FDA approves Prolia for glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis


The Food and Drug Administration has approved Prolia (denosumab) for the treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in adults at high risk of fracture, the drug’s manufacturer Amgen announced May 21.

FDA approval was based on 12-month primary analysis results from a randomized, double-blind, phase 3 trial. Patients who received a 60-mg dose of Prolia subcutaneously every 6 months had greater lumbar spine bone mineral density at 1 year than did those who received a 5-mg dose of risedronate daily in all study subpopulations. These results were maintained after researchers controlled for gender, race, geographic region, and menopausal status, as well as baseline age, lumbar spine bone mineral density T score, and glucocorticoid dose within each subpopulation.

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Prolia is currently approved to treat postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high fracture risk, to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis at high fracture risk, and to increase bone mass in women receiving adjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy for breast cancer and in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for nonmetastatic prostate cancer.

The most common adverse events associated with Prolia during the phase 3 study were back pain, hypertension, bronchitis, and headache, which are in line with previously reported safety data.

“Patients on long-term systemic glucocorticoid medications can experience a rapid reduction in bone mineral density within a few months of beginning treatment. With this approval, patients who receive treatment with glucocorticoids now have a new option to help improve their bone mineral density,” lead study author Kenneth F. Saag, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, said in Amgen’s news release.

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