Ipsen receives CHMP negative opinion, following re-examination of potential first FOP treatment in the E.U.

Ipsen receives CHMP negative opinion, following re-examination of potential first FOP treatment in the E.U.

  • Palovarotene is the first medicine to be submitted for regulatory approval for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), an ultra-rare disease with an estimated prevalence of 1.36 per million individuals and around 900 people diagnosed worldwide.1,2
  • FOP continuously and permanently causes abnormal bone formation,3 leading to progressive mobility loss and shortened life expectancy
  • There are currently no disease-modifying treatment options available in the E.U.
  • Regulatory processes are continuing in other countries including the U.S.

PARIS, FRANCE, 26 May 2023 – Ipsen (Euronext: IPN; ADR: IPSEY) announced today that the re-examination of palovarotene as a potential treatment for the ultra-rare bone disease, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency confirms the negative opinion given in January 2023. Palovarotene is the first medicine to be submitted for regulatory approval for FOP. The only treatments currently available in the E.U. are for managing the symptoms caused by FOP, such as inflammation and chronic pain and not the underlying disease.

“While everyone at Ipsen who has worked alongside the FOP community for so many years is extremely disappointed by this decision, we maintain our steadfast commitment to bring a new treatment option to the FOP community and our full attention must now turn to the regulatory processes ongoing in other countries,” said Howard Mayer, Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development for Ipsen. “FOP often starts in young children and over time, as new bone is formed and accumulates in joints and other areas of the body, most people lose the ability to eat and drink on their own, many will need a wheelchair to get around and life expectancy is shortened. We continue to believe that our Phase III MOVE trial, the first and largest study to be conducted in patients with FOP, has shown that palovarotene has the potential to reduce the new extra-skeletal bone formation caused by the disease and to slow its progression.”

The CHMP opinion reviewed data from the palovarotene clinical trial program, including the MOVE study, a Phase III, multi-center, open-label efficacy and safety trial conducted in FOP. The primary objectives of MOVE were to evaluate the efficacy of palovarotene in reducing the volume of new abnormal bone formation, known as heterotopic ossification (HO), in pediatric and adult patients with FOP, and to study its safety profile.4

“Today’s news is a step back for patients with FOP in the E.U. and for the clinicians managing this chronic and progressive disease,” said Dr. Genevieve Baujat, Clinical Geneticist Consultant at Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris, France. “Many of my colleagues and I have been waiting for a long time for a treatment that can help us manage the devastating disease that is FOP. We got so close, but it seems that in Europe the wait will continue, while we build on our scientific and clinical understanding of the disease, which has been informed through studies like MOVE.”


About palovarotene

Palovarotene is an investigational oral medicine that selectively targets the retinoic-acid receptor gamma (RARγ), which is an important regulator of skeletal development and ectopic bone in the retinoid signaling pathway. Palovarotene is designed to mediate the interactions between the receptors, growth factors and proteins within the retinoid signaling pathway to reduce new abnormal bone formation (HO). Palovarotene received Orphan Drug and Breakthrough Therapy Designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the potential treatment of FOP and was granted Priority Review. Palovarotene was also granted orphan medicine designation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Palovarotene is in review processes with a number of regulatory authorities including the FDA and the EMA.  Palovarotene is currently authorized for use in appropriate patients only in Canada and provisionally in the U.A.E. where it is marketed as SohonosTM (palovarotene capsules).6

About the MOVE trial

MOVE (NCT03312634) is a Phase III, multicenter, single-arm, open-label trial to assess the efficacy and safety of palovarotene. 107 study participants with FOP received oral palovarotene as a chronic (5mg once daily) and episodic (20mg once daily for 4 weeks, followed by 10mg for ≥8 weeks for flare-ups and trauma) regimen. The primary endpoint was annualized change in new HO volume measured by low-dose whole-body computed tomography.4 Efficacy data from participants enrolled in MOVE were compared with data from FOP Natural History Study (NHS) participants untreated beyond standard of care; individuals ≤65 years of age with clinically diagnosed FOP and a verified ACVR1R206H pathogenic variant were eligible for inclusion in the NHS.5

About Ipsen 

Ipsen is a global, mid-sized biopharmaceutical company focused on transformative medicines in Oncology, Rare Disease and Neuroscience. With total sales of €3.0bn in FY 2022, Ipsen sells medicines in over 100 countries. Alongside its external-innovation strategy, the Company’s research and development efforts are focused on its innovative and differentiated technological platforms located in the heart of leading biotechnological and life-science hubs: Paris-Saclay, France; Oxford, U.K.; Cambridge, U.S.; Shanghai, China. Ipsen has around 5,400 colleagues worldwide and is listed in Paris (Euronext: IPN) and in the U.S. through a Sponsored Level I American Depositary Receipt program (ADR: IPSEY). For more information, visit ipsen.com

For further information:

Ipsen Contacts  

Craig Marks
Vice President, Investor Relations
+44 (0)7584 349 193

Nicolas Bogler
Investor Relations Manager
+33 6 52 19 98 92
Anna Gibbins
Global Head of Franchise Communications,
Rare Disease
+44 (0)7717 801 900  

Amy Wolf
VP, Head of Corporate Brand Strategy & Communications
+41 79 576 07 23  

Ioana Piscociu
Senior Manager Global Media Relations
+33 6 69 09 12 96  

Ipsen’s forward-looking statements

The forward-looking statements, objectives and targets contained herein are based on Ipsen’s management strategy, current views and assumptions. Such statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those anticipated herein. All of the above risks could affect Ipsen’s future ability to achieve its financial targets, which were set assuming reasonable macroeconomic conditions based on the information available today. Use of the words ‘believes’, ‘anticipates’ and ‘expects’ and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, including Ipsen’s expectations regarding future events, including regulatory filings and determinations. Moreover, the targets described in this document were prepared without taking into account external-growth assumptions and potential future acquisitions, which may alter these parameters. These objectives are based on data and assumptions regarded as reasonable by Ipsen. These targets depend on conditions or facts likely to happen in the future, and not exclusively on historical data. Actual results may depart significantly from these targets given the occurrence of certain risks and uncertainties, notably the fact that a promising medicine in early development phase or clinical trial may end up never being launched on the market or reaching its commercial targets, notably for regulatory or competition reasons. Ipsen must face or might face competition from generic medicine that might translate into a loss of market share. Furthermore, the research and development process involves several stages each of which involves the substantial risk that Ipsen may fail to achieve its objectives and be forced to abandon its efforts with regards to a medicine in which it has invested significant sums. Therefore, Ipsen cannot be certain that favorable results obtained during preclinical trials will be confirmed subsequently during clinical trials, or that the results of clinical trials will be sufficient to demonstrate the safe and effective nature of the medicine concerned. There can be no guarantees a medicine will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that the medicine will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Other risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and healthcare legislation; global trends toward healthcare cost containment; technological advances, new medicine and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new-medicine development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Ipsen’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Ipsen’s patents and other protections for innovative medicines; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions. Ipsen also depends on third parties to develop and market some of its medicines which could potentially generate substantial royalties; these partners could behave in such ways which could cause damage to Ipsen’s activities and financial results. Ipsen cannot be certain that its partners will fulfil their obligations. It might be unable to obtain any benefit from those agreements. A default by any of Ipsen’s partners could generate lower revenues than expected. Such situations could have a negative impact on Ipsen’s business, financial position or performance. Ipsen expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements, targets or estimates contained in this press release to reflect any change in events, conditions, assumptions or circumstances on which any such statements are based, unless so required by applicable law. Ipsen’s business is subject to the risk factors outlined in its registration documents filed with the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers. The risks and uncertainties set out are not exhaustive and the reader is advised to refer to Ipsen’s latest Universal Registration Document, available on ipsen.com.


  1. Baujat et. Al. Prevelance of fibrodysplassia ossificans progressiva (FOP) in France; an estimate based on record linkage of two national databases. Orphnet J Rare Dis. 2017;12:123
  2. Lilijesthrom M, et al. Epidemiology of the global fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) community. J Rare Dis Res treat. 2020;5(2):31-36
  3. Kaplan FS et al. The medical management of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva: current treatment considerations. Proc Intl Clin Council FOP. 2019;1:1-111
  4. Pignolo RJ, Hsiao E, Al Mukaddam M et al. Reduction of New HO in the Open-Label, Phase 3 MOVE Trial of Palovarotene for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP). J Bone Miner Res. 2022.
  5. Pignolo RJ, Baujat G, Brown M et al. The natural history of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva: A prospective 36-month study. Gen Med. 2022,ISSN 1098-3600,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gim.2022.08.013.
  6. Government of Canada, Notice: Multiple Additions to the Prescription Drug List (PDL). Viewed 30 November 2022, <https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/drug-products/prescription-drug-list/notices-changes/multiple-additions-2022-01-24.html>.

Related Press Releases