The American Neurological Association [ANA] is one of the top meetings each year for educating neurologists and physicians as well as increasing knowledge and enhancing treatment of diseases of the nervous system. The other top meeting in that group is the American Academy of Neurologists [AAN]. The AAN meeting already took place in April 2010. The 2010 ANA meeting is scheduled to kick off from Sept 12th-15th in San Francisco, CA. Every year there are companies that break through with thought leaders and the investing community by presenting solid poster presentations that give investors and providers a better look at a company's prospects and pipeline of products. Sometimes investors hear about one key product that will change the way a provider practices or the way a disease is managed. Avanir Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AVNR) has that opportunity at the upcoming ANA meeting as they will be at the conference.
ANA 2010 Poster Listings
Avanir will be presenting data on PBA and their clinical study from 3 separate people. On Monday Sept 13th, Dr. Ahmad will be presenting data on the “Utility of a New Pseudobulbar Questionnaire [PBAQ] for ALS.
Dr. Daniel Wynn will be presenting on the “Impact of Pseudobulbar Affect on Health and QOL.
Dr. Randall Kaye will be presenting the “24-week Safety and Tolerability of Dextromethorphan/Quinidine for Pseudobulbar Affect.
This event is a key catalyst for Avanir Pharmaceutical and it could provide some solid momentum into their October 30th PDUFA date for AVP-923 in the treatment of PBA. Most often companies have one opportunity to showcase their clinical data at a major meeting of significance, but Avanir is fortunate enough to have two opportunities at two different key conferences. They have conducted medical advisory board meetings with leading physicians in ALS, MS, stroke, traumatic brain injury and other neurology conditions associated with PBA. They have continued to receive positive feedback on AVP-923 and the need for an FDA approved treatment for PBA from thought leaders and community physicians who might treat these patients.
They have also partnered with the organizations in ALS, MS, stroke and traumatic brain injury to educate the constituencies about PBA. The organizations have shared with Avanir that PBA is a debilitating condition in the constituencies and are looking forward to working with AVANIR to increase the awareness of PBA. This conference will continue to bring positive awareness to their drug but PBA.
This is awareness and potential approval on Oct 30th has started the process of recruiting a specialty sales force to identify top talent to ensure a rapid transition in their new role so Avanir can meet their launch timelines. There current plan is to expand contingent offers to 75 sales representatives and seven regional sales managers throughout the United States by the October 30, 2010 action date. If AVP-923 is approved by the action date, then they plan to immediately hire the 75 sales representatives and initiate sales training activities to help ensure a successful launch of AVP-923 in the first calendar quarter of 2011.
In addition to building their commercial team, they also want to continue to focus on raising awareness of PBA among our target position and patient audiences. They have already strengthened their medical affairs organization by hiring additional Medical Science Liaisons to interact with key opinion leaders in Neurology and Psychiatry and that had a significant presence at recent medical meetings with a strong focus on PBA education. An excellent educational piece on the PBA and its effect on patients is a 30-minute segment from Healthy Body Healthy Minds Series. http://www.itvisus.com/programs/hbhm/index.asp#ooid=9nZXJxOs6dkG-QA6VpRthRkU18qi3dBH,xqeGVkMTrhzOfqkaMdBk_jl7v3pK52nS
Avanir is creating awareness for PBA and making sure that key opinion leaders are on board for AVP-923 as they are setting themselves up to be the first "first in class" agent that neurologists have had in 10 years. There is no better place to showcase the clinical data for your product then at a premiere meeting like the ANA.
Author's Disclosure: Long AVNR