Forest Labs wins FDA approval for antidepressant Fetzima

Forest Laboratories took another step forward in rebuilding its antidepressant business with the FDA's approval of Fetzima for major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. Fetzima, discovered by France's Pierre Fabre Laboratories, is a once-daily serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.

New York-based Forest ($FRX) has been seeking new remedies for depression amid generic competition to its antidepressant Lexapro, sales of which have been declining. Forest also sells the antidepressant Viibyrd, which it gained through the $1.2 billion buyout of biotech billionaire Randal Kirk's Clinical Data.

About 16 million Americans suffer from depression, which causes severe sadness that interferes with sleep, work and other everyday activities. Many patients fail to respond to initial treatment on antidepressants, yet there is an expanding menu of drugs against the disease. Forest is working on commercializing multiple new drugs, although the company is competing in a market that is lousy with cheap generic meds. 

"Because people respond differently to different medications, Forest Laboratories is dedicated to bringing a range of treatment possibilities to adults living with MDD, as part of our growing mental health portfolio," said Forest Chairman and CEO Howard Solomon, in a statement.

In other news: The FDA pinned an approval on Switzerland-based Galenica's iron deficiency therapy Injectafer, spurring a jump in the company's share price, Reuters reported. The injected therapy provides an alternative remedy for anemia patients who fail to respond to oral treatments.

- here's the Forest release
- and Reuters' article

Special Report: Forest Laboratories - 10 Largest U.S. Patent Losses

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