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Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SLXP) and Progenics Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PGNX) today announced that the FDA will convene an Advisory Committee on March 10-11, 2014 at which time Salix's Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for RELISTOR
® (methylnaltrexone bromide) Subcutaneous Injection, for opioid-induced constipation, or OIC, in patients with chronic pain will be considered. The date and agenda for the Advisory Committee will not be definitive until publication in the Federal Register.
The FDA's action to convene an Advisory Committee was taken in response to the formal appeal by Salix of the complete response action taken by the FDA on July 27, 2012 regarding the RELISTOR sNDA for chronic pain. The FDA has stated that it will take action under the appeal within 30 days after receiving input from the Advisory Committee.
About Opioids, Constipation and RELISTOR (methylnaltrexone bromide)
Opioid analgesics are frequently prescribed for patients with chronic pain. Constipation, a common side effect, occurs in patients receiving opioid therapy. RELISTOR is the first approved medication that specifically targets the underlying cause of opioid-induced constipation in patients with advanced illness receiving palliative care when response to laxative therapy has not been sufficient. Opioids relieve pain by specifically interacting with mu–opioid receptors within the brain and spinal cord. However, opioids also interact with mu–opioid receptors found outside the central nervous system, such as those within the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in constipation that can be debilitating. RELISTOR is a peripherally acting mu–opioid receptor antagonist that does not cross the blood-brain barrier and was specifically designed to block mu-opioid receptors in the GI tract, therefore decreasing the constipating effects of opioid pain medications without affecting their ability to relieve pain.
RELISTOR Subcutaneous Injection was approved in the United States in 2008 for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation in patients with advanced illness who are receiving palliative care, when response to laxative therapy has not been sufficient. The use of RELISTOR beyond four months has not been studied. The drug is also approved for use in 58 countries worldwide, including the European Union, Canada, and Australia. In the 27 member states of the E.U., as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, RELISTOR is approved for the treatment of opioid–induced constipation in advanced illness patients who are receiving palliative care when response to usual laxative therapy has not been sufficient. In Canada, the drug is approved for the treatment of opioid–induced constipation in patients with advanced illness, receiving palliative care. When response to laxatives has been insufficient, RELISTOR should be used as an adjunct therapy to induce a prompt bowel movement. Applications in additional countries are pending. RELISTOR is under license to Salix Pharmaceuticals and Ono Pharmaceutical from Progenics Pharmaceuticals.