Alimera Sciences to develop a Patient Access Scheme in response to negative recommendation
ATLANTA, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Alimera Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALIM) (Alimera), a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development and commercialization of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, today announced that the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued final draft guidance indicating that ILUVIEN is not recommended for the treatment of chronic diabetic macular edema (DME) considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies. While the Appraisal Committee acknowledged the clinical effectiveness of ILUVIEN® in the treatment of vision impairment associated with chronic DME considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies, it noted that cost-effectiveness thresholds for the product have not yet been met.
In response to the final draft guidance, Alimera is now developing a Patient Access Scheme (PAS) to address the Appraisal Committee's cost concerns that pose a barrier to access for people in the United Kingdom with chronic DME who might benefit from ILUVIEN. The goal of the PAS will be to determine the appropriate pricing for ILUVIEN in order to ensure that treatment decisions are based on patient need, rather than cost.
Andrew Lotery, Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Southampton, said, "I am very pleased that NICE has recognized that ILUVIEN is clinically effective for chronic diabetic macular oedema. I am hopeful that this sustained-release therapy will become available to the thousands of people affected with diabetes in the United Kingdom."
The International Diabetes Federation estimates that more than 3 million people are currently living with diabetes in the U.K., nearly 200,000 of whom, according to Alimera's estimates, suffer with vision loss from DME.
"In recognition of the ongoing process with NICE, we have immediately begun to develop a Patient Access Scheme which, if accepted, will make ILUVIEN available to all chronic DME patients in the United Kingdom considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies," said Dan Myers, president and chief executive officer, Alimera.
ILUVIEN (190 micrograms fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant in applicator) is a sustained release intravitreal implant used to treat vision impairment associated with chronic DME considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies. Each ILUVIEN implant provides a therapeutic effect of up to 36 months by delivering sustained sub-microgram levels of fluocinolone acetonide (FAc). ILUVIEN is injected 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 the FAME Study, the most frequently reported adverse drug reactions included cataract operation, cataract and increased ocular pressure.
In July 2010, Alimera submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to seven European countries via the Decentralized Procedure (DCP) with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the U.K. (MHRA) serving as the Reference Member State (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. At the end of the DCP, a consensus was reached by the RMS and the other six countries that the MAA for ILUVIEN was approvable. To date, five of the seven countries, Austria, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France and Germany have granted national licenses for ILUVIEN. ILUVIEN has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
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 the United Kingdom. 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, NICE's acceptance of the Patient Access Scheme, uncertainty as to Alimera's ability to commercialize, and market acceptance of ILUVIEN in the United Kingdom, and 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 September 30, 2012, which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. In addition to the risks described above and in Alimera's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the SEC, other unknown or unpredictable factors also could affect Alimera's results. 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.
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SOURCE Alimera Sciences, Inc.