NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO, March 6, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Forest Laboratories, Inc. and Cypress Bioscience, Inc. announced today that they expect to ship Savella(TM) (milnacipran HCl), a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor for the management of fibromyalgia, to wholesalers and pharmacies by mid 2009. Savella was approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 14, 2009 and was originally expected to be available in March 2009. The companies submitted a minor post-approval cosmetic formulation change for FDA approval. A response from the FDA is anticipated no later than May, 2009.
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Savella is approved for the management of fibromyalgia; a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain and decreased physical function that afflicts as many as six million people in the United States. Savella will be marketed by Forest and its licensor, Cypress Bioscience. Pierre Fabre, who originally developed and sells milnacipran outside the U.S., licensed the rights for North America to Cypress Bioscience.
Important Safety Information
Savella is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine inhibitor (SNRI), similar to some drugs used for the treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders. Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of such drugs in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on Savella should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Savella is not approved for use in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Savella is not approved for use in pediatric patients.
Savella is contraindicated in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) concomitantly or within 14 days of discontinuing treatment of an MAOI or in patients with uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma.
Development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome may occur with agents that inhibit serotonin reuptake, including Savella, particularly with concomitant use of serotonergic drugs (including triptans and tramadol) and with drugs which impair metabolism of serotonin (including MAOIs). The concomitant use of Savella with serotonin precursors is not recommended.
Blood pressure and heart rate should be monitored prior to initiating treatment with Savella and periodically throughout treatment. SNRIs, including Savella, have been associated with reports of increases in blood pressure and heart rate. Pre-existing hypertension, tachyarrhythmias and other cardiac diseases should be treated before starting therapy with Savella. Savella should be used with caution in patients with significant hypertension or cardiac disease. For patients who experience a sustained increase in blood pressure or heart rate while receiving Savella, either dose reduction or discontinuation should be considered.
Savella should be prescribed with caution in patients with a history of a seizure disorder, mania or controlled narrow-angle glaucoma.
Savella has been associated with mild elevations of ALT and AST. Rarely, fulminant hepatitis has been reported in patients treated with milnacipran. Savella should be discontinued in patients who develop jaundice or other evidence of liver dysfunction and should not be resumed unless another cause can be established.
Savella should ordinarily not be prescribed to patients with substantial alcohol use or evidence of chronic liver disease.
As with other SNRIs and SSRIs withdrawal symptoms have been observed following discontinuation of milnacipran. A gradual dose reduction is recommended.
Hyponatremia may occur as a result of treatment with SSRIs and SNRIs, including Savella. Discontinuation should be considered for patients with symptomatic hyponatremia.
SSRIs and SNRIs, including Savella, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Patients should be cautioned regarding the risk of bleeding associated with concomitant use of Savella and NSAIDs, aspirin, warfarin or other drugs that affect coagulation.
Male patients with a history of obstructive uropathies may experience higher rates of genitourinary adverse events.
Savella is unlikely to be involved in clinically significant pharmacokinetic drug interactions. Pharmacodynamic interactions of Savella with other drugs can occur.
Savella contains FD&C Yellow No. 5, which may cause allergic-type reactions in susceptible persons.
In clinical trials, the most frequently occurring adverse reaction was nausea. The most commonly occurring adverse reactions (greater than 5% and twice that of placebo) were constipation, hot flush, hyperhidrosis, vomiting, palpitations, heart rate increased, dry mouth, and hypertension.
About Forest Laboratories
Forest Laboratories is a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company with a long track record of building partnerships and developing and marketing products that make a positive difference in people's lives. In addition to its well-established franchises in therapeutic areas of the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, Forest's current pipeline includes product candidates in all stages of development and across a wide range of therapeutic areas. The company is headquartered in New York, NY. To learn more about Forest Laboratories, visit www.FRX.com.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the difficulty of predicting FDA approvals, the acceptance and demand for new pharmaceutical products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, the timely development and launch of new products, and the risk factors listed from time to time in Forest Laboratories' Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and any subsequent SEC filings.
About Cypress Bioscience
Cypress Bioscience, Inc. provides therapeutics and personalized medicine services, facilitating improved and individualized patient care. Cypress addresses the evolving needs of specialist physicians and their patients by identifying unmet medical needs in the areas of pain, rheumatology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, including challenging disorders such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. This approach to improving patient care creates a unique partnership with physicians.
For more information about Cypress, please visit the Company's website at www.cypressbio.com.
This press release, as well as Cypress' SEC filings and website at www.cypressbio.com, contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements about the potential of Savella to treat fibromyalgia syndrome and that we expect to ship Savella (milnacipran HCl) to wholesalers and pharmacies by mid 2009 and that we expect a response from the FDA in May 2009. Actual results could vary materially from those described as a result of a number of factors, including those set forth in Cypress' Annual Report on Form 10-K, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and any subsequent SEC filings and including, but not limited to, that Savella may not achieve market acceptance.
About Pierre Fabre
The Pierre Fabre group, France's second biggest independent pharmaceutical laboratory, achieved a turnover of 1.7 billion euros in 2007. It employs nearly 10,000 people including 1,400 in the research sector. Its business sectors are ethical products, healthcare products and dermocosmetics with the brands Avene, Ducray, A Derma, Galenic, Klorane and Rene Furterer. The Pierre Fabre group dedicates 25% of its annual turnover to R&D in five main therapeutic directions: oncology (PFM's priority R&D sector with 50% of the over all R&D budget), the Central Nervous System, cardiology, internal medicine /urology and dermatology.
To learn more about the Pierre Fabre group, visit www.pierre-fabre.com.
CONTACT: Frank J. Murdolo, Vice President, Investor Relations, Forest
Laboratories, Inc., +1-212-224-6714, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Ciara
Kennedy, Sr. Director, Strategy and Corporate Development, or Mary Gieson,
Investor Relations, email@example.com, both of Cypress Bioscience,
Web site: http://www.cypressbio.com/