Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. Announces Expansion of Licensing Agreement for Tapentadol (NUCYNTA /PALEXIA /PALEXIS)
Beerse, Belgium — Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. (Janssen) announced today that it has expanded its licensing agreement with the Grünenthal Group (Grünenthal) to register, manufacture and commercialize Tapentadol in additional regions, including selected Asia Pacific, Latin American, African, and New European countries including Turkey and Greece, under Grünenthal’s NUCYNTA® /PALEXIA® /PALEXIS® trademark for both the immediate- and prolonged-release (IR and PR) formulations.
Currently, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. licenses marketing rights for Tapentadol from Grünenthal for the United States, Canada and Japan. Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. has submitted Tapentadol extended/prolonged-release in the United States and Canada for the management of moderate to severe chronic pain in patients 18 years of age or older, and PriCara, a division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is already marketing Tapentadol IR as NUCYNTA® in the United States for the relief of moderate to severe acute pain in patients 18 years of age or older. Grünenthal has submitted decentralized marketing authorization applications to the European health authorities as well as marketing authorization applications to other non-European health authorities for Tapentadol immediate-and prolonged-release (IR/PR) tablets for severe acute and chronic pain.
Under the terms of this expanded agreement, Janssen has the right to market NUCYNTA® /PALEXIA® /PALEXIS® in more than 80 additional countries. Janssen and Grünenthal will each manufacture the IR and PR/ER formulation for certain regions. Janssen will be responsible for marketing, distributing, promoting and selling the product in the entire licensed territory.
“Despite great advances in recent years, many people still suffer from inadequately treated acute or chronic pain, a disease of high unmet medical need,” said Husseini K. Manji, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Neuroscience, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development. “With this agreement, Janssen will help to ensure that NUCYNTA® /PALEXIA® /PALEXIS® is available to the many patients with moderate to severe acute and chronic pain as an important new option and alternative to older pain medications such as strong opioids.”
Tapentadol is a centrally-acting analgesic with a dual mechanism of action: mu-opioid receptor agonist and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor in a single molecule. These two mechanisms are thought to work in concert to provide pain relief via two different physiologic pathways involved in pain transmission.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR NUCYNTA® IMMEDIATE RELEASE TABLET FORMULATION
NUCYNTA® IR tablet formulation was approved by the FDA on November 20, 2008, and is available by prescription only for the relief of moderate to severe acute pain in patients 18 years of age or older. The Tapentadol molecule is classified as Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.
Like other drugs with mu-opioid agonist activity, NUCYNTA® is contraindicated in patients with significant respiratory depression, acute or severe bronchial asthma or hypercapnia in unmonitored settings or in the absence of resuscitative equipment. NUCYNTA® is contraindicated in patients who have or are suspected to have paralytic ileus. NUCYNTA® is also contraindicated in patients currently using or within 14 days of using monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) due to potential additive effects on norepinephrine levels, which may result in adverse cardiovascular events.
Respiratory depression is the primary risk of mu-opioid agonists. Respiratory depression occurs more frequently in elderly or debilitated patients and in those suffering from conditions accompanied by hypoxia, hypercapnia, or upper airway obstruction, in whom even moderate therapeutic doses may significantly decrease pulmonary ventilation. NUCYNTA® should be administered with caution to the elderly, debilitated patients, and patients with conditions accompanied by hypoxia, hypercapnia or decreased respiratory reserve such as: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, severe obesity, sleep apnea syndrome, myxedema, kyphoscoliosis, CNS depression, or coma. In such patients, even usual therapeutic doses of NUCYNTA® may increase airway resistance and decrease respiratory drive to the point of apnea. Alternative non-mu-opioid agonist analgesics should be considered and NUCYNTA® should be employed only under careful medical supervision at the lowest effective dose in such patients. If respiratory depression occurs, it should be treated as any mu-opioid agonist-induced respiratory depression.
Patients receiving other mu-opioid agonist analgesics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, other tranquilizers, sedatives, hypnotics, or other CNS depressants (including alcohol) concomitantly with NUCYNTA® may exhibit additive CNS depression. Interactive effects resulting in respiratory depression, hypotension, profound sedation, coma or death may result if these drugs are taken in combination with NUCYNTA. ® When such combined therapy is contemplated, a dose reduction of one or both agents should be considered.
Opioid analgesics can raise cerebrospinal fluid pressure as a result of respiratory depression with carbon dioxide retention. Therefore, NUCYNTA® should not be used in patients susceptible to the effects of raised cerebrospinal fluid pressure such as those with head injury and increased intracranial pressure. Opioid analgesics may obscure the clinical course of patients with head injury due to effects on pupillary response and consciousness. NUCYNTA® should be used with caution in patients with head injury, intracranial lesions, or other sources of preexisting increased intracranial pressure.
NUCYNTA® is a mu-opioid agonist and is a Schedule II controlled substance. Such drugs are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders. Diversion of Schedule II products is an act subject to criminal penalty. NUCYNTA® can be abused in a manner similar to other mu-opioid agonists, legal or illicit. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing NUCYNTA® in situations where the physician or pharmacist is concerned about an increased risk of misuse and abuse. All patients treated with mu-opioid agonists require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction. NUCYNTA® may be abused by crushing, chewing, snorting or injecting the product. These practices pose a significant risk to the abuser that could result in overdose and death.
Experience with NUCYNTA® overdose is very limited. Management of overdose should be focused on treating symptoms of mu-opioid agonism. Primary attention should be given to reestablishment of a patent airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation when overdose of NUCYNTA® is suspected. Supportive measures (including oxygen and vasopressors) should be employed in the management of circulatory shock and pulmonary edema accompanying overdose as indicated. Cardiac arrest or arrhythmias may require cardiac massage or defibrillation.
Patients should be cautioned that NUCYNTA® may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery. This is to be expected especially at the beginning of treatment, at any change of dosage as well as in combination with alcohol or tranquilizers.
NUCYNTA® has not been systematically evaluated in patients with a seizure disorder, and such patients were excluded from clinical studies. NUCYNTA® should be prescribed with care in patients with a history of a seizure disorder or any condition that would put the patient at risk of seizures.
The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome may occur with use of SNRI products, including NUCYNTA®, particularly with concomitant use of serotonergic drugs such as SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, MAOIs and triptans, and with drugs which impair metabolism of serotonin (including MAOIs). Serotonin syndrome may include mental-status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination) and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).
Withdrawal symptoms may occur if NUCYNTA® is discontinued abruptly. These symptoms may include: anxiety, sweating, insomnia, rigors, pain, nausea, tremors, diarrhea, upper respiratory symptoms, piloerection, and rarely, hallucinations. Withdrawal symptoms may be reduced by tapering NUCYNTA®.
Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of NUCYNTA® in pregnant women. NUCYNTA® should be used during pregnancy ONLY if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. NUCYNTA® is not recommended for use in women during and immediately prior to labor and delivery. Neonates whose mothers have been taking NUCYNTA® should be monitored for respiratory depression. NUCYNTA® should not be used during breastfeeding.
NUCYNTA® is not recommended in patients with severe renal or hepatic impairment. NUCYNTA® should be used with caution in patients with moderate hepatic impairment. Like other drugs with mu-opioid agonist activity, NUCYNTA® may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi and should be used with caution in patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis.
The most common adverse events are nausea, dizziness, vomiting, somnolence and headache.
About Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V.
Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., headquartered in Beerse, Belgium, is part of the world’s largest healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson, and enjoys an international reputation for pharmaceutical innovation and quality.
About Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C
Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, the world’s most broadly based producer of health care products. The Company is headquartered in Raritan, N.J., and has facilities throughout Europe, the United States and Asia.
By leveraging our world-class discovery and development expertise, we are developing innovative, effective treatments to ease patients’ suffering and to significantly improve their health and overall quality of life. More information can be found at www.jnjpharmarnd.com.
(This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from Janssen’s and/or Johnson & Johnson’s expectations and projections. Risks and uncertainties include general industry conditions and competition; economic conditions, such as interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approvals; domestic and foreign health care reforms and governmental laws and regulations; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Exhibit 99 of Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 3, 2010. Copies of this Form 10-K, as well as subsequent filings, are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Neither Janssen nor Johnson & undertake to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.)