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"Schizophrenia is a complex illness that benefits from a rapid response when people are experiencing an acute exacerbation of their symptoms. Results from the ALPINE study demonstrate the role that LAIs may play in the treatment of schizophrenia and underscore the potential clinical utility of using these medications to initiate patients onto treatment during an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia in an inpatient setting and through their transition back to the community," said
ALPINE was a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, phase 3b study designed to examine the efficacy and safety of using either ARISTADA (aripiprazole lauroxil) or INVEGA SUSTENNA® (paliperidone palmitate) to start treatment in hospitalized patients experiencing an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia and continue them on treatment during the transition to outpatient care for ongoing continuation phase therapy. Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total scores at Week 4, Week 9 and Week 25 were prespecified outcomes. Patients randomized to the ARISTADA treatment group were initiated using the ARISTADA INITIO regimen* on day 1, followed by ARISTADA (1064 mg) on day 8 and every two months thereafter. Patients randomized to the INVEGA SUSTENNA treatment group were initiated using a loading dose of INVEGA SUSTENNA (234 mg) on day 1, followed by INVEGA SUSTENNA (156 mg) on day 8 and every month thereafter. The inclusion of the INVEGA SUSTENNA arm provided an active control for ARISTADA while avoiding the use of a placebo in patients with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder marked by positive symptoms (hallucinations and delusions, disorganized speech and thoughts, and agitated or repeated movements) and negative symptoms (depression, blunted emotions and social withdrawal).1 An estimated 2.4 million American adults have schizophrenia,2 with men and women affected equally.
ARISTADA is an injectable atypical antipsychotic approved in four doses and three dosing durations for the treatment of schizophrenia (441 mg, 662 mg or 882 mg monthly, 882 mg once every six weeks and 1064 mg once every two months). Once in the body, ARISTADA converts to aripiprazole.
About ARISTADA INITIO®
ARISTADA INITIO, in combination with a single 30 mg dose of oral aripiprazole, can be used to initiate onto any dose of ARISTADA. The first ARISTADA dose may be administered on the same day as the ARISTADA INITIO regimen or up to 10 days thereafter.
INDICATION and IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for ARISTADA INITIO® (aripiprazole lauroxil) and ARISTADA® (aripiprazole lauroxil) extended-release injectable suspension, for intramuscular use
ARISTADA INITIO, in combination with oral aripiprazole, is indicated for the initiation of ARISTADA when used for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults.
ARISTADA is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNING: INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. ARISTADA INITIO and ARISTADA are not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Contraindication: Known hypersensitivity reaction to aripiprazole. Reactions have ranged from pruritus/urticaria to anaphylaxis.
Cerebrovascular Adverse Reactions, Including Stroke: Increased incidence of cerebrovascular adverse reactions (e.g., stroke, transient ischemic attack), including fatalities, have been reported in placebo-controlled trials of elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with risperidone, aripiprazole, and olanzapine. ARISTADA INITIO and ARISTADA are not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Potential for Dosing and Medication Errors: Medication errors, including substitution and dispensing errors, between ARISTADA INITIO and ARISTADA could occur. ARISTADA INITIO is intended for single administration in contrast to ARISTADA which is administered monthly, every 6 weeks, or every 8 weeks. Do not substitute ARISTADA INITIO for ARISTADA because of differing pharmacokinetic profiles.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): A potentially fatal symptom complex may occur with administration of antipsychotic drugs, including ARISTADA INITIO and ARISTADA. Clinical manifestations of NMS include hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, and evidence of autonomic instability (irregular pulse or blood pressure, tachycardia, diaphoresis, and cardiac dysrhythmia). Additional signs may include elevated creatine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis), and acute renal failure. The management of NMS should include: 1) immediate discontinuation of antipsychotic drugs and other drugs not essential to concurrent therapy; 2) intensive symptomatic treatment and medical monitoring; and 3) treatment of any concomitant serious medical problems for which specific treatments are available.
Tardive Dyskinesia (TD): The risk of developing TD (a syndrome of abnormal, involuntary movements) and the potential for it to become irreversible are believed to increase as the duration of treatment and the total cumulative dose of antipsychotic increase. The syndrome can develop, although much less commonly, after relatively brief treatment periods at low doses. Prescribing antipsychotics should be consistent with the need to minimize TD. Discontinue ARISTADA if clinically appropriate. TD may remit, partially or completely, if antipsychotic treatment is withdrawn.
Metabolic Changes: Atypical antipsychotic drugs have been associated with metabolic changes that include:
Pathological Gambling and Other Compulsive Behaviors: Compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble have been reported with use of aripiprazole. Other compulsive urges less frequently reported include sexual urges, shopping, binge eating and other impulsive or compulsive behaviors which may result in harm for the patient and others if not recognized. Closely monitor patients and consider dose reduction or stopping aripiprazole if a patient develops such urges.
Orthostatic Hypotension: Aripiprazole may cause orthostatic hypotension which can be associated with dizziness, lightheadedness, and tachycardia. Monitor heart rate and blood pressure, and warn patients with known cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease and risk of dehydration and syncope.
Falls: Antipsychotics including ARISTADA INITIO and ARISTADA may cause somnolence, postural hypotension or motor and sensory instability which may lead to falls and subsequent injury. Upon initiating treatment and recurrently, complete fall risk assessments as appropriate.
Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis: Leukopenia, neutropenia and agranulocytosis have been reported with 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 ARISTADA INITIO and/or ARISTADA at the first sign of a clinically significant decline in WBC and in severely neutropenic patients.
Seizures: Use with caution in patients with a history of seizures or with conditions that lower the seizure threshold.
Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment: ARISTADA INITIO and ARISTADA may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are certain therapy with ARISTADA INITIO and/or ARISTADA does not affect them adversely.
Body Temperature Regulation: Disruption of the body's ability to reduce core body temperature has been attributed to antipsychotic agents. Advise patients regarding appropriate care in avoiding overheating and dehydration. Appropriate care is advised for patients who may exercise strenuously, may be exposed to extreme heat, receive concomitant medication with anticholinergic activity, or are subject to dehydration.
Dysphagia: Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotic drug use; use caution in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia.
Concomitant Medication: ARISTADA INITIO is only available at a single strength as a single-dose pre-filled syringe, so dosage adjustments are not possible. Avoid use in patients who are known CYP2D6 poor metabolizers or taking strong CYP3A4 inhibitors, strong CYP2D6 inhibitors, or strong CYP3A4 inducers, antihypertensive drugs or benzodiazepines.
Depending on the ARISTADA dose, adjustments may be recommended if patients are 1) known as CYP2D6 poor metabolizers and/or 2) taking strong CYP3A4 inhibitors, strong CYP2D6 inhibitors, or strong CYP3A4 inducers for greater than 2 weeks. Avoid use of ARISTADA 662mg, 882mg, or 1064 mg for patients taking both strong CYP3A4 inhibitors and strong CYP2D6 Inhibitors. (See Table 4 in the ARISTADA full Prescribing Information)
Commonly Observed Adverse Reactions: In pharmacokinetic studies the safety profile of ARISTADA INITIO was generally consistent with that observed for ARISTADA. The most common adverse reaction (≥5% incidence and at least twice the rate of placebo reported by patients treated with ARISTADA 441mg and 882 mg monthly) was akathisia.
Injection-Site Reactions: In pharmacokinetic studies evaluating ARISTADA INITIO, the incidences of injection site reactions with ARISTADA INITIO were similar to the incidence observed with ARISTADA. Injection-site reactions were reported by 4%, 5%, and 2% of patients treated with 441 mg ARISTADA (monthly), 882 mg ARISTADA (monthly), and placebo, respectively. Most of these were injection-site pain and associated with the first injection and decreased with each subsequent injection. Other injection-site reactions (induration, swelling, and redness) occurred at less than 1%.
Dystonia: Symptoms of dystonia, prolonged abnormal contractions of muscle groups, may occur in susceptible individuals during the first days of treatment and at low doses.
Pregnancy/Nursing: May cause extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms in neonates with third trimester exposure. Advise patients to notify their healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy. Inform patients that there is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to ARISTADA INITIO and/or ARISTADA during pregnancy. Aripiprazole is present in human breast milk. The benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother's clinical need for ARISTADA INITIO and/or ARISTADA and any potential adverse effects on the infant from ARISTADA INITIO and/or ARISTADA or from the underlying maternal condition.
About Alkermes plc
Alkermes plc is a fully integrated, global biopharmaceutical company developing innovative medicines in the fields of neuroscience and oncology. The company has a portfolio of proprietary commercial products focused on addiction and schizophrenia, and a pipeline of product candidates in development for schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Alkermes plc has an R&D center in Waltham,
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements set forth in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, but not limited to, statements concerning: the potential therapeutic and commercial value of LAIs, of ARISTADA, and of the ARISTADA INITIO regimen* for initiation onto ARISTADA, in the treatment of schizophrenia, including during an acute exacerbation of symptoms and during the transition from hospitalization to outpatient care. The company cautions that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Although the company believes that such statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business and operations, the forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees and they are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk. Actual performance and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements due to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: whether results from the ALPINE study are predictive of real-world results and those risks and uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019, the company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2020 and in subsequent filings made by the company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, the company disclaims any intention or responsibility for updating or revising any forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
*The ARISTADA INITIO regimen is comprised of ARISTADA INITIO (675 mg) + a single 30 mg oral dose of aripiprazole, and provides an alternative to the concomitant three weeks of oral aripiprazole for initiation onto ARISTADA.
ARISTADA® and ARISTADA INITIO® are registered trademarks of
INVEGA SUSTENNA® is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson.
2 National Institutes of Health. Schizophrenia. Accessed on May 19, 2020 from https://archives.nih.gov/asites/report/09-09-2019/report.nih.gov/nihfactsheets/Pdfs/Schizophrenia(NIMH).pdf.
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