ALISO VIEJO, Calif. , July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVNR) announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has allowed a new patent that covers Avanir's product NUEDEXTA®, further expanding the intellectual property portfolio for the company's lead commercial asset. This asset is a dual sigma-1 and NMDA receptor modulator that is approved for the treatment of pseudobulbar affect (PBA), and is in clinical development for central neuropathic pain in patients with multiple sclerosis and agitation in patients with Alzheimer's disease. U.S. Patent application number 13/415,067, entitled " Pharmaceutical Compositions Comprising Dextromethorphan and Quinidine for the Treatment of Neurological Disorders," claims methods for treating pseudobulbar affect or emotional lability using low-dose quinidine formulations of NUEDEXTA. The new patent will expire on July 17, 2023. In addition to this newly allowed patent, the company has exclusive worldwide rights to a family of patents and patent applications that claim methods of treating various neurologic and psychiatric conditions using low-dose quinidine formulations of NUEDEXTA. "This newly allowed patent is a valuable addition to our intellectual property portfolio," said Greg Flesher, senior vice president and chief business officer at Avanir Pharmaceuticals. "This additional layer of intellectual property protects our growing PBA business in the United States while we continue to explore additional clinical uses for NUEDEXTA." About Pseudobulbar Affect People with pseudobulbar affect (PBA) have sudden outbursts of involuntary crying or laughing, even though there may not be anything particularly sad or funny to trigger those emotions. Many people who suffer from PBA describe their episodes as uncontrollable, exaggerated, or different from their true feelings. PBA may occur when certain neurologic diseases or injury damage the areas of the brain that control normal expression of emotion. This damage can disrupt brain signaling, causing a "short circuit" and triggering episodes of involuntary crying or laughing. PBA can occur in people diagnosed with a variety of otherwise unrelated neurologic conditions such as Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and Alzheimer's disease. For more information about PBA, please visit www.PBAinfo.org . About NUEDEXTA NUEDEXTA is an innovative combination of two well-characterized components; dextromethorphan hydrobromide (20 mg), the ingredient active in the central nervous system, and quinidine sulfate (10 mg), a metabolic inhibitor enabling therapeutic dextromethorphan concentrations. NUEDEXTA acts on sigma-1 and NMDA receptors in the brain, although the mechanism by which NUEDEXTA exerts therapeutic effects in patients with PBA is unknown. NUEDEXTA Important Safety Information NUEDEXTA is indicated for the treatment of pseudobulbar affect (PBA). PBA occurs secondary to a variety of otherwise unrelated neurological conditions, and is characterized by involuntary, sudden, and frequent episodes of laughing and/or crying. PBA episodes typically occur out of proportion or incongruent to the underlying emotional state. Studies to support the effectiveness of NUEDEXTA were performed in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS). NUEDEXTA has not been shown to be safe and effective in other types of emotional lability that can commonly occur, for example, in Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. NUEDEXTA (dextromethorphan hydrobromide and quinidine sulfate) 20/10 mg capsules can interact with other medications causing significant changes in blood levels of those medications and/or NUEDEXTA which may lead to serious side effects. Adjust dose or use alternate treatment of the other medication when clinically indicated. NUEDEXTA is contraindicated in patients concomitantly taking: QT-prolonging drugs metabolized by CYP2D6 (e.g., thioridazine and pimozide); monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) within the preceding or following 14 days; other drugs containing quinidine, quinine, or mefloquine and in patients with a known hypersensitivity to these drugs or any of NUEDEXTA's components. Discontinue use of NUEDEXTA if hepatitis, thrombocytopenia, serotonin syndrome or a hypersensitivity reaction occurs. NUEDEXTA is contraindicated in patients with certain risk factors for arrhythmia: Prolonged QT interval; congenital long QT syndrome, history suggestive of torsades de pointes; heart failure; complete atrioventricular (AV) block or risk of AV block without an implanted pacemaker. NUEDEXTA causes dose-dependent QTc prolongation. When initiating NUEDEXTA in patients at risk for QT prolongation and torsades de pointes, electrocardiographic (ECG) evaluation should be conducted at baseline and 3-4 hours after the first dose. Risk factors include left ventricular hypertrophy or dystrophy or concomitant use of drugs that prolong QT interval or certain CYP3A4 inhibitors. The most common adverse reactions are diarrhea, dizziness, cough, vomiting, asthenia, peripheral edema, urinary tract infection, influenza, increased gamma-glutamyltransferase, and flatulence. NUEDEXTA may cause dizziness. Precautions to reduce the risk of falls should be taken, particularly for patients with motor impairment affecting gait or a history of falls. These are not all the risks from use of NUEDEXTA. Please refer to the accompanying full Prescribing Information or visit www.NUEDEXTA.com . About Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative medicines to patients with central nervous system disorders of high unmet medical need. As part of our commitment, we have extensively invested in our pipeline and are dedicated to advancing medicines that can substantially improve the lives of patients and their loved ones. For more information about Avanir , please visit www.avanir.com .