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Orally inhaled medicine for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder hits the market

March 7, 2014
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has announced the commercial launch of the trademarked ADASUVE (loxapine) inhalation powder 10 mg, an orally inhaled medicine for the acute treatment of agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder in adults.

ADASUVE is administered through Alexza Pharmaceutical’s innovative proprietary trademarked Staccato single-use, hand held drug delivery technology system. This new drug-device combination product provides rapid systemic delivery by inhalation of a thermally-generated aerosol of loxapine, a first generation antipsychotic, to the lung. Administration of ADASUVE results in rapid absorption of loxapine, with a maximum plasma concentration achieved in approximately 2 minutes.

“Existing treatment options for patients with agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder are limited to oral tablets or injectable modes of administration, sometimes requiring the use of restraints,” said Richard Jaffe, M.D., medical director for Research and Clinical Trials at the Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment Philadelphia, Penn., and a clinical trial investigator.

Patients experiencing agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder often manifest behaviors that interfere with their care, such as threatening behaviors, escalating or urgently distressing behavior or self-exhausting behavior that lead clinicians to use rapidly absorbed antipsychotic medications to help control the agitation quickly. Agitation associated with schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder is estimated to result in approximately 7 million episodes that end up in an acute emergency treatment setting each year. Acute agitation can increase in severity and escalate unpredictably.

“The availability of orally inhaled ADASUVE provides a rapid onset of action that quickly improves symptoms for patients and gives providers in enrolled hospitals another treatment choice,” said Michael McHugh, vice president and general manager of Teva Select Brands and Teva Women’s Health.  

Two phase three short-term clinical efficacy trials demonstrated significant improvement in agitation at two hours, in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder treated with ADASUVE. These studies demonstrated a 49 percent reduction in agitation symptoms from baseline in schizophrenia patients, as compared to 33 percent in placebo, and 53 percent reduction in bipolar I patients, as compared to 27 percent in placebo. Improvement was rapidly achieved at 10 minutes post-dose with a 19 percent reduction in agitation symptoms from baseline in schizophrenia patients and a 23 percent reduction in bipolar I patients, both as compared to 10 percent in placebo.

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