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Treatment for Alcohol Dependence, Opiate Dependence

Alkermes Announces Priority Review Granted For Vivitrex (Naltrexone Long-Acting Injection) NDA Submission

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 27, 2005--Alkermes, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALKS) today announced that the New Drug Application ("NDA") for Vivitrex (naltrexone long-acting injection) has been accepted for review by the United States Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") and has been granted a Priority Review designation. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act ("PDUFA") date for completion of review by the FDA of the Vivitrex NDA is September 30, 2005. Vivitrex is being developed as the first long-acting medication available for the treatment of alcohol dependence (in conjunction with counseling) that is administered once-monthly, or every four weeks, by injection.

"We believe that the acceptance of our Vivitrex NDA for review is another key step in our ongoing commitment to bring this important medicine to alcohol dependent patients," stated Richard Pops, chief executive officer of Alkermes. "The Agency's decision to grant the application Priority Review status underscores the importance of our goal to make a new treatment option available to patients for this chronic and devastating disease."

Vivitrex, an injectable, long-acting formulation of the currently approved drug naltrexone, was designed utilizing Alkermes’ proprietary Medisorb® drug-delivery technology. Using the Medisorb technology, naltrexone is encapsulated in microspheres made of a biodegradable polymer that dissolve slowly and release drug at a controlled rate following intramuscular injection.

About Alcohol Dependence
In the U.S., approximately 18 million people are dependent on or abuse alcohol1 and 2.3 million adults seek treatment each year2. Taking prescribed medication, an important determinant in therapeutic outcomes3, is particularly challenging for patients with addictive disorders such as alcohol dependence4. Alcohol is causally related to more than 60 medical conditions, including heart disease, liver disease, infectious disease, and cancer5,6, and contributes to more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year7. In addition, alcohol dependence accounts for approximately $134 billion in lost earnings annually8.

About Alkermes, Inc.
Alkermes, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company that develops products based on sophisticated drug delivery technologies to enhance therapeutic outcomes in major diseases. The Company’s lead commercial product, Risperdal Consta® [(risperidone) long-acting injection], is the first and only long-acting atypical antipsychotic medication approved for use in schizophrenia, and is marketed worldwide by Janssen-Cilag ("Janssen"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The Company’s lead proprietary product candidate, Vivitrex® (naltrexone long-acting injection), is being developed as a once-monthly injection for the treatment of alcohol dependence. The Company has a pipeline of extended-release injectable products and pulmonary drug products based on its proprietary technology and expertise. Alkermes’ product development strategy is twofold: the Company partners its proprietary technology systems and drug delivery expertise with several of the world’s finest pharmaceutical companies and it also develops novel, proprietary drug candidates for its own account. The Company’s headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and it operates research and manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts and Ohio.


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  3. Weiss RD. Adherence to pharmacotherapy in patients with alcohol and opioid dependence.
    Addiction 2004; 99: 1382-1392.
  4. Rinn W, Desai N, Rosenblatt H, Gastfriend DR.
    Addiction denial and cognitive dysfunction: A preliminary investigation.
    J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 2002; 14: 52-57.
  5. Room R, Babor T, Rehm J.
    Alcohol and public health.
    Lancet 2005; 365: 519-530.
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    Alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer.
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  8. US DHHS: The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States: Estimates, Update Methods, and Data, 2000.

Posted: May 2005

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