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05.28.2019 | Investors

Allergan and Gedeon Richter Receive U.S. FDA Approval For Expanded Use of VRAYLAR® (cariprazine) in the Treatment of Bipolar Depression

- New Indication Makes VRAYLAR First and Only Dopamine and Serotonin Partial Agonist to Treat the Full Spectrum of Bipolar I Symptoms in Manic, Mixed, and Depressive Episodes -

DUBLIN and BUDAPEST, Hungary, May 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN) and Gedeon Richter Plc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for VRAYLAR® (cariprazine) for expanded use to treat depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (bipolar depression) in adults. VRAYLAR is also approved in the U.S. to treat manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in adults. There are nearly 11 million adults in the U.S. living with bipolar disorder,1 a condition that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels.2

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8472152-allergan-vraylar-bipolar-depression-fda-approval/

"Treating bipolar disorder can be very difficult because people living with the illness experience a range of depressive and manic symptoms, sometimes both at the same time, and this FDA approval gives healthcare providers a new option to treat the full spectrum of bipolar I disorder symptoms, specifically manic, mixed, and depressive episodes, with just one medication," said Dr. Stephen Stahl, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and lead author of the post hoc analysis, Cariprazine Efficacy in Patients with Bipolar Depression and Concurrent Manic Symptoms. "Treating depression, mania and mixed episodes with a single medication is important for people living with, and healthcare providers treating, this complex illness. This approval can streamline a treatment decision while helping to stabilize the disorder."

Seventy percent of people living with bipolar disorder receive at least one misdiagnosis and consult an average of four doctors over approximately 10 years before being accurately diagnosed.3 Many patients take multiple medications to treat the symptoms of this condition.

The FDA approval for the expanded indication of VRAYLAR is based on three pivotal trials, including RGH-MD-53, RGH-MD-54 and RGH-MD-56, in which cariprazine demonstrated greater improvement than placebo for the change from baseline to week six on the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating scale (MADRS) total score. In all three studies, the VRAYLAR 1.5 mg dose demonstrated statistical significance over placebo; additionally, in RGH-MD-54, the VRAYLAR 3 mg dose demonstrated statistical significance over placebo. Common adverse events reported in the pivotal trials were nausea, akathisia, restlessness, and extrapyramidal symptoms. 

"This approval represents an important milestone in our efforts to help patients and prescribing healthcare providers effectively manage bipolar I disorder and demonstrates our ongoing focus on mental health," said David Nicholson, Chief Research & Development Officer at Allergan.  "We are committed to developing therapies for complex mental health disorders, including VRAYLAR, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of major depressive disorder."

"This approval is considered a notable achievement in the development process of cariprazine, our flagship product," said Dr. István Greiner, Research Director of Gedeon Richter Plc. "We are pleased that more and more patient groups suffering from psychiatric disorders will get access to cariprazine as a treatment option."

About VRAYLAR® (cariprazine)
VRAYLAR is an oral, once daily atypical antipsychotic approved for the acute treatment of adults with manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (3 to 6 mg/day) and for the treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (bipolar depression) in adults (1.5 or 3 mg/day). VRAYLAR is also approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults (1.5 to 6 mg/day).

While the mechanism of action of VRAYLAR is unknown, the efficacy of VRAYLAR could be mediated through a combination of partial agonist activity at central dopamine D₂ and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors and antagonist activity at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors. Pharmacodynamic studies with cariprazine have shown that it acts as a partial agonist with high binding affinity at dopamine D3, dopamine D2, and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors. Cariprazine demonstrated up to ~8-fold greater in vitro affinity for dopamine D3 vs D2 receptors. Cariprazine also acts as an antagonist at serotonin 5-HT2B and 5-HT2A receptors with high and moderate binding affinity, respectively as well as it binds to the histamine H1 receptors.

VRAYLAR shows lower binding affinity to the serotonin 5-HT2C and α1A- adrenergic receptors and has no appreciable affinity for cholinergic muscarinic receptors. The clinical significance of these in vitro data is unknown.

VRAYLAR was discovered and co-developed by Gedeon Richter Plc and is licensed by Allergan, in the U.S. and Canada. For more than a decade both companies have conducted over 20 clinical trials enrolling thousands of patients worldwide to evaluate the efficacy and safety of cariprazine for people living with a broad range of mental health illnesses. 

Visit www.vraylar.com for more information.

About Bipolar I Disorder and Bipolar I Depression

There are nearly 11 million adults in the U.S. living with bipolar disorder,1 a condition that causes periods of severe changes in mood, energy, and activity levels.2 These periods are often called "episodes." Experiencing just one manic episode is enough to be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. Although there is no known cure, its symptoms may be managed.4

Bipolar depression refers to the depressive episodes of bipolar I disorder. People living with bipolar I disorder can have manic and depressive episodes, as well as mixed episodes that feature both manic and depressive symptoms at the same time. Depressive symptoms are three times more prevalent than manic symptoms and constitute a larger portion of the patient's life spent unwell.5 Bipolar I depression typically lasts at least two weeks and can be difficult to differentiate from major depression during diagnosis. If misdiagnosed with major depressive disorder, people may be given an antidepressant which, when taken as a monotherapy by someone with bipolar disorder, can induce a manic episode.6

INDICATION AND USAGE

VRAYLAR is an oral, once daily atypical antipsychotic approved for the acute treatment of adults with manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (3 to 6 mg/day) and for the treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (bipolar depression) in adults (1.5 or 3 mg/day). VRAYLAR is also approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults (1.5 to 6 mg/day).

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION 


WARNINGS: INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS; and SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

 

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. VRAYLAR is not approved for treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

 

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric and young adult patients in short-term studies. Closely monitor antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Safety and effectiveness of VRAYLAR have not been established in pediatric patients.


Contraindication: VRAYLAR is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity. Reactions have included rash, pruritus, urticaria, and events suggestive of angioedema.

Cerebrovascular Adverse Reactions, Including Stroke: In clinical trials with antipsychotic drugs, elderly subjects with dementia had a higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse reactions, including fatalities vs placebo. VRAYLAR is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): NMS, a potentially fatal symptom complex, has been reported with antipsychotic drugs. NMS may cause hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, delirium, and autonomic instability. Additional signs may include elevated creatine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis), and acute renal failure.  Manage with immediate discontinuation, intensive symptomatic treatment, and monitoring.

Tardive Dyskinesia (TD): Risk of developing TD (a syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements) and the likelihood it will become irreversible may increase with the duration of treatment and the cumulative dose. The syndrome can develop after a relatively brief treatment period, even at low doses, or after treatment discontinuation. If signs and symptoms of TD appear, drug discontinuation should be considered.

Late-Occurring Adverse Reactions: Adverse events may first appear several weeks after initiation of VRAYLAR, probably because plasma levels of cariprazine and its major metabolites accumulate over time. As a result, the incidence of adverse reactions in short-term trials may not reflect the rates after longer term exposures. Monitor for adverse reactions, including extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) or akathisia, and patient response for several weeks after starting VRAYLAR and after each dosage increase. Consider reducing the dose or discontinuing the drug.

Metabolic Changes: Atypical antipsychotics have caused metabolic changes, such as:

  • Hyperglycemia and Diabetes Mellitus: Hyperglycemia, in some cases associated with ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. Assess fasting glucose before or soon after initiation of treatment, and monitor periodically during long-term treatment.
  • Dyslipidemia: Atypical antipsychotics cause adverse alterations in lipids. Before or soon after starting an antipsychotic, obtain baseline fasting lipid profile and monitor periodically during treatment.
  • Weight Gain: Weight gain has been observed with VRAYLAR. Monitor weight at baseline and frequently thereafter.

Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis: Leukopenia/neutropenia have been reported with antipsychotics, including VRAYLAR. Agranulocytosis (including fatal cases) has been reported with other antipsychotics. Monitor complete blood count in patients with pre-existing low white blood cell count (WBC)/absolute neutrophil count or history of drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia. Discontinue VRAYLAR at the first sign of a clinically significant decline in WBC and in severely neutropenic patients.

Orthostatic Hypotension and Syncope: Atypical antipsychotics cause orthostatic hypotension and syncope, with the greatest risk during initial titration and with dose increases. Monitor orthostatic vital signs in patients predisposed to hypotension and in those with cardiovascular/cerebrovascular diseases.

Falls: VRAYLAR may cause somnolence, postural hypotension, motor and sensory instability, which may lead to falls and, consequently, fractures, or other injuries. For patients with diseases, conditions, or medications that could exacerbate these effects, complete fall risk assessments when initiating antipsychotics and recurrently for patients on long-term therapy.

Seizures: Use VRAYLAR with caution in patients with history of seizures or with conditions that lower the seizure threshold.

Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment: Somnolence was reported with VRAYLAR. Caution patients about performing activities requiring mental alertness (eg, operating hazardous machinery or a motor vehicle).

Body Temperature Dysregulation: Use VRAYLAR with caution in patients who may experience conditions that increase body temperature (eg, strenuous exercise, extreme heat, dehydration, or concomitant anticholinergics).

Dysphagia: Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotics. Antipsychotic drugs, including VRAYLAR, should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration.

Drug Interactions: Strong CYP3A4 inhibitors increase VRAYLAR concentrations, so VRAYLAR dose reduction is recommended. Concomitant use with CYP3A4 inducers is not recommended.

Adverse Reactions: In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥5% and at least twice the rate of placebo) are listed below:

  • Schizophrenia: The incidences within the recommended dose range (VRAYLAR 1.5 – 3 mg/day and 4.5 – 6 mg/day vs placebo) were: EPS (15%, 19% vs 8%) and akathisia (9%, 13% vs 4%).
  • Bipolar mania: The incidences within the recommended dose range (VRAYLAR 3 – 6 mg/day vs placebo) were: EPS (26% vs 12%), akathisia (20% vs 5%), vomiting (10% vs 4%), dyspepsia (7% vs 4%), somnolence (7% vs 4%), and restlessness (7% vs 2%).
  • Bipolar depression: The incidences within the recommended doses (VRAYLAR 1.5 mg/day or 3 mg/day vs placebo) were: nausea (7%, 7% vs 3%), akathisia (6%, 10% vs 2%), restlessness (2%, 7% vs 3%), and EPS (4%, 6% vs 2%).

Please also see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warnings.

About Allergan plc

Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a global pharmaceutical leader focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceutical, device, biologic, surgical and regenerative medicine products for patients around the world. Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products primarily focused on four key therapeutic areas including medical aesthetics, eye care, central nervous system and gastroenterology. As part of its approach to delivering innovation for better patient care, Allergan has built one of the broadest pharmaceutical and device research and development pipelines in the industry.

With colleagues and commercial operations in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives every day.

For more information, visit Allergan's website at www.Allergan.com.

About Gedeon Richter

Gedeon Richter Plc. (www.richter.hu), headquartered in Budapest/Hungary, is a major pharmaceutical company in Central Eastern Europe, with an expanding direct presence in Western Europe, in China, and in Latin America.

Having reached a market capitalization of EUR 3.2 billion (USD 3.6 billion) by the end of 2018, Richter's consolidated sales were approximately EUR 1.4 billion (USD 1.6 billion) during the same year. The product portfolio of Richter covers many important therapeutic areas, including Women's Healthcare, Central Nervous System, and Cardiovascular areas.

Having the largest R&D unit in Central Eastern Europe, Richter's original research activity focuses on CNS disorders. With its widely acknowledged steroid chemistry expertise, Richter is a significant player in the Women's Healthcare field worldwide. Richter is also active in biosimilar product development.

Forward-Looking Statement
Statements contained in this press release that refer to future events or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Allergan's current perspective on existing trends and information as of the date of this release. Actual results may differ materially from Allergan's current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Allergan's business. These factors include, among others, the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of FDA approvals or actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance of and continued demand for Allergan's products; the impact of uncertainty around timing of generic entry related to key products, including RESTASIS®, on our financial results; risks associated with divestitures, acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures; risks related to impairments; uncertainty associated with financial projections, projected cost reductions, projected debt reduction, projected synergies, restructurings, increased costs, and adverse tax consequences; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Allergan's periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Allergan's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and Allergan's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2019. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

References

1Harvard Medical School, 2007. National Comorbidity Survey (NSC). (2017, August 21). Retrieved from https://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/ncs/index.php. Data Table 1: https://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/ncs/ftpdir/table_ncsr_LTprevgenderxage.pdf Lifetime prevalence DSM-IV/WMH-CIDI disorders by sex and cohort.

2National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH). Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml. Accessed May 13, 2019.

3Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Types of Bipolar Disorder. Available at: https://secure2.convio.net/dabsa/site/SPageServer/?pagename=education_bipolar_types. Last Accessed May 13, 2019.

4The National Institute of Mental Health. Bipolar Disorder. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml. April 2016. Accessed May 13, 2019.

5 The long-term natural history of the weekly symptomatic status of bipolar I disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002 Jun;59(6):530-7.

6American Journal of Psychiatry. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.pn.2014.8a5. Accessed May 13, 2019.

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