Friday, November 11, 2011

Iluvien Update 4: FDA Turns Down Alimera’s NDA for Approval of Iluvien Again

Alimera again received bad news from the FDA on its application for approval of Iluvien. In a letter (a CRL or complete response letter), the FDA said that questions remained based on the data previously submitted, about the adverse reactions shown by Iluvien in the FAME Study (risk of cataracts and raised IOPs) and that these were not offset by the benefits demonstrated.

The FDA indicated that Alimera would need to conduct two additional clinical trials to demonstrate that the product is safe and effective for the proposed indication.

Here is Alimera’s complete new release:

Alimera Sciences Receives Complete Response Letter From FDA for ILUVIEN(R)
Conference Call Scheduled for Monday, November 14 at 8 a.m. Eastern Time

ATLANTA, Nov 11, 2011 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Alimera Sciences, Inc., ("Alimera"), a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development and commercialization of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, today announced that it has received a complete response letter (CRL) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to the New Drug Application (NDA) for ILUVIEN(R) for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) associated with diabetic retinopathy.

A CRL is issued by the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research when their review of an application is completed and questions remain that precludes the approval of the NDA in its current form.

The FDA stated that it was unable to approve the ILUVIEN NDA because the NDA did not provide sufficient data to support that ILUVIEN is safe and effective in the treatment of patients with DME. The FDA stated that the risks of adverse reactions shown for ILUVIEN in the FAME(R) Study were significant and were not offset by the benefits demonstrated by ILUVIEN in these clinical trials. The FDA has indicated that Alimera will need to conduct two additional clinical trials to demonstrate that the product is safe and effective for the proposed indication.

The Company will be requesting a meeting with the FDA to clarify next steps.

ILUVIEN is Alimera's investigational, sustained drug delivery system that releases sub-microgram levels of fluocinolone acetonide (FAc) for the treatment of DME. In December 2010, the FDA issued a CRL to Alimera related to its June 2010 NDA for ILUVIEN, which included data through month 24 of the FAME(TM) Study. In that first CRL, the FDA asked for, among other things, analyses of the safety and efficacy data through month 36 of the FAME Study. Alimera submitted a response to the FDA on May 12, 2011, addressing the issues raised in the first CRL and including 36-month trial data. The FDA classified Alimera's response as a Class 2 resubmission, resulting in a six-month review period and a Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, date of November 12, 2011.

"We are surprised and disappointed with the FDA's decision on our application to market ILUVIEN in the U.S. to patients with this devastating disease. Based on extensive research with U.S. retinal physicians, we have learned that ILUVIEN's long-term sustained delivery treatment benefit is desired and that ILUVIEN has a manageable risk to benefit ratio. We continue to believe in ILUVIEN as a long-term effective treatment option for DME. We are committed to, and have the funds for, pursuing approval in Europe and for evaluating our options in the U.S.," said Dan Myers, president and chief executive officer of Alimera.

For Europe, Alimera expects to submit its formal response to the Preliminary Assessment Report to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) later this month. Based on this submission, the MHRA is expected to make a recommendation on the approvability of ILUVIEN to Alimera and the Concerned Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain) by the end of this year, with a decision regarding the approval of ILUVIEN expected in the first half of 2012. The market opportunity in Europe is similar in size to the U.S. market opportunity.


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