VYVANSE for ADHD : Economics of ADHD Drugs

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Update on Vyvanse as a New ADHD Medication

A couple of months ago we reported that Shire Pharmaceuticals was looking to receive approval on their third medication for the treatment of ADHD named VYVANSE, and now they are receiving it from the FDA.

This new ADHD medication will go along with Shire's two other products for ADHD, Daytrana, a methylphenadate patch worn by children on the hip, and the somewhat controversial ADDerall XR. All three products are once per day dosing.

The product is expected to be on the market by the summer of 2007, and is expected to generate a lot of money for Shire.

Shire Pays Huge Money for New River and Vyvanse

In fact, Shire is so fond of stimulants for the treatment of ADHD that they paid $2,600,000,000 (yes, that's 2.6 Billion dollars) for New River Pharmaceuticals, the company that actually developed Vyvanse. Read more in the press release below about the new medication, the money, and the companies.

Press Release - VYVANSE - February 23, 2007

Shire and New River Pharmaceuticals Announce FDA Approval of the First and Only Stimulant Prodrug VYVANSE ™ (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) as a Novel Treatment for ADHD

Basingstoke, U.K., Philadelphia, PA and Radford, VA – FEBRUARY 23, 2007 – Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY, TSX: SHQ) and its collaborative partner New River Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: NRPH) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted marketing approval for VYVANSE (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, formerly known as NRP104), for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

On February 20, 2007 Shire and New River announced an agreement whereby Shire will acquire New River for approximately $2.6 billion in an all cash transaction unanimously recommended by the Boards of both companies. The transaction is the subject of another press release issued February 20, 2007.

VYVANSE is a prodrug that is therapeutically inactive until metabolized in the body. In clinical studies designed to measure duration of effect, VYVANSE provided significant efficacy compared to placebo for a full treatment day, up through and including 6:00 pm. Furthermore, when VYVANSE was administered orally and intravenously in two clinical human drug abuse studies, VYVANSE produced subjective responses on a scale of “Drug Liking Effects” (DLE) that were less than d-amphetamine at equivalent doses. DLE is used in clinical abuse studies to measure relative preference among known substance abusers.

“The FDA approval of VYVANSE is exciting news for Shire as well as for patients, their families, and healthcare providers as it’s an important, novel approach for the treatment of ADHD,” said Matthew Emmens, Shire Chief Executive Officer. “The label we received with the approval letter includes information about the extended duration of effect and abuse-related drug liking characteristics of VYVANSE which illustrate benefits that differentiate this compound from other ADHD medicines. The addition of VYVANSE to our ADHD portfolio reaffirms Shire’s commitment to continue to address unmet medical needs and advance the science of ADHD treatment. Beginning with product launch in Q2 2007, Shire will make VYVANSE our top promotional priority within our ADHD portfolio.”

Randal J. Kirk, New River’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, remarked, “VYVANSE’s approval signals a new era in the treatment of ADHD. Upon product launch, patients will have a novel treatment option combining the effectiveness of a stimulant – long considered the gold standard in ADHD medicines – with other potential benefits.”

The FDA has proposed that VYVANSE be classified as a Schedule II controlled substance.

This proposal was submitted to and accepted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). A final scheduling decision is expected from the DEA following a 30-day period for public comment. Once VYVANSE receives final scheduling designation, the label will be available. Pending final scheduling designation, product launch is anticipated in Q2 2007.

VYVANSE will be available in three dosage strengths: 30 mg, 50 mg and 70 mg, all indicated for once-daily dosing.

New River developed VYVANSE as a new ADHD medication designed to provide lower potential for abuse, in which d -amphetamine is covalently linked to l -lysine, a naturally occurring amino acid. The combination is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and converted to d -amphetamine, which is responsible for VYVANSE’s activity.

Joseph Biederman, MD, director of Pediatric Psychopharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital, was lead investigator on the pivotal clinical studies testing lisdexamfetamine dimesylate for the treatment of ADHD.

These large multi-site studies showed that the drug significantly reduced ADHD symptoms throughout the day with a predictable tolerability profile. “Our studies showed that this next-generation stimulant medication's unique chemical profile offers an option for physicians and their patients in the treatment of ADHD, with outstanding efficacy and duration of action” said Dr. Biederman.

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