Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP) (SPI) today announced that it has received a $10 million milestone payment from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda), pursuant to the existing collaboration and license agreement between SPI and Takeda. The milestone payment was triggered by the commercial launch of AMITIZA ® (lubiprostone) (24 mcg daily) in the United States for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. The effectiveness of AMITIZA in the treatment of opioid-induced constipation in patients taking diphenylheptane opioids (e.g., methadone) has not been established. This is the third indication for AMITIZA, which is also approved in the U.S. for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) in adults (24 mcg twice daily) and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in adult women (8 mcg twice daily). There are more than 200 million prescriptions for opioid use in the U.S. annually, and a substantial number of these prescriptions are for non-cancer chronic pain. Scientific literature indicates that approximately 40-80% of patients taking opioids chronically for non-cancer pain report constipation. Some patients may discontinue opioid therapy and thereby endure pain, rather than suffer from the constipation the opioids cause. “Millions of patients in the US have been suffering from OIC, and until the approval of AMITIZA for OIC, which received priority review status from the FDA, there were no oral prescription products available to treat it,” said Sucampo’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Scientific Officer Ryuji Ueno, M.D., Ph.D., Ph.D. “Opioids decrease secretion of intestinal fluid, one of the key factors in causing OIC. As a locally acting ClC-2 channel activator, AMITIZA restores fluid secretion and can lead to relief for those suffering from OIC. We are pleased that with this third indication for AMITIZA, we can further our mission of meeting the unmet medical needs of patients.”
AMITIZA is a specific activator of ClC-2 chloride channels in the intestinal epithelium, and it bypasses the antisecretory action of opiates. AMITIZA is the world’s first chloride channel activator approved for therapeutic use. With more than seven million prescriptions dispensed worldwide since 2006, it is the first and currently the only oral prescription medicine in the world approved for OIC in adults with chronic, non-cancer pain.In 2004, SPI and Takeda entered into a collaboration and license agreement for AMITIZA for the United States and Canada. About Opioid Induced Constipation (OIC) OIC is a common adverse effect of chronic opioid use. Binding of opioids to peripheral opioid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract decreases both muscle motility and secretion of electrolytes, such as chloride, and causes subsequent reduction in small intestinal fluid. Together, these processes result in OIC, which is characterized by infrequent and incomplete evacuation of stool, hard stool consistency, and straining associated with bowel movements. About AMITIZA AMITIZA (lubiprostone) capsules are indicated for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) in adults and opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adults with chronic, non-cancer pain (24 mcg twice daily). The effectiveness in patients with OIC taking diphenylheptane opioids (e.g., methadone) has not been established. AMITIZA is also indicated for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in women > 18 years old (8 mcg twice daily). Important Safety Information
- AMITIZA (lubiprostone) is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction. Patients with symptoms suggestive of mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction should be thoroughly evaluated by the treating healthcare provider (HCP) to confirm the absence of such an obstruction prior to initiating AMITIZA treatment.
- Patients taking AMITIZA may experience nausea. If this occurs, concomitant administration of food with AMITIZA may reduce symptoms of nausea. Patients who experience severe nausea should inform their HCP.
- AMITIZA should not be prescribed to patients that have severe diarrhea. Patients should be aware of the possible occurrence of diarrhea during treatment. Patients should be instructed to discontinue AMITIZA and inform their HCP if severe diarrhea occurs.
- Patients taking AMITIZA may experience dyspnea within an hour of first dose. This symptom generally resolves within three hours, but may recur with repeat dosing. Patients who experience dyspnea should inform their HCP. Some patients have discontinued therapy because of dyspnea.
- In clinical trials of AMITIZA (24 mcg twice daily vs placebo; N=1113 vs N=316, respectively) in patients with CIC, the most common adverse reactions (incidence > 4%) were nausea (29% vs 3%), diarrhea (12% vs <1%), headache (11% vs 5%), abdominal pain (8% vs 3%), abdominal distension (6% vs 2%), and flatulence (6% vs 2%).
- In clinical trials of AMITIZA (24 mcg twice daily vs. placebo; N=860 vs. N=632) in patients with OIC, the most common adverse reactions (incidence >4%) were nausea (11% vs 5%) and diarrhea (8% vs 2%).
- In clinical trials of AMITIZA (8 mcg twice daily vs. placebo; N=1011 vs. N=435, respectively) in patients with IBS-C the most common adverse reactions (incidence > 4%) were nausea (8% vs 4%), diarrhea (7% vs 4%), and abdominal pain (5% vs 5%).
- Concomitant use of diphenylheptane opioids (e.g., methadone) may interfere with the efficacy of AMITIZA.
- The safety of AMITIZA in pregnancy has not been evaluated in humans. Based on animal data, AMITIZA may cause fetal harm. AMITIZA should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Caution should be exercised when AMITIZA is administered to a nursing woman. Advise nursing women to monitor infants for diarrhea.
- Reduce the dosage in CIC and OIC patients with moderate and severe hepatic impairment. Reduce the dosage in IBS-C patients with severe hepatic impairment.
Sucampo Forward-Looking StatementThis press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential, future financial and operating results, and other statements that are not historical facts. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation; Sucampo's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Sucampo's patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the U.S. and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Sucampo undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this presentation should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Sucampo's business, particularly those mentioned in the risk factors and cautionary statements in Sucampo's most recent Form 8-K and 10-K, which Sucampo incorporates by reference.