FDA Approves Otrexup
Otrexup (Methotrexate) Injection Approved By FDA
EWING, N.J., October 14, 2013 — Antares Pharma, Inc. today announced the approval of Otrexup (methotrexate) injection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Otrexup is the first FDA approved subcutaneous (SC) methotrexate (MTX) for once weekly self-administration with an easy-to-use, single dose, disposable auto injector. Otrexup is indicated for adults with severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have had an insufficient therapeutic response to or are intolerant of an adequate trial of first line therapy including full dose non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), or children with active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA). The FDA also approved adult use of Otrexup for symptomatic control of severe recalcitrant, disabling psoriasis that is not adequately responsive to other forms of therapy.
In 2012, approximately six million prescriptions were written across all dosage forms of MTX in the U.S. to treat patients for RA, pJIA and psoriasis, the same indications for which Otrexup has been approved. MTX treatment is usually initiated with oral tablets, however; many patients experience an inadequate response for reasons of efficacy or tolerability.
“This new delivery system for methotrexate provides a welcome option for physicians and their patients to continue effective use of methotrexate. Otrexup can be used when a response is inadequate or there are tolerability issues with oral methotrexate, before adding or switching to costlier therapies,” said Dr. Michael Schiff, Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Rheumatology Division at the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine in Denver. “The availability of an easy and safe way to administer subcutaneous methotrexate may overcome some of the current barriers to parenteral administration which could enable more patients to realize the possibility of continued disease control and therefore benefit from subcutaneous methotrexate.”
Human study data submitted to the FDA demonstrated increased bioavailability of SC MTX compared to oral MTX at every dose. These results confirm and strengthen the findings of previously published bioavailability data, and highlight the saturable limitations of oral MTX that result in a bioavailability plateau at 15mg.These important data are included in the approved Otrexup label and have been selected for a prestigious oral presentation this month at the American College of Rheumatology Scientific Meeting.
There has been substantial literature published that documents the potential benefits of SC MTX after an inadequate response to oral MTX. In the United States, however, use of parenteral MTX is often overlooked for the treatment of RA or psoriasis, primarily due to the challenges of self-administration associated with compromised manual dexterity, needle phobia, or patients’ lack of confidence to accurately and safely self-inject with a vial, needle and syringe.
“We are very pleased to receive approval from the FDA for Otrexup because we believe it is an important step up in the standard of care for people living with RA, pJIA and psoriasis,” said Paul Wotton, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Antares Pharma. “This approval represents a strategic milestone for Antares because we believe it validates our proprietary VIBEX® Medi-Jet™ technology which provides a significant advance in improving health outcomes with high tech but easy self-administration of SC medications. Antares has several other products in development, where this auto-injector technology could provide substantial benefits if the product candidates are approved.” He went on to say: “Our VIBEX® proprietary technology is protected by numerous granted patents and Otrexup is protected by several patents through at least 2030.”
“We expect the commercial launch of Otrexup in early 2014 will make a meaningful difference in the lives of people living with RA, pJIA and psoriasis and we believe also introduces the potential for a cost effective treatment option for physicians”, said LeRoux Jooste, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing. “I have been fortunate in my career to lead and play a major role in several successful product launches and I am excited to introduce Otrexup with an experienced team of sales and marketing professionals.”
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About Antares Pharma
Antares Pharma focuses on self-administered parenteral pharmaceutical products and topical gel-based medicines. The Company is developing VIBEX® QS T for testosterone replacement therapy. The Company's technology platforms include VIBEX® disposable Medi-Jet™, disposable multi-use pen injectors and Vision™ reusable needle-free injectors marketed as Tjet® and Zomajet® by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd (Teva) and Ferring Pharmaceuticals (Ferring), respectively. Antares Pharma has a multi-product deal with Teva that includes Tev-Tropin® [somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection] human growth hormone (hGH), VIBEX® epinephrine and several other products. Antares Pharma’s partnership with Ferring includes Zomacton® hGH (somatropin) injection. In the U.S. Antares has received FDA approval for Gelnique 3%™ (oxybutynin) gel, a treatment for overactive bladder that is marketed by Actavis. Elestrin® (estradiol gel) is FDA approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause, and is marketed in the U.S. by Meda Pharma. Antares Pharma has two facilities in the U.S. The Parenteral Products Group located in Minneapolis, Minnesota directs the manufacturing and marketing of the Company’s reusable needle-free injection devices and related disposables, and develops its disposable pressure-assisted Medi-Jet and pen injector systems. The Company’s corporate office and Product Development and Commercial Groups are located in Ewing, New Jersey.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are indicated by the words “may,” “will,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “potential,” “could,” “would,” “should,” and similar expressions and include statements regarding our expectations regarding the launch of OTREXUP™ and the application of the auto injector technology in other product candidates. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, difficulties or delays in the commercial launch of OTREXUP™, market acceptance by physicians and patients of new products, delays in product development and changes or delays in the regulatory process for existing or new product candidates. Additional information concerning these and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements is contained in the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and in the Company's other periodic reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company cautions investors not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company on the date hereof, and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release, except as required by law.
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Posted: October 2013