MEDICAL POLICY

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APPENDIX
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Mecasermin; recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-1 (Increlex™)

Number 5.01.519

Effective Date April 16, 2013

Revision Date(s) 04/08/13; 04/10/12; 03/08/11; 06/08/10; 07/14/09; 08/12/08

Replaces N/A

Policy

Mecasermin may be considered medically necessary for its FDA-approved indication for the treatment of growth failure in children. (See Policy Guidelines for criteria.)

Use of mecasermin to treat all other indications is considered investigational, including but not limited to:

  • less severe forms of IGF-1 deficiency,
  • secondary forms of IGF-1 deficiency (GH deficiency, malnutrition, hypothyroidism, or chronic corticosteroid therapy),
  • growth failure due to other identifiable causes (e.g., Prader-Willi syndrome, Turner syndrome, Noonan syndrome),
  • diabetes mellitus,
  • AIDS-associated wasting,
  • women with anorexia nervosa,
  • obesity in postmenopausal women,
  • advanced chronic renal failure,
  • cystic fibroisis,
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),
  • severe head injury, or
  • use in combination with GH.

The use of Mecasermin for idiopathic short stature is considered not medically necessary.

Note: Policy and guidelines for the use of growth hormone (somatropin) are contained in a separate medical policy. (See Related Policies)

Related Policies

5.01.500

Growth Hormone Therapy

Policy Guidelines

Up to 12 months of coverage may be authorized for patients meeting ALL the following criteria:

  • Diagnosis of growth failure due to severe primary IGF-1 deficiency (growth hormone receptor mutations [eg, Laron syndrome], post-growth hormone receptor signaling pathway mutations, or IGF-1 gene defects) OR growth hormone (GH) gene deletion with neutralizing antibodies to GH.
  • The patient’s height is below the 3rd percentile on growth charts for their age and gender related height. (i.e., height is greater than 2.25 standard deviations below the mean).
  • The patient’s baseline IGF-1 concentration is ≥ 3 SD below normal (based on lab reference range for age and sex).
  • The patient’s baseline growth hormone concentration is normal or elevated based on at least one stimulation test.
  • Bone age is < 13 years for females or < 15 years for males.

Coverage may be reauthorized for up to 12 months in patients previously receiving mecasermin if ALL the following criteria are met:

  • Growth velocity is ≥ 2.5 cmyear AND
  • Bone age is ≤ 14 years for females or ≤ 16 years for males.

Description

Mecasermin is produced by recombinant DNA technology and has an identical amino acid sequence to endogenous human insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Mecasermin is approved for the treatment of growth failure in children with severe primary IGF-1 deficiency (growth hormone receptor mutations, post-growth hormone receptor signaling pathway mutations, or IGF-1 gene defects) and in those with growth hormone (GH) gene deletion who have developed neutralizing antibodies to GH. It is estimated that 30,000 to 60,000 children in the US and Western Europe have primary IGF-1 deficiency. Of these individuals, approximately 20%, or 6,000 to 12,000, have severe primary IGF-1 deficiency.

The current somatomedin hypothesis of statural growth involves GH release by the anterior pituitary that is controlled in a stimulatory fashion by GH-releasing hormone and in an inhibitory fashion by somatostatin. Circulating GH then binds to GH receptors in the liver resulting in production of IGF-1, IGF binding proteins, and acid labile subunit. Virtually all circulating IGF-1 is bound to IGF binding proteins and acid labile subunit. This tertiary complex reduces extravascular passage and increases the half-life of IGF-1. Circulating IGF-1 then stimulates multiple processes leading to statural growth and metabolic changes that support this growth. GH also stimulates prechondrocyte differentiation and local production of IGF-1 (autocrine and paracrine) that in turn stimulate clonal expansion, maturation of chondrocytes, and growth. Approximately 15% to 20% of growth is thought to be the result of this local effect of GH versus that resulting from circulating hepatic IGF-1.

Mecasermin is not a substitute for GH treatment and is not indicated for the treatment of secondary IGF deficiency resulting from GH deficiency, malnutrition, hypothyroidism or chronic corticosteroid therapy.

Scope

Medical policies are systematically developed guidelines that serve as a resource for Company staff when determining coverage for specific medical procedures, drugs or devices. Coverage for medical services is subject to the limits and conditions of the member benefit plan. Members and their providers should consult the member benefit booklet or contact a customer service representative to determine whether there are any benefit limitations applicable to this service or supply.

Benefit Application

Enrollees receiving mecasermin should be reviewed on at least an annual basis to assure proper application of benefits.

Mecasermin may be covered under the drug or medical benefit.

Rationale

Severe primary IGF-1 deficiency or GH gene deletion with neutralizing antibodies to GH are rare disorders currently without therapeutic alternatives. A small quantity of low quality evidence consistently supports the efficacy and safety of mecasermin for the treatment of children with these conditions to increase statural growth. According to the FDA review report for mecasermin, approval was granted based on four small (n= 6 to 23) and one long-term clinical studies (4 open-label and 1 double-blind placebo-controlled). Because of the rarity of severe primary IGF-1 deficiency, the patients and data from the 4 smaller studies were “rolled into” the larger long-term study.

Chernausek et al. reported long-term efficacy and safety results from a multicenter, open-label, uncontrolled study in 76 children with severe IGF-1 deficiency associated with growth hormone insensitivity. It should be noted that the inclusion criteria used for the study were less stringent than defined by the FDA for identification of patients with severe deficiency. A total of 76 patients initially received mecasermin 0.04-0.08 mg/kg SC twice daily, and if the dose was tolerated for at least a week without hypoglycemic episodes it was titrated by 0.04 mg/kg/dose to 0.12 mg/kg twice daily. The primary study endpoint was change from baseline in height velocity. During the first year of treatment, height velocity increased from a mean baseline of 2.8 cm/yr to 8.0 cm/yr, in 59 evaluable patients (P<0.0001). Height velocity was lower in subsequent years, but remained above baseline for up to 8 years. Height velocity was dose dependent or fastest in those receiving the maximal dose (0.012 mg/kg twice daily). Bone age increased modestly an average of 5.8 yrs over 5.1 years (P=0.01).

A smaller (n=8) open-label uncontrolled study in which patients with severe primary IGF-1 deficiency were treated with mecasermin 0.08-0.12 mg/kg twice daily as tolerated for up to 7.5 years showed similar results. During the first year of treatment, height velocity increased from a mean baseline of 4.0 cm/yr to 9.3 cm/yr (mean height velocity SDS +3.8) and 6.2 cm/yr (mean height velocity SDS +0.5) in the second year of treatment. Mean change in height velocity SDS was +1.4 after 6-7 years of therapy.

The most commonly reported adverse events reported with use of mecasermin at recommended doses in children with severe primary IGF-1 deficiency were hypoglycemia, lymphoid tissue hypertrophy, and injection-site lipohypertrophy. Hypoglycemia was minimized by consumption of a meal or a snack within 20 minutes of administration of the drug, and lipohypertorphy was minimized by rotation of the injection site with each dose. Rarely, intracranial hypertension was also reported.

Labeled contraindications include closed epiphyses, suspected or active neoplasia, intravenous (IV) administration, and hypersensitivity to any component. Labeled warnings and precautions include that the product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative, which has been associated with neurological toxicity in neonates; sensitivity reactions have been reported; treatment should be directed by physicians experienced in the diagnosis and management of patients with growth disorders; mecasermin should be administered shortly (± 20 min) before or after a meal or snack because mecasermin has insulin-like hypoglycemic effects; hypertrophy of lymphoid tissue with complications (e.g., snoring, sleep apnea) has been observed; intracranial hypertension has been reported; rapid growth may cause slipped capital femoral epiphysis or worsen scoliosis; and allergic reactions have been reported.

The recommended starting dose of mecasermin is 0.04-0.08 mg/kg subcutaneously twice daily. If well-tolerated (without hypoglycemia) for at least one week, the dose may be increased in 0.04 mg/kg/dose increments up to the maximum dose of 0.12 mg/kg SC twice daily. Doses greater than 0.12 mg/kg twice daily have not been studied in children with primary IGF-1 deficiency and should not be used to avoid potential hypoglycemia.

2009 Update

A literature search of the MEDLINE database conducted from August 2008 through June 2009 did not identify any additional published studies that would prompt reconsideration of the policy statements.

2010 Update

A literature search of the MEDLINE database conducted from July 2009 through April 2010 did not identify any additional published studies that would prompt reconsideration of the policy statements.

2011 Update

A literature search of the MEDLINE database conducted from May 2010 through January 2011 did not identify any additional published studies that would prompt reconsideration of the policy statements.

2012 Update

A literature search of the MEDLINE database conducted from January 2011 through February 2012 did not identify any additional published studies that would prompt reconsideration of the policy statements.

2013 Update

A literature search of the MEDLINE database conducted from January through December 2012 did not identify any additional published studies that would prompt reconsideration of the policy statements.

References

  1. Chernausek SD, Backeljauw PF, Frane J, et al. Long-term treatment with recombinant insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I in children with severe IGF-I deficiency due to growth hormone insensitivity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007; 92(3): 902-910.
  2. Guevara-Aguirre J, Rosenbloom AL, Vasconez O, et al. Two year treatment of GH receptor deficiency (GHRD) with recombinant insulin-like growth factor-I in 22 children: comparison of two dosage levels and to GH treated GH deficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1997; 82:629–633.
  3. Rosenbloom AL, Guevara-Aguirre J, Martinez AL, et al. Comparison of GH replacement therapy in GH deficiency (GHD) to IGF-I replacement in GH receptor deficiency (GHRD): evidence for a direct effect of GH on growth. Pediatr Res 1995;37:97A.
  4. FDA. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research approval package for: application number NDA 21-839: medical review(s) [online]. Available at http://www.fda.gov. Last accessed March 27, 2013.
  5. Backeljauw PF, Underwood LE. Therapy for 6.5-7.5 years with recombinant insulin-like growth factor I in children with growth hormone insensitivity syndrome: a clinical research center study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001;86 (4):1504-1510.
  6. Backeljauw PF, Underwood LE, and the GHIS Collaborative Group. Prolonged treatment with recombinant insulin-like growth factor-I in children with growth hormone insensitivity syndrome: a clinical research center study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1996; 81 (9):3312-3317.
  7. Underwood LE, Backeljauw P, Duncan V. Effects of insulin-like growth factor I treatment on statural growth, body composition and phenotype of children with growth hormone insensitivity syndrome. Acta Paediatr Suppl 1999; 88 (428): 182-184.
  8. Keating GM. Mecasermin. Biodrugs 2008;22:177-188.
  9. Guevara-Aguirre J, Guevara-Aguirre M, Rosenbloom AL. Absence of hypoglycemia in response to varying doses of recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-1 (rhIGF-1) in children and adolescents with low serum concentrations of IGF-1. Acta Paediatrica 2006;95(2):199-202.
  10. Rosenbloom AL. The role of recombinant insulin-like growth factor in the treatment of the short child. Curr Opin Pediatr 2007;19:458–464.
  11. Tercica, Inc. Increlex (mecasermin) prescribing information. Brisbane, CA. August 2005.
  12. Rosenbloom AL, Guevara-Aguirre J. Controversy in clinical endocrinology: reclassification of IGF-1 production and action disorders. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006; 91:4232–4234.
  13. Rosenbloom AL. Is there a role for insulin-like growth factor-1 in the treatment of idiopathic short stature. Lancet. 2006;368:612-616.
  14. Fervenza FC, Friedlaender MM, Ike JO, et al. Insulin-like growth factor-I treatment to enhance renal function in advanced chronic renal failure. Ren Fail. 1998;20 (2):349-56.
  15. Petriczko E. Wikiera B, Horodnicka-Józwa A, et al. A two-year observation of the process of applying recombinant IGF-1 to treat short stature in children with primary IGF-1 deficiency. Pediatr Endocrinol Diabetes Metab 2011;17(4):233-238.
  16. Backeljauw PF, Chernausek SD. The insulin-like growth factors and growth disorders of childhood. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2012 Jun;41(2):265-82

Coding

Codes

Number

Description

CPT

   

ICD-9

Procedure

   

ICD-9 Diagnosis

   

HCPCS

J2170

Injection, Mecasermin (Increlex™), 1 mg

Type of Service

Retail pharmacy self-administered subcutaneous injectable

 

Place of Service

   

Appendix

N/A

History

Date

Reason

08/12/08

Add to Prescription Drug Section - New PR Policy.

07/14/09

Replace Policy - Policy updated with literature search, no change to the policy statement.

06/08/10

Replace Policy - Policy updated with literature search, no change to the policy statement.

03/08/11

Replace Policy - Policy updated with literature review; no change in policy statement. Policy guidelines updated for improved clarity and administrative simplicity.

04/25/12

Replace policy. Policy updated with literature review; policy statements unchanged. Reference 15 added.

04/16/13

Replace policy. Policy updated with literature review; policy statements unchanged.


Disclaimer: This medical policy is a guide in evaluating the medical necessity of a particular service or treatment. The Company adopts policies after careful review of published peer-reviewed scientific literature, national guidelines and local standards of practice. Since medical technology is constantly changing, the Company reserves the right to review and update policies as appropriate. Member contracts differ in their benefits. Always consult the member benefit booklet or contact a member service representative to determine coverage for a specific medical service or supply. CPT codes, descriptions and materials are copyrighted by the American Medical Association (AMA).
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