Amarin in Deep Hole so Top Execs Get Cash Bonus Offer

Amarin  (AMRN) top executives will earn cash bonuses if the company is able to convince FDA or a judge to allow some expansion of the label covering its prescription-grade fish pill Vascepa.

The new Amarin executive bonus plan was disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday night and echoes what the company told investors on the last quarterly conference call: If FDA cannot be convinced to approve Vascepa for the treatment of mixed dyslipidemia patients (the so-called "Anchor" patient population), Amarin intends to push for inclusion of the "Anchor" data in the Vascepa label without an expanded label indication. 

If Plan A and B fail, Amarin will sue FDA on first amendment grounds, seeking a judge's ruling which would allow the company to speak with doctors about the "Anchor" trial data. 

Amarin President John Thero, R&D chief Steven Ketchum and General Counsel Joe Kennedy are eligible for the one-time cash bonuses of $1500,000 to $250,000 if the company is successful on or before June 30, 2014. Amarin CEO Joe Zakrzewski is not included in the bonus program, according to the company. 

The FDA is expected to decide on the Vascepa label expansion by Dec. 20, but Amarin executives have warned investors not to expect good news based on the agency's stated opposition and the negative votes of an advisory panel in October

The most likely outcome, absent Amarin's successful intervention, will be an FDA decision to reject Vascepa's for mixed dyslipidemia and ask the company to resubmit with additional clinical data demonstrating a positive cardiovascular benefit for patients. Amarin is conducting a large phase III study known as Reduce-It which might provide these data but results are still 3-4 years away. 

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