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Indication & Important Safety Information for Soliris® (eculizumab)

INDICATION

Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
Soliris is indicated for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) to reduce hemolysis.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: SERIOUS MENINGOCOCCAL INFECTIONS

Life-threatening and fatal meningococcal infections have occurred in patients treated with Soliris.
Meningococcal infection may become rapidly life-threatening or fatal if not recognized and treated early.

  • Comply with the most current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for meningococcal vaccination in patients with complement deficiencies.
  • Immunize patients with meningococcal vaccines at least 2 weeks prior to administering the first dose of Soliris, unless the risks of delaying Soliris therapy outweigh the risk of developing a meningococcal infection. (See Serious Meningococcal Infections for additional guidance on the management of the risk of meningococcal infection)
  • Vaccination reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of meningococcal infections. Monitor patients for early signs of meningococcal infections and evaluate immediately if infection is suspected.

Soliris is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). Under the Soliris REMS, prescribers must enroll in the program. Enrollment in the Soliris REMS program and additional information are available by telephone: 1-888-SOLIRIS (1-888-765-4747) or at www.solirisrems.com.

Contraindications

Soliris is contraindicated in:

  • Patients with unresolved serious Neisseria meningitidis infection
  • Patients who are not currently vaccinated against Neisseria meningitidis, unless the risks of delaying Soliris treatment outweigh the risks of developing a meningococcal infection

Warnings and Precautions

Serious Meningococcal Infections

Risk and Prevention

See Boxed WARNING for additional information on serious meningococcal infections.

Life-threatening and fatal meningococcal infections have occurred in patients treated with Soliris. The use of Soliris increases a patient’s susceptibility to serious meningococcal infections (septicemia and/or meningitis).

Vaccinate for meningococcal disease according to the most current ACIP recommendations for patients with complement deficiencies. Revaccinate patients in accordance with ACIP recommendations, considering the duration of Soliris therapy.

Immunize patients without a history of meningococcal vaccination at least 2 weeks prior to receiving the first dose of Soliris. If urgent Soliris therapy is indicated in an unvaccinated patient, administer meningococcal vaccine(s) as soon as possible and provide patients with two weeks of antibacterial drug prophylaxis.

The benefits and risks of antibiotic prophylaxis for prevention of meningococcal infections in patients receiving Soliris have not been established.
Vaccination reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of meningococcal infections.

Closely monitor patients for early signs and symptoms of meningococcal infection and evaluate patients immediately if an infection is suspected. Meningococcal infection may become rapidly life-threatening or fatal if not recognized and treated early. Discontinue Soliris in patients who are undergoing treatment for serious meningococcal infections.

REMS
Because of the risk of meningococcal infections, Soliris is available only through a restricted program under a REMS. Under the Soliris REMS, prescribers must enroll in the program.

Prescribers must counsel patients about the risk of meningococcal infection, provide the patients with the REMS educational materials, and ensure patients are vaccinated with meningococcal vaccine(s).

Other Infections
Serious infections with Neisseria species (other than N. meningitidis), including disseminated gonococcal infections, have been reported.

Soliris blocks terminal complement activation; therefore patients may have increased susceptibility to infections, especially with encapsulated bacteria. Additionally, Aspergillus infections have occurred in immunocompromised and neutropenic patients. Children treated with Soliris may be at increased risk of developing serious infections due to Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Administer vaccinations for the prevention of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infections according to ACIP guidelines. Use caution when administering Soliris to patients with any systemic infection.

Monitoring Disease Manifestations After Soliris Discontinuation

Treatment Discontinuation for PNH
Monitor patients after discontinuing Soliris for at least 8 weeks to detect hemolysis.

Thrombosis Prevention and Management
The effect of withdrawal of anticoagulant therapy during Soliris treatment has not been established. Therefore, treatment with Soliris should not alter anticoagulant management.

Infusion Reactions
Administration of Soliris may result in infusion reactions, including anaphylaxis or other hypersensitivity reactions. In clinical trials, no patients experienced an infusion reaction which required discontinuation of Soliris. Interrupt Soliris infusion and institute appropriate supportive measures if signs of cardiovascular instability or respiratory compromise occur.

Adverse Reactions
The most frequently reported adverse reactions in the PNH randomized trial (≥10% overall and greater than placebo) are: headache, nasopharyngitis, back pain, and nausea.

Please see full Prescribing Information for Soliris, including boxed WARNING regarding serious meningococcal infections.

How do I test for PNH?

Appropriate Testing for PNH

Testing for PNH requires only a peripheral blood sample.1 Such testing can improve the time to diagnosing PNH, which can otherwise be delayed from one to more than 10 years.1,2

The ICCS Guidelines

Review the full International Clinical Cytometry Society (ICCS) Guidelines for identifying and monitoring PNH-cell populations.

The Realities of Testing

The diverse and common symptomatology of PNH can delay diagnosis from 1 to more than 10 years2, therefore it is critical to test high-risk patient groups in an effort to make an earlier diagnosis of PNH.3

High-sensitivitya flow cytometry — performed on peripheral blood — is the gold standard diagnostic test for PNH.4

a Detects PNH cells down to a 0.01% clone size.


Overview of sample processing in flow cytometry5

  • Send peripheral blood samples to a lab that can perform high-sensitivity testing, in order to detect cell populations numbering as few as 0.01%

  • Stain cells with monoclonal antibodies against GPI-anchored proteins or markers for GPI anchor in both red blood cells (RBCs) and white blood cells (WBCs) that are specific for each cell lineage tested

    • Both RBCs and WBCs should be tested for the presence of PNH clones

    • Multiple markers should be used for each lineage tested, as recommended in the ICCS guidelines

  • Ensure appropriate numbers of gated cells are used for routine analysis and high-sensitivity flow cytometry

  • Report flow cytometric data by describing populations of both RBCs and WBCs that are abnormal or deficient in GPI anchors


Detection of populations of PNH-cell populations using flow cytometry

As an analytical tool, flow cytometry is performed using either monoclonal antibodies directed against GPI-anchored proteins (GPI-APs) or other markers that bind to GPI anchors present on the surface of RBCs and WBCs. Importantly, the proper sample considerations, cell gating strategies, and multiple lineage-specific antibody combinations are essential to support a result that is accurate and reproducible.5

Strategies for PNH testing5
Type of analysis Number of cells Target cell Gating strategies Informative reagents
High sensitivity (0.01%) 250,000 Red cells Glycophorin A + scatter CD59 ± CD55 in same or different colors
Granulocytes CD15/SSC FLAERa, CD24, CD66b, CD16†b; 2 reagents essential
CD55/CD59 combination not recommended
Monocytes‡c
Routine (1%) 5000 Red cells Log FSC/SSC; glycophorin A optional CD59 ± CD55
Granulocytes CD45/SSC or CD15†b (or equivalent)/SSC FLAERa, CD24, CD66b, CD16†b; 2 reagents essential
CD55/CD59 combination not recommended
Monocytes CD45/SSC or CD33/SSC or CD64/SSC or CD163/SSC FLAERa, CD14d, CD48e, CD55e, CD57e

a The FLAER method is based on the ability of fluorescently labeled inactive variant of the bacterial protein aerolysin to bind selectively to GPI-APs.

b Polymorphic variants and loss of CD16 from eosinophils may limit usefulness; should never be used as sole reagent.

c Monocytes may not be suitable for high-sensitivity analysis because of the difficulty in collecting sufficient events, but if performed, lineage-specific gating using CD33 or CD64, and FLAER plus another reagent is essential.

d CD14 is negative on dendritic cells and basophils that could be included in a monocyte gate, and is also dim or negative on immature monocytes, so should not be used as sole reagent; may be useful to combine with FLAER in dual parameter analysis, though FLAER may also be dim on normal basophils.

e Limited experience with these reagents.

PNH Diagnostic Laboratory Services

A list of labs that perform high-sensitivity flow cytometry tests for PNH

A patient brochure that provides information on PNH and treatment with Soliris.

Important Safety Information

Indication & Important Safety Information for Soliris® (eculizumab)

INDICATION

Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
Soliris is indicated for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) to reduce hemolysis.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: SERIOUS MENINGOCOCCAL INFECTIONS

Life-threatening and fatal meningococcal infections have occurred in patients treated with Soliris.
Meningococcal infection may become rapidly life-threatening or fatal if not recognized and treated early.

  • Comply with the most current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for meningococcal vaccination in patients with complement deficiencies.
  • Immunize patients with meningococcal vaccines at least 2 weeks prior to administering the first dose of Soliris, unless the risks of delaying Soliris therapy outweigh the risk of developing a meningococcal infection. (See Serious Meningococcal Infections for additional guidance on the management of the risk of meningococcal infection)
  • Vaccination reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of meningococcal infections. Monitor patients for early signs of meningococcal infections and evaluate immediately if infection is suspected.

Soliris is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). Under the Soliris REMS, prescribers must enroll in the program. Enrollment in the Soliris REMS program and additional information are available by telephone: 1-888-SOLIRIS (1-888-765-4747) or at www.solirisrems.com.

Contraindications

Soliris is contraindicated in:

  • Patients with unresolved serious Neisseria meningitidis infection
  • Patients who are not currently vaccinated against Neisseria meningitidis, unless the risks of delaying Soliris treatment outweigh the risks of developing a meningococcal infection

Warnings and Precautions

Serious Meningococcal Infections

Risk and Prevention

See Boxed WARNING for additional information on serious meningococcal infections.

Life-threatening and fatal meningococcal infections have occurred in patients treated with Soliris. The use of Soliris increases a patient’s susceptibility to serious meningococcal infections (septicemia and/or meningitis).

Vaccinate for meningococcal disease according to the most current ACIP recommendations for patients with complement deficiencies. Revaccinate patients in accordance with ACIP recommendations, considering the duration of Soliris therapy.

Immunize patients without a history of meningococcal vaccination at least 2 weeks prior to receiving the first dose of Soliris. If urgent Soliris therapy is indicated in an unvaccinated patient, administer meningococcal vaccine(s) as soon as possible and provide patients with two weeks of antibacterial drug prophylaxis.

The benefits and risks of antibiotic prophylaxis for prevention of meningococcal infections in patients receiving Soliris have not been established.
Vaccination reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of meningococcal infections.

Closely monitor patients for early signs and symptoms of meningococcal infection and evaluate patients immediately if an infection is suspected. Meningococcal infection may become rapidly life-threatening or fatal if not recognized and treated early. Discontinue Soliris in patients who are undergoing treatment for serious meningococcal infections.

REMS
Because of the risk of meningococcal infections, Soliris is available only through a restricted program under a REMS. Under the Soliris REMS, prescribers must enroll in the program.

Prescribers must counsel patients about the risk of meningococcal infection, provide the patients with the REMS educational materials, and ensure patients are vaccinated with meningococcal vaccine(s).

Other Infections
Serious infections with Neisseria species (other than N. meningitidis), including disseminated gonococcal infections, have been reported.

Soliris blocks terminal complement activation; therefore patients may have increased susceptibility to infections, especially with encapsulated bacteria. Additionally, Aspergillus infections have occurred in immunocompromised and neutropenic patients. Children treated with Soliris may be at increased risk of developing serious infections due to Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Administer vaccinations for the prevention of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infections according to ACIP guidelines. Use caution when administering Soliris to patients with any systemic infection.

Monitoring Disease Manifestations After Soliris Discontinuation

Treatment Discontinuation for PNH
Monitor patients after discontinuing Soliris for at least 8 weeks to detect hemolysis.

Thrombosis Prevention and Management
The effect of withdrawal of anticoagulant therapy during Soliris treatment has not been established. Therefore, treatment with Soliris should not alter anticoagulant management.

Infusion Reactions
Administration of Soliris may result in infusion reactions, including anaphylaxis or other hypersensitivity reactions. In clinical trials, no patients experienced an infusion reaction which required discontinuation of Soliris. Interrupt Soliris infusion and institute appropriate supportive measures if signs of cardiovascular instability or respiratory compromise occur.

Adverse Reactions
The most frequently reported adverse reactions in the PNH randomized trial (≥10% overall and greater than placebo) are: headache, nasopharyngitis, back pain, and nausea.

Please see full Prescribing Information for Soliris, including boxed WARNING regarding serious meningococcal infections.

  1. Rachidi S, et al. Eur J Intern Med. 2010;21(4):260-267.

  2. Dacie JV, Lewis SM. Ser Haemat. 1972;3:3-23.

  3. Parker C, et al. Blood. 2005;106:3699-3709.

  4. Sahin F, et al. Am J Blood Res. 2016;6(2):19-27.

  5. Borowitz MJ, et al. Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2010;78(4):211-230.