Alimera Sciences' ILUVIEN(R) Receives Marketing Authorization in Portugal for the Treatment of Chronic Diabetic Macular Edema
ATLANTA, June 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alimera Sciences, Inc. (ALIM), (Nasdaq:ALIM) (Alimera), a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development and commercialization of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, today announced the National Authority of Medicines and Health Products (Autoridade Nacional do Medicamento e Produtos de Saude, Infarmed) has granted marketing authorization to ILUVIEN® for the treatment of vision impairment associated with chronic diabetic macular edema (DME) considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies.
This marketing authorization follows the completion of the Decentralized Regulatory Procedure (DCP) in the European Union (EU), in which the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom, serving as the Reference Member State (RMS), delivered a positive outcome for ILUVIEN along with six Concerned Members States (CMS), specifically Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The Portuguese authorization is the third national approval in the EU, preceded by Austria and the U.K.
"Today's authorization in Portugal is significant news for the many people there with chronic DME who haven't responded well to available therapies," said Dan Myers, president and chief executive officer, Alimera Sciences. "Having now received three EU national approvals, we are gaining momentum across the continent and are on track to obtain subsequent approvals from additional CMS in the coming months."
The International Diabetes Federation estimates that more than 1,000,000 people are currently living with diabetes in Portugal, and according to Alimera's estimates, more than 55,000 people suffer from vision loss associated with DME.
ILUVIEN is Alimera's sustained release intravitreal implant that delivers sub-microgram levels of fluocinolone acetonide (FAc) for up to 36 months for the treatment of chronic DME. The clinical trial data showed that in patients with chronic DME at month 30, after receiving the ILUVIEN implant, 38 percent of patients experienced an improvement from baseline in their best corrected visual acuity on the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) eye chart of 15 letters or more. At the completion of the 36-month study, 34 percent had achieved the same result. This effect was highly statistically significant as compared to the sham control group, which received laser and other intravitreally administered therapies.
"As an avid proponent of retinal disease research and novel therapeutics, I am pleased to see this treatment option enter the Portuguese marketplace," said Jose Cunha-Vaz, M.D., Ph.D., emeritus professor of Ophthalmology, University of Coimbra and chairman of the Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinal Vascular Diseases Expert Committee, European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network. "ILUVIEN could have a considerable effect on the way chronic diabetic macular edema patients are treated in this country and the European Union at large."
ILUVIEN (190 micrograms fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant in applicator) is a sustained release intravitreal implant used to treat chronic DME. Each ILUVIEN implant provides a therapeutic effect of up to 36 months by delivering sustained sub-microgram levels of fluocinolone acetonide (FAc). ILUVIEN is inserted in the back of the patient's eye to a position that takes advantage of the eye's natural fluid dynamics. The applicator employs a 25-gauge needle, which allows for a self-sealing wound.
In July 2010, the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) was submitted to seven European countries via the DCP with the U.K. MHRA serving as the RMS. The MAA included data from two Phase 3 pivotal clinical trials (collectively known as the FAME" Study) for ILUVIEN conducted by Alimera. The trials involved 956 patients in sites across the United States, Canada, Europe and India to assess the efficacy and safety of ILUVIEN for the treatment of DME. Based on a consensus arrived upon by the RMS and the CMS, the MHRA issued its Final Assessment Report that ILUVIEN is approvable. ILUVIEN has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
About FAME" Safety
Safety was assessed among those patients treated with ILUVIEN who were in the subgroup of patients with DME for three years or more and were considered to have chronic DME. Intraocular pressure (IOP) increases to 30 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or greater at any time point were seen in 12.7% of these patients by month 36, compared to 18.4% in the full ILUVIEN treated patient population. By month 36, 3.6% of these patients had undergone an incisional surgical procedure to reduce elevated IOP, compared to 4.8% in the full patient population. The incidence of cataracts among patients with a natural lens in their eye at the start of the study was 84.1% at month 36, with 87.3% undergoing a cataract operation, compared to 81.7% and 80.0%, respectively, in the full patient population.
DME, the primary cause of vision loss associated with diabetic retinopathy, is a disease affecting the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision. When the blood vessel leakage of diabetic retinopathy causes swelling in the macula, the condition has progressed to DME. The onset of DME is painless and may go undetected by the patient until it manifests with the blurring of central vision or acute vision loss. The severity of this blurring may range from mild to profound loss of vision. As the population of people with diabetes increases, it is anticipated that the annual incidence of diagnosed DME will increase.
About Alimera Sciences, Inc.
Alimera Sciences, Inc., based in Alpharetta, Georgia, is a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development and commercialization of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. Presently Alimera is focused on diseases affecting the back of the eye, or retina. Its primary product, ILUVIEN, is an intravitreal implant containing fluocinolone acetonide (FAc), a non-proprietary corticosteroid with demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of ocular disease.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding, among other things, Alimera's commercial plans for ILUVIEN in Portugal. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in its forward-looking statements. Meaningful factors which could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, uncertainty as to Alimera's ability to commercialize (alone or with others), and market acceptance of, ILUVIEN in Portugal, as well as other factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of Alimera's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov . There can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by Alimera will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, Alimera. Therefore, no assurance can be given that the outcomes stated in such forward-looking statements and estimates will be achieved.
All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified by the cautionary statements contained or referred to herein. Alimera cautions investors not to rely too heavily on the forward-looking statements Alimera makes or that are made on its behalf. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release (unless another date is indicated). Alimera undertakes no obligation, and specifically declines any obligation, to publicly update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: For press inquiries: Katie Brazel, Fleishman-Hillard for Alimera Sciences 404-739-0150 Katie.Brazel@fleishman.com For investor inquiries: John Mills, ICR for Alimera Sciences 310-954-1105 John.Mills@ICRINC.comSource: Alimera Sciences, Inc. 2012 GlobeNewswire, Inc.