treatment of anemia in each of the three categories of CKD patients in China. Several of the safety, efficacy, reimbursement and convenience advantages that roxadustat, our oral therapeutic, potentially offers over ESAs (refer to “— Our Solution — Roxadustat — A Novel, Orally Administered Treatment for Anemia”) are particularly applicable in the China market.

Roxadustat May Address Chronic Under-Treatment in DD-CKD Patients

We expect roxadustat to be viewed as more attractive than ESAs, and particularly attractive within certain categories of the dialysis population — patients who are not treated to target Hb levels for any reason, patients who are hyporesponsive to ESAs, patients on PD, which is home-based, and DD-CKD patients who have not previously received ESA treatment.

 

·

Roxadustat May Increase Rate of Successful Anemia Treatment. We believe that the level of ESA dosing generally used in China is not adequate to achieve target Hb levels for many dialysis patients, especially with minimal use of IV iron. The dose levels used are within a very narrow range due to clinical concerns over ESA safety at higher doses. Moreover, reimbursement limits may cap ESA dose. In contrast, assuming roxadustat is approved, we believe we can price roxadustat so that reimbursable doses of roxadustat will be sufficient to treat most patients to target Hb levels.

 

·

Roxadustat May Address Hyporesponsiveness. Hyporesponsive patients, who often fail to respond to ESA treatment, in particular are often inadequately treated due to need for significantly higher doses of ESAs. Our data suggest that roxadustat may be safe and effective in this patient population without the use of high doses.

 

·

Roxadustat May Reduce Requirements for IV Iron. ESAs generally require IV iron for effective anemia treatment, and IV iron use is limited in China due to limited reimbursement and perceived clinical risk. Roxadustat potentially eliminates the need for IV iron to reach treatment target.

Roxadustat May Address Lack of Access of ESA Treatment in NDD-CKD Patients

We view NDD-CKD as the segment where roxadustat, with the benefits of the HIF mechanism of action and being an orally administered small molecule, could potentially represent the only viable treatment solution for this patient population.

39


 

 

·

Roxadustat May Make Treatment Accessible and Feasible. As an oral agent, roxadustat eliminates the need for frequent hospital visits which are needed for ESA administration, decreasing the overall cost and inconvenience of treatment, particularly for DD-CKD patients undergoing PD who are otherwise treated in the home, as well as Dialysis Eligible NDD-CKD and Other NDD-CKD patients. 

 

·

Roxadustat May Have an Improved Safety Profile. ESA treatment is associated with an increased risk of severe adverse events including hypertension, stroke, myocardial infarction and death. Our data suggest that roxadustat may not increase the risk of these events and therefore may be safer than ESAs thereby potentially removing a significant deterrent to anemia therapy in China.

Roxadustat May Add Value in Both the NDD-CKD and DD-CKD Patient Populations

 

·

Roxadustat May Reduce Overall Cost of Treatment Associated With Anemia. For the equivalent reimbursement cost to the government, we believe that roxadustat may deliver a higher potential clinical benefit compared to ESAs. Roxadustat, if approved, could treat patients to target Hb level. Roxadustat could also potentially lower the use of IV iron and anti-hypertensives. Moreover, the total cost of care would be reduced by lowering loss of time and cost of hospital-based ESA injections, and eliminating the infrastructure costs necessary to store ESAs in a cold storage environment. Finally, patients would benefit by reducing the cost of travel to the hospital and the potential lost wages for hospital visits.

Commercialization

Regulatory Strategy

We plan to seek product approval from the CFDA, as a Domestic Class 1.1 drug through our China subsidiary, FibroGen China. FibroGen China submitted a CTA to the CFDA for roxadustat for the treatment of anemia in CKD in March 2013. This Domestic Class 1.1 designation allows us to use the “green channel,” which may facilitate expedited approval with access to the regulatory authorities for formal and informal dialogue about development plans. We believe the domestic pathway represents the fastest route for bringing roxadustat to market and providing patients with access to a potentially safer, more effective, more convenient and more accessible therapy.

We believe the development of roxadustat is aligned with the Chinese government’s current policies. The Chinese government is building dialysis infrastructure to address the unmet need for dialysis. We believe that anemia treatment is a critical component of any national dialysis program, and the cost of anemia treatment is an important factor in the public health burden of CKD.

FibroGen China has completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials in China and began enrollment in its Phase 3 clinical trials in China in the fourth quarter of 2015, with initial Phase 3 data expected in the second half of 2016 and, assuming the Phase 3 clinical trial is successful, possible NDA approval in China in late-2017. However, actual dates depend on a variety of factors and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including with respect to patient enrollment, safety results, manufacturing, third party contractors and government regulators, some of which are out of our control (such as the recent backlog in CFDA review of pending clinical trial applications). Refer to “Risk Factors”, and particularly those risk factors under the heading “Risks Related to the Development and Commercialization of Our Product Candidates.” These trials have been conducted, and will continue to be conducted, in parallel with but independently of the other trials conducted in the global roxadustat development program. All available safety data from the global program will be included in the China NDA submission.

Manufacturing Certification

FibroGen China plans to secure all New Drug and Manufacturing Licenses (including a Drug Approval Code) required for commercialization of roxadustat in China. A Manufacturing License is fundamental for production and sale of drugs in China, and it is the Manufacturing License, not the New Drug License which is granted at NDA approval, that gives FibroGen China the right to market roxadustat. With the Manufacturing License, FibroGen China will have the right to sell roxadustat (issue “fa-piaos,” or invoices, for the sale) into the highly regulated pharmaceutical distribution system, and recognize revenues for such sale. FibroGen China will also have the right to negotiate pricing with the government and the right to apply for reimbursement for roxadustat.

FibroGen China has completed construction and validation of its manufacturing facility in Beijing. We received a Pharmaceutical Production Permit, which is a general certification by the CFDA that the facility is deemed ready for current good manufacturing practices (“cGMP”) production in August 2014, and we expect to receive the Manufacturing Licenses that will allow the Beijing facility to manufacture roxadustat for the commercial market after NDA approval and successful completion of the registration and validation campaigns and associated CFDA inspections. (Refer to “— Manufacture and Supply” and “— Government Regulation — Regulation in China”).

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Market Segmentation

We believe DD-CKD market in China is readily addressable in the near term, and we believe roxadustat has the potential to deliver a compelling value proposition in particular to certain subgroups within DD-CKD: patients who are not treated to target Hb levels for any reason, patients who are hypo-responsive to ESAs, and patients on PD, which is performed at home. In addition, we believe that roxadustat, if approved, would have the potential to be the preferred anemia treatment for newly-initiated dialysis patients who have not been previously treated with ESA. With the expected expansion of Severe Disease reimbursement, we believe that the number of DD-CKD patients will increase steadily. We believe that it could require more than a decade for China to address the treatment gap between patients who need dialysis and those who are actually dialyzed.

If roxadustat is approved, we believe the Dialysis Eligible NDD-CKD population could represent another readily accessible and potentially new market segment for anemia therapy. There is an urgent and severe unmet medical need for these very sick patients, and the current low rate of treatment within this patient group could be addressed by an approved anemia treatment such as roxadustat. We view the Other NDD-CKD population as a longer term market opportunity where the potential number of patients could be substantial.

We believe the hospital-based nature of the China healthcare system is a very attractive feature of this market as it lends itself to rapid adoption of roxadustat within nephrology practices and across specialties, unlike in the U.S. where dialysis is performed separately at freestanding dialysis centers and CKD is treated at widely dispersed clinics and primary care offices across the country. In China, within nephrology, the same physicians care for dialysis, Dialysis Eligible NDD-CKD and Other NDD-CKD patients. Moreover, cardiologists and endocrinologists are located at the same hospitals as nephrologists, and prescriptions from all specialties are often filled at the same hospital pharmacy; as a result, the points of sale are highly concentrated.

Reimbursement

As roxadustat is potentially a chronic use drug that addresses an unmet medical need and is intended to benefit large numbers of Chinese patients, we intend to apply for reimbursement by the Chinese government. Pricing for drugs sold without reimbursement is determined by the drug manufacturer, whereas pricing for drugs under reimbursement is determined by the government. We believe the compelling pharmaco-economic value proposition will support fair pricing for roxadustat.

AstraZeneca

We have entered into an agreement with AstraZeneca relating to roxadustat in China. Under the agreement, FibroGen China will hold all of the regulatory licenses issued by China regulatory authorities and be primarily responsible for regulatory, clinical and manufacturing activities.

AstraZeneca will conduct commercialization activities as well as serve as the national distributor for roxadustat, sourcing the distribution of roxadustat to a network of regional and local distributors. FibroGen China will be responsible for medical affairs and physician education.

We believe that the collaboration will not only help to accelerate market access and patient adoption, but also reduce our risks associated with roxadustat launch in China, as AstraZeneca has significant experience with the China market and will be paying for launch-related commercialization costs in advance and recouping 50% of these expenses from initial roxadustat profits.

Clinical Trials

Our clinical development plan is based upon an agreement with the CFDA that our NDA package will include Phase 1, 2 and 3 trials performed exclusively in China, as well as reference data from Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials performed outside of China.

Completed Clinical Trials of Roxadustat in China

We have successfully completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials in China. A summary of our data and comparison to data from our trials performed outside of China is as follows:

Phase 1 Trials

We completed Phase 1 trials of single and multiple ascending doses of roxadustat. Key findings were:

 

·

Roxadustat pharmacokinetic parameters in Chinese are similar to those in Caucasians and Japanese.

41


 

 

·

Stimulation of endogenous EPO, a marker of roxadustat pharmacodynamics, in Chinese is similar to stimulation in Caucasians and Japanese. 

 

·

Roxadustat was well tolerated and there were no negative safety signals.

Phase 2 Trials

We completed a Phase 2 double-blind placebo controlled trial in NDD-CKD patients and a Phase 2 randomized trial of roxadustat compared to epoetin alfa in DD-CKD patients. Results of these trials are very similar to results from comparable trials performed in the U.S. Refer to “Business — Our Development Program for Roxadustat.” The results of the DD-CKD trial were presented at the 2013 World Congress of Nephrology and the results of the NDD-CKD trial were presented at the 2013 American Society of Nephrology meeting. Key findings of these trials are as follows:

DD-CKD Trial Results

 

·

Roxadustat achieved Hb maintenance in DD-CKD patients who discontinued treatment with epoetin alfa.

 

·

In a post-hoc analysis, the data met the primary endpoint of our planned Phase 3 trial in China in this patient population.

 

·

There were no serious adverse events after starting roxadustat and most common adverse events were muscle spasms, abdominal discomfort, decreased appetite and infections which were typical of those expected for DD-CKD patients. There were no dose-related trends or imbalances in the nature of adverse events between roxadustat and epoetin alfa groups.

NDD-CKD Trial Results

 

·

By Week 9, roxadustat increased Hb levels significantly compared to placebo (p<0.001).

 

·

In a post-hoc analysis, the data met the primary endpoint of our planned Phase 3 trial in China in this patient population.

 

·

Serious adverse events were progression of CKD, infection and high potassium levels and the most common adverse events were infections, high potassium levels, nausea and dizziness. The percentage of patients with adverse events was similar for patients treated with roxadustat compared to patients treated with placebo. There were no imbalances in the nature of adverse events between the patient groups.

Strategy for Continued Development of Roxadustat in China

We dosed our first patients in our DD-CKD and NDD-CKD Phase 3 trials in China in December 2015. Our planned Phase 3 trials are designed to confirm Phase 2 results and are similar in design and endpoints to our Phase 2 trials in DD-CKD and NDD-CKD, except that our Phase 3 trials will include a larger number of patients and will study longer dosing durations. The overall designs of our planned Phase 3 trials are as follows:

Phase 3 Trial in DD-CKD (FGCL-4592-806):

 

·

Design: Randomized, multicenter, open-label, active control.

 

·

Patients: CKD on dialysis.

 

·

Number: 300.

 

·

Control treatment: epoetin alfa.

 

·

Randomization: 2:1 (roxadustat:epoetin alfa).

 

·

Dosing duration: 26 weeks with option for some patients to continue dosing to Week 52.

 

·

Primary endpoint: Hb mean change from baseline averaged over Weeks 23 to 27.

Phase 3 Trial in NDD-CKD (FGCL-4592-808):

 

·

Design: Randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo controlled.

 

·

Patients: CKD not on dialysis.

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·

Number: 150. 

 

·

Control treatment: placebo.

 

·

Randomization: 2:1 (roxadustat:placebo).

 

·

Dosing duration: 8 weeks followed by open-label treatment to week 26 and option for some patients to continue dosing to week 52.

 

·

Primary endpoint: Hb mean change from baseline averaged over Weeks 7 to 9.

In designing these trials, we had several important considerations:

 

·

We had successful Phase 2 trials, and in post-hoc analyses our Phase 2 trial results met the primary endpoints of our planned Phase 3 trials.

 

·

The dosing regimens in our planned Phase 3 trials are based on the dosing regimens in our China Phase 2 trials doses that met the primary endpoints.

 

·

Dosing duration to meet the primary endpoint in the NDD-CKD Phase 3 trial is identical to the China Phase 2 trial dosing duration with additional dosing beyond eight weeks as part of this trial.

 

·

Dosing duration to meet the primary endpoint in the DD-CKD Phase 3 trial is longer than the China Phase 2 trial dosing duration but similar to U.S. Phase 2 trial dosing duration.

 

·

Increased number of patients in Phase 3 increases the trials’ power, or ability to detect the primary endpoint.

Planned Phase 4 Studies

The CFDA imposes a five-year monitoring surveillance period after NDA approval on all Class 1.1 innovative drugs like roxadustat. Based on current CFDA guidelines, we believe we will need to conduct a 2,000 subject post-marketing study to demonstrate the long-term safety of roxadustat as well as provide additional information related to the quality of the manufacturing process for roxadustat. The study design and patient size will be determined after Phase 3 data become available.

FG-5200 FOR THE TREATMENT OF CORNEAL BLINDNESS IN CHINA

Corneal blindness, defined as visual acuity of 3/60 or less, is caused by various factors, including scarring resulting from infections, such as herpes simplex, physical trauma, chemical injury and genetic diseases affecting the function of the cornea. In countries with sufficient tissue banks and skilled surgeons, the treatment for corneal blindness is the replacement of the damaged cornea with a corneal graft from donor corneas from human cadavers. Despite use of immunosuppressive drugs, graft rejection remains a serious problem, resulting in graft failure within five years in approximately 35% of cases in the U.S. We are developing FG-5200 for the treatment of corneal blindness resulting from partial thickness corneal damage.

In China, there are ethical or religious beliefs, cultural norms and significant infrastructure barriers that limit organ donation or tissue banking possibilities, resulting in an extreme shortage of cadaver corneas. In April 2015, a subsidiary of China Regenerative Medicine International Limited received approval for their acellular porcine cornea stroma medical device for the indication of repair of corneal ulcers in China. However, alternatives to cadaver corneas, such as synthetic corneas using collagen derived from porcine tissue or fish scales, are either experimental or to our knowledge, have not yielded satisfactory results for restoration of vision in patients with corneal blindness. In many cases of corneal blindness, infection and other factors lead to serious risks to the patient.

Market Opportunity

Approximately 40,000 corneal grafts were performed in the U.S. in 2011 using tissue from human cadavers. In contrast, while there are approximately 4 to 5 million patients in China with corneal blindness and an incidence of 100,000 cases of corneal blindness each year, there were only about 3,000 corneal grafts performed in China in 2007 using tissue from human cadavers. We believe the number of corneal grafts using cadaver tissue in China may decrease significantly due to recent changes in government policy.

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FG-5200 as a Potential Solution to This Unmet Medical Need

FG-5200 Corneal Implant

Our expertise in fibrosis and extracellular matrix proteins has allowed us to develop processes for producing human collagen types I, II and III, as well as coordinate expression of several enzymes involved in assembly of collagen. We have successfully produced a proprietary version of recombinant human collagen III that is suitable for use in cornea repair.

FG-5200, a corneal implant medical device we are developing in China, is designed to serve as an immediately functional replacement cornea as well as a scaffold to allow for regeneration of the native corneal tissue for the primary purpose of restoration of vision. In contrast, cadaver graft tissue is never “turned over”; in fact, only limited integration occurs over the life of the graft. Our FG-5200 implant is made of recombinant human collagen that has been formed into a highly concentrated fibrillar matrix to provide physical characteristics optimal for corneal implantation.

In animal models, FG-5200 persists for less than one year, at which time native tissue has completely regrown, including both epithelium (the outer cell layer of the cornea) and stroma. The stroma in these animal models is seen to be infiltrated with nerve fibers, leading to the reacquisition of the touch response critical to the avoidance of additional corneal damage.

Corneal implants using human donor tissue are currently being reimbursed by the government, and similar to many other implantable Class III devices in China (including stents and bone grafts), we would expect that FG-5200 could be added to the reimbursement list for medical devices, if approved.

Clinical Testing of FG-5200

An initial clinical study outside of China has been conducted to test the safety and feasibility of using a biosynthetic implant composed of our recombinant human collagen, and substantially similar to FG-5200, for the treatment of severe corneal damage as an alternative to human donor tissue. Ten patients with advanced keratoconus, or severe corneal scarring, were implanted with the recombinant collagen implants and have been followed for more than five years. Two-year follow-up data were reported in Science Translational Medicine (Fagerholm et al., (2010)) and four-year follow-up data were reported in Biomaterials (Fagerholm et al., Biomaterials (2014)). Key clinical findings include the following:

 

·

Patients with biosynthetic implants had a 4-year mean corrected visual acuity of 20/54 and gained on average more than 5 Snellen lines of vision on an eye chart.

 

·

Nerve re-growth and touch sensitivity was closer to that of healthy corneas and significantly better in corneas with biosynthetic implants than in human donor corneas.

 

·

Corneas with biosynthetic implants maintained a stable shape and thickness without any need for a long course of immunosuppression therapy.

 

·

There has been no recruitment of inflammatory dendritic cells into the biosynthetic implant area and no episodes of rejection, in contrast to the control arm of human donor cornea transplantation, where a rejection episode was observed.

FG-5200 Strategy

In January 2016, our subsidiary FibroGen China received CFDA’s written notice of classification of our FG-5200 corneal implant as a Domestic Class III medical device. This allows FibroGen to develop, and if approved, to market FG-5200 corneal implants fabricated in China without any prior reference approval outside of China.

We currently plan to manufacture FG-5200 preclinical and clinical trial material in our aseptic GMP production suite located at our Beijing manufacturing plant. We have completed process technology transfer and expect to complete the registration campaign in the second half of 2016.   Materials from this campaign will be used in preclinical studies which will commence in China in the second half of this year.   We expect to file a CTA at the end of 2017 and to commence the pivotal clinical trial thereafter.

We plan to develop FG-5200 in China first. If FG-5200 is successful in China, we believe there is a future opportunity to develop FG-5200 in other Asian countries where cadaver materials are in short supply, in part because cultural norms and infrastructure and other challenges in tissue banking limit tissue donations. We also believe there is an opportunity to obtain CE Marking to facilitate entry into other markets, such as Latin America. We may develop FG-5200 in the U.S. and Europe as well, where cadaver corneas are available but the required immunosuppressive therapy may make FG-5200 a potentially attractive alternative.

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FG-3019 FOR THE TREATMENT OF FIBROSIS AND CANCER

We were founded to discover and develop therapeutics for fibrosis. We began studying connective tissue growth factor (“CTGF”), shortly after its discovery. Our ongoing internal research, efforts with collaboration partners and the work of other investigators have consistently demonstrated elevated CTGF levels in pathologic fibrotic conditions characterized by sustained production of extracellular matrix (“ECM”), elements that are key molecular components of fibrosis. Our accumulated discovery research efforts indicate that CTGF is a critical common element in the progression of serious diseases associated with fibrosis.

From our library of fully-human monoclonal antibodies that bind to different parts of the CTGF protein and block various aspects of CTGF biological activity, we selected FG-3019, for which we have exclusive worldwide rights. We believe that FG-3019 blocks CTGF and inhibits its central role in causing diseases associated with fibrosis. Our data to date indicate that FG-3019 is a promising and highly differentiated product with broad potential to treat a number of fibrotic diseases and cancers. We are currently conducting Phase 2 trials in IPF, pancreatic cancer and DMD. Additionally, we are also preparing to conduct a clinical trial in liver fibrosis due to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (“NASH”). FG-3019 has received orphan drug designation in IPF in the U.S.

Based on its ability to block CTGF, FG-3019 may be a treatment for a broad array of fibrotic disorders of nearly every organ system. In animal studies of FG-3019, such as radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice, we have demonstrated that FG-3019 is capable of reversing fibrosis. In clinical trials, we have used advanced medical imaging technology to quantify changes in fibrosis throughout the lungs. Our data to date using these measures demonstrate that FG-3019 may stabilize and in some instances reverse pulmonary fibrosis and improve pulmonary function in IPF patients.

Certain cancers have a prominent ECM component that contributes to metastasis and progressive disease. Specifically, ECM is the connective tissue framework of an organ or tissue; all tumors have ECM. In the case of fibrotic tumors, ECM is more pronounced and there is more fibrosis than in other tumor types. In mouse models of pancreatic cancer, FG-3019 treatment has demonstrated reduction of tumor mass, slowing of metastasis and improvement in survival. In an open-label Phase 2 study of FG-3019 plus gemcitabine and erlotinib, FG-3019 demonstrated a dose-dependent improvement in one year survival rate. We are also currently conducting a randomized, active-control, neoadjuvant Phase 2 trial combining FG-3019 with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine in approximately 42 patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

DMD is an inherited disorder of the dystrophin gene that leads to progressive muscle loss and results in early death due to pulmonary or cardiac failure. Numerous pre-clinical studies including those in the mdx model of DMD suggest that CTGF contributes to the process by which muscle is replaced by fibrosis and fat and that CTGF may also impair muscle cell differentiation during muscle repair after injury. FG-3019 treatment has improved muscle strength and exercise endurance in the mdx model of DMD. We recently began an open label single arm trial in non-ambulatory boys with DMD.

Results to date indicate that FG-3019 has broad potential to address unmet needs for the treatment of fibrotic diseases and cancers. Specifically, given our preclinical and clinical data to date, our primary focus for clinical development of FG-3019 is in IPF, DMD and pancreatic cancer. We are also preparing to conduct an exploratory clinical trial in liver fibrosis due to NASH.

Overview of Fibrosis

Fibrosis is an aberrant response of the body to tissue injury that may be caused by trauma, inflammation, infection, cell injury, or cancer. The normal response to injury involves the activation of cells that produce collagen and other components of the ECM that are part of the healing process. This healing process helps to fill in tissue voids created by the injury or damage, segregate infections or cancer, and provide strength to the recovering tissue. Under normal circumstances, where the cause of the tissue injury is limited, the scarring process is self-limited and the scar resolves to approximate normal tissue architecture. However, in certain disease states, this process is prolonged and excessive and results in progressive tissue scarring, or fibrosis, which can cause organ dysfunction and failure as well as, in the case of certain cancers, promote cancer progression.

45


 

Excess CTGF Causes Fibrosis. FG-3019 Blocks CTGF and Can Reverse Fibrosis

Excess CTGF levels are associated with fibrosis. CTGF increases the abundance of myofibroblasts, a cell type that drives wound healing, and stimulates them to deposit ECM proteins such as collagen at the site of tissue injury. In the case of normal healing of a limited tissue injury, myofibroblasts eventually die by programmed cell death, or apoptosis, and the fibrous scarring process recedes. In fibrotic conditions, excess CTGF results in chronic activation of myofibroblasts, which leads to chronic ECM deposition and fibrosis (refer to figure above).

Multiple biological agents and pathways have been implicated in the fibrotic process (Wynn J Pathol (2008)). Many fibrosis pathways converge on CTGF (refer to figure below), which the scientific literature demonstrates to be a central mediator of fibrosis (Oliver et al, J Inv Derm (2010)). In the case of cancer, the sustained tumor-associated fibrotic tissue promotes tumor cell survival and metastasis. The figure below shows the commonality of cellular mechanisms that may result in fibrosis and cancer.

Most Biological Factors Implicated in Fibrosis Work Through CTGF

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CTGF is a secreted glycoprotein produced by fibroblasts, endothelium, mesangial cells and other cell types, including cancers, and is induced by a variety of regulatory modulators, including TGF-ß and VEGF. CTGF expression has been demonstrated to be up-regulated in fibrotic tissues. Thus, we believe that targeting CTGF to block or inhibit its activity could stop or reverse tissue fibrosis. In addition, since CTGF is implicated in nearly all forms of fibrosis, we believe FG-3019 has the potential to provide clinical benefit in a wide range of clinical indications that are characterized by fibrosis.

Until recently, it was believed that fibrosis was an irreversible process. It is now generally understood that the process is dynamic and potentially amenable to reversal. Based on studies in animal models of fibrosis of the liver, kidney, muscle and cardiovascular system, it has been shown that fibrosis can be reversed. It has also been demonstrated in humans that fibrosis caused by hepatitis virus can be reversed (Chang et al. Hepatology (2010)). Additionally, we have generated data in human and animal studies that lung fibrosis can be reversed in some instances upon treatment with FG-3019. We do not believe that there is clinical evidence that therapies currently on the market directly prevent or reverse fibrosis in IPF. While certain other companies are working on topical inhibition of CTGF, we are not aware of other products in development that target CTGF inhibition for deep organ fibrosis and cancer.

Clinical Development of FG-3019 — Overview

We have performed clinical trials of FG-3019 in IPF, pancreatic cancer, liver fibrosis and diabetic kidney disease. We are currently conducting an extension study for an open-label Phase 2 trial in IPF; a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled Phase 2 trial in IPF; a randomized, open label Phase 2 trial in stage 3 pancreatic cancer; and an open label single arm trial in non-ambulatory boys with DMD; In ten Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical studies involving FG-3019 to date, including more than 375 patients who were treated with FG-3019 (146 patients dosed for more than 6 months), FG-3019 has been well-tolerated across the range of doses studied, and there have been no dose-limiting toxicities seen thus far.

In IPF, we completed a Phase 1 single dose trial, and subsequently advanced the program to an ongoing open-label Phase 2 trial of FG-3019 in 89 patients, which has completed its one year treatment period and based on encouraging results is now in an extension phase. We are conducting a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 trial of FG-3019 for first-line treatment. This protocol includes a sub-study that examines safety and efficacy of FG-3019 when combined with either pirfenidone or nintedanib, both of which are approved for treatment of IPF in the U.S. and Europe. Both Phase 2 trials are designed to evaluate the effects of FG-3019 on pulmonary function, extent of fibrosis and health-related quality of life.

In pancreatic cancer, we performed an open-label, dose-finding Phase 2 trial in a total of 75 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. We are also currently conducting a randomized, active-control, neoadjuvant Phase 2 trial combining FG-3019 with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine in approximately 42 patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer. Initial results for the first 12 subjects in the study indicated that more subjects treated on the combination arm containing FG-3019 were converted from unresectable to fully resectable status. The study continues to enroll subjects in order to confirm these early preliminary data.

We conducted a randomized placebo-controlled study of FG-3019 in subjects with liver fibrosis due to hepatitis B who were about to start anti-viral treatment with entecavir. This study tested two doses of FG-3019. The primary endpoint was improvement in liver fibrosis. Interim data indicated that the rate of liver fibrosis improvement in the placebo group that received entecavir alone was much higher than expected (54% compared to 30% expected). Based on this analysis, we determined that the trial was unlikely to be successful and the trial was closed. Based on the safety data in that study we are planning to conduct a trial of FG-3019 in subjects with advanced liver fibrosis due to NASH, for which there is no effective therapy.

In January 2016, we dosed the first patients in an exploratory single arm trial of the safety and efficacy of FG-3019 in non-ambulatory subjects with DMD. The primary endpoint is change in forced vital capacity; other endpoints include changes in arm function and in muscle and heart fibrosis.

Actual dates depend on a variety of factors and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including with respect to patient enrollment, safety results, manufacturing, third party contractors, and government regulators, some of which are out of our control. Also refer to “Risk Factors,” and particularly those risk factors under the heading “Risks Related to the Development and Commercialization of Our Product Candidates.

Early clinical development included studies in diabetic kidney disease. Although no adverse outcomes were observed, we decided not to pursue this indication at this time based on the difficulty of the regulatory path and the extensive clinical trials likely to be required for approval for the treatment of diabetic kidney disease.

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The table below provides a summary of our clinical trials involving FG-3019:

Completed and Ongoing FG-3019 Clinical Trials

Study, Study #

 

Study

Design

 

Dose

(mg/kg)

 

Frequency

 

Treatment

Duration

(weeks)

 

Subjects

Phase 1—IPF, FGCL-MC3019-002

 

Open-label, dose-

escalation

 

1, 3, or 10

 

Single

 

 

 

21

Phase 2—IPF, FGCL-3019-049

 

Open-label, dose-

escalation

 

15 or 30

 

Every 3 weeks

 

45 weeks

 

89*

Phase 2—IPF, FGCL-3019-067

 

Double-blind,

placebo-

controlled

(1:1)

 

30 mg/kg

 

Every 3 weeks

 

45 weeks

 

Target 150**

                         '067 Sub-study

 

Double-blind,

active-

controlled

(2:1)

 

30 mg/kg

 

Every 3 weeks

 

24 weeks

 

Target 60**

Phase 2—Pancreatic Cancer, FGCL-MC3019-

   028

 

Open-label, dose-

escalation

 

3, 10, 15,

25, 35, or

45

17.5 or

22.5

 

Every other week Weekly

 

Until disease

progression

1 to 89

weeks

 

75

Phase 2—Pancreatic Cancer, FGCL-3019-069

 

Open-label,

active control

(1:1)

 

35

 

Cycle 1 = Days 1, 8

and 15

Subsequent

Cycles =

Every other week

 

24 weeks

 

Target 42**

Phase 2—Liver Fibrosis, due to HBV, FGCL-3019-

   801

 

Double-blind,

placebo-

controlled

(2:1)

 

15 or 45

 

Every 3 weeks

 

45 weeks

 

114

Phase 2 – Duchenne muscular dystrophy, non-ambulatory FGCL-3019-079

 

Open-label, single arm

 

45

 

Every 2 weeks

 

45 weeks

 

22**

Phase 1—Diabetic Kidney Disease, FGCL-

   MC3019-003

 

Open-label, dose-

escalation

 

3 or 10

 

Days 0, 14, 28 and 42

 

6 weeks

 

24

Phase 2—Diabetic Kidney Disease, FGCL-

   3019-029

 

Double-blind,

placebo-

controlled

(1:1:1)

 

5 or 10

 

Every 2 weeks Every 4 weeks

 

12 weeks

12 weeks

 

38

Phase 2—Diabetic Kidney Disease, FGCL-

   3019-032

 

Double-blind,

placebo-

controlled

 

3 or 10

 

Biweekly

 

26 weeks

 

46

*

Study 049 completed its one year treatment period and, based on encouraging results, is now in an ongoing extension phase.

**

Currently enrolling.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Understanding IPF and the Limitations of Current Therapies

IPF is a form of progressive pulmonary fibrosis, or abnormal scarring, which destroys the structure and function of the lungs. As tissue scarring progresses in the lungs, transfer of oxygen into the bloodstream is increasingly impaired. Average life expectancy at the time of confirmed diagnosis of IPF is estimated to be between 3 to 5 years, with approximately two-thirds of patients dying within five years of diagnosis. Thus, the survival rates are comparable to some of the most deadly cancers. The cause of IPF is unknown but is believed to be related to unregulated cycles of injury, inflammation and fibrosis.

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Patients with IPF experience debilitating symptoms, including shortness of breath and difficulty performing routine functions, such as walking and talking. Other symptoms include chronic dry, hacking cough, fatigue, weakness, discomfort in the chest, loss of appetite and weight loss. Over the last decade, refinements in diagnosis criteria and enhancements in high-resolution computed tomography, (“HRCT”), imaging technology have enabled more reliable diagnosis of IPF without the need for a lung biopsy more clear distinction from other interstitial lung diseases.

The U.S. prevalence and incidence of IPF are estimated to be 44,000 to 135,000 cases, and 21,000 new cases per year, respectively, based on Raghu et al. (Am J Respir Crit Care Med (2006)) and on data from the United Nations Population Division. We believe that with the availability of technology to enable more accurate diagnoses, the number of individuals diagnosed per year with IPF will continue to increase. In 2011, Decision Resources Group estimated that there will be approximately $4.6 billion in sales of IPF drugs in the U.S. and Europe in 2020.

Pirfenidone has been approved to treat IPF in Europe, Canada, Japan and the U.S. According to the FDA advisory committee submission by its sponsor, pirfenidone has been shown to have a modest effect on slowing the progression of IPF as measured by forced vital capacity (“FVC”) with an annual decline in FVC of 235 mL compared to 428 mL for placebo. Nintedanib has also been approved to treat IPF in the U.S. and the EU and has similar modest effect with an annual decrease in FVC of approximately 115 mL compared to approximately 240 mL for placebo. To our knowledge, neither pirfenidone nor nintedanib has been shown to reverse pulmonary fibrosis. We believe that FG-3019 has the potential to stabilize or reverse lung fibrosis in a subset of IPF patients and if approved, improve the prognosis for patients with IPF.

Phase 2 Clinical Trial of FG-3019 for IPF

Study 002 was a Phase 1 open-label study to determine the safety and PKs of escalating single doses of FG-3019. Patients with a diagnosis of IPF by clinical features and surgical lung biopsy received a single IV dose of FG-3019 at 1, 3, or 10 mg/kg. A total of 21 patients were enrolled in the study; 6 patients received a dose of 1 mg/kg, 9 patients received 3 mg/kg, and 6 patients received 10 mg/kg. FG-3019 was well tolerated across the range of doses studied; and there were no dose-limiting toxicities. TEAE that were considered to be possibly related by the principal investigator to FG-3019 were mild and self-limited, consisting of pyrexia, cough and headache.

We completed the initial one-year treatment portion of Study 049, a Phase 2 open-label, dose-escalation study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of FG-3019 in 89 patients with IPF. FG-3019 was administered at a dose of 15 mg/kg in Cohort 1 (53 patients) and 30 mg/kg in Cohort 2 (36 patients) by IV infusion every 3 weeks for 45 weeks. After 45 weeks of dosing, subjects whose FVC declined less than predicted were allowed to continue dosing in an extension study until they had disease progression. Nineteen patients from Cohort 1 (35.8%) and 13 patients from Cohort 2 (36.1%) entered the extension study. Efficacy endpoints are pulmonary function assessments, extent of pulmonary fibrosis as measured by quantitative imaging and measures of health-related quality of life. A total of 16 patients (4 from cohort 1 and 12 from cohort 2) remain in the extension study, 2.8 to 4.6 years after enrolling in the original study.

HRCT is typically used to diagnose IPF based on visual assessments of computed tomography (“CT”), images of lung fibrosis. We used quantitative HRCT to measure changes in fibrosis in this Study 049. We used software to quantify whole lung fibrosis from the compilation of 1 mm HRCT sections of the entire lung. The computer algorithm, which our vendor validated, provides an overall determination of the percentage of the lung that contains individually the three characteristic forms of IPF fibrosis, including reticular IPF fibrosis which is expected to make the most dynamic contribution to overall lung fibrosis.

The extent of lung fibrosis as measured by quantitative HRCT has been shown to be accurate and reproducible (Kim et al. Eur Radiol (2011)). Recent publications based on similar quantitative HRCT methods have identified an association between worsening pulmonary fibrosis and mortality in IPF (Maldonado et al. Eur Resp J (2014); Oda et al. Respiratory Research (2014)). However, HRCT has not been used by the FDA to establish efficacy in IPF.

Eighty-nine patients in this Phase 2 open label study received at least one dose of FG-3019. We defined disease severity in terms of baseline pulmonary function, measured as the FVC percent of the predicted value for a healthy matched person of the same age, or FVC percent predicted. Severe disease was FVC percent predicted < 55%, moderate disease was FVC percent predicted between 55% and 80%, and mild disease was FVC percent predicted >80%.

In Cohort 1, we enrolled patients with a wide range of disease severity to assess safety and efficacy across the full spectrum. Baseline FVC percent predicted for Cohort 1 was 43% to 90%, with a mean of 62.8%. In contrast, other IPF clinical trials, such as those for pirfenidone and nintedanib, have enrolled patients who on average had mild to moderate disease (mean FVC percent predicted 73.1% to 85.5%). Fourteen patients in Cohort 1 withdrew, and ten of the 14 had severe disease.

49


 

In order to enroll IPF patients similar to those in other IPF trials, we amended the protocol for Cohort 2 to include only patients with mild to moderate disease (FVC ³ 55% predicted). Baseline FVC percent predicted for Cohort 2 was 53% to 112%, with a mean of 72.7%. Based on this definition of disease severity, 37 patients in Cohort 1 and 32 patients in Cohort 2 had mild to moderate disease.

Disease Severity in Enrolled and Evaluated Patients Treated with FG-3019 in FGCL-3019-049

 

 

 

 

 

Cohort 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cohort 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Severe

 

 

Moderate

 

 

Mild

 

 

 

 

 

 

Severe

 

 

Moderate

 

 

Mild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FVC % Predicted

 

< 55%

 

 

55% to 80%

 

 

> 80%

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 55%

 

 

55% to 80%

 

 

> 80%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

Total

 

 

N

 

 

Total

 

Total

 

Enrolled

 

 

16

 

 

 

34

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

53

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

22

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

36

 

 

 

Complete

 

 

5

 

 

 

30

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

38

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

28

 

Evaluated

 

Enrolled

 

 

 

 

 

 

34

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

32

 

 

 

Complete

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

27

 

 

The table below provides a summary of the observed quantitative change in fibrosis for mild to moderate patients in Cohorts 1 and 2 as measured by HRCT. Twenty-four percent of these patients had improved fibrosis at Week 48. We believe that this is the first trial to demonstrate reversal of fibrosis in a subset of IPF patients. Stable fibrosis has been considered the only achievable favorable outcome in IPF. The table below sets forth the number of patients who showed stable or improved fibrosis at Weeks 24 and 48 compared to the amount of fibrosis at the start of the trial.

Changes in Fibrosis in Patients with Mild to Moderate IPF Treated with FG-3019 in FGCL-3019-049

 

 

 

Stable or Improved

Compared to Baseline

 

Improved Compared to

Baseline

 

Improved Compared

to Week 24

 

 

Week 24

 

Week 48

 

Week 24

 

Week 48

 

Week 48

Cohort 1

 

21/45(47%)