ATLANTA, Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Alimera Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALIM) (Alimera), a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development and commercialization of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, today announced that the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published final guidance indicating that ILUVIEN® is not cost effective for the treatment of chronic diabetic macular edema (DME) considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies. This information is consistent with the final draft guidance issued on November 29, 2012 and does not take into account any potential for a patient access scheme (PAS).
The NICE Appraisal Committee acknowledged the clinical effectiveness of ILUVIEN in the treatment of vision impairment associated with chronic DME considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies, but noted that cost-effectiveness thresholds for the product have not yet been met. Rather than appealing the Appraisal Committee's findings, Alimera has chosen to pursue a simple PAS for ILUVIEN that is intended to allow treatment decisions to be based on patient need, rather than cost. The PAS is currently under review by the Patient Access Schemes Liaison Unit (PASLU) at NICE and, if approved by the Department of Health, will be available to the Appraisal Committee for review and consideration.
"Having anticipated this final guidance, we have developed a simple PAS that we believe could be considered under NICE's rapid review facility should the PAS be accepted. It is our hope that, if accepted, the PAS will make ILUVIEN available to all chronic DME patients in England and Wales who are considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies," said Dan Myers, president and chief executive officer, Alimera.
ILUVIEN (190 micrograms fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant in applicator) is a sustained release intravitreal implant used to treat vision impairment associated with chronic DME considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies. Each ILUVIEN implant provides a therapeutic effect of up to 36 months by delivering sustained sub-microgram levels of fluocinolone acetonide (FAc). ILUVIEN is injected in the back of the patient's eye to a position that takes advantage of the eye's natural fluid dynamics. The applicator employs a 25-gauge needle, which allows for a self-sealing wound. In the FAME Study, the most frequently reported adverse drug reactions included cataract operation, cataract and increased ocular pressure.
In July 2010, Alimera submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to seven European countries via the Decentralized Procedure (DCP) with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the U.K. (MHRA) serving as the Reference Member State (RMS). The MAA included data from two Phase 3 pivotal clinical trials (collectively known as the FAME Study) for ILUVIEN conducted by Alimera. The trials involved 956 patients in sites across the United States, Canada, Europe and India to assess the efficacy and safety of ILUVIEN for the treatment of DME. At the end of the DCP, a consensus was reached by the RMS and the other six countries that the MAA for ILUVIEN was approvable. To date, six of the seven countries, Austria, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany and Spain have granted national licenses for ILUVIEN. ILUVIEN has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
About Alimera Sciences, Inc.
Alimera Sciences, Inc., based in Alpharetta, Georgia, is a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development and commercialization of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. Alimera Sciences Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alimera, is headquarters of Alimera's European operations in London. Presently Alimera is focused on diseases affecting the back of the eye, or retina. Its primary product, ILUVIEN, is an intravitreal implant containing fluocinolone acetonide (FAc), a non-proprietary corticosteroid with demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of ocular disease.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding, among other things, Alimera's commercial plans for ILUVIEN in the United Kingdom. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in its forward-looking statements. Meaningful factors which could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, uncertainty as to Alimera's ability to commercialize, and market acceptance of, ILUVIEN in the United Kingdom, as well as other factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of Alimera's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. In addition to the risks described above and in Alimera's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the SEC, other unknown or unpredictable factors also could affect Alimera's results. There can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by Alimera will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, Alimera. Therefore, no assurance can be given that the outcomes stated in such forward-looking statements and estimates will be achieved.
All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified by the cautionary statements contained or referred to herein. Alimera cautions investors not to rely too heavily on the forward-looking statements Alimera makes or that are made on its behalf. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release (unless another date is indicated). Alimera undertakes no obligation, and specifically declines any obligation, to publicly update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Alimera Sciences, Inc.