Neurelis Completes Pre-IND Meeting With FDA to Establish Clinical Development Program for NRL-4 in the Treatment of Acute Agitation Associated With Schizophrenia and Bipolar 1 Mania in Adults
SAN DIEGO, CA – November 23, 2020 – Neurelis, Inc., announced today that it has concluded a pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) Application meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding NRL-4. The FDA provided direction for the clinical development pathway for the investigational treatment. NRL-4 is being investigated as a noninvasive, easy-to-administer rescue therapy to address the escalation of acute agitation symptoms outside the medical setting. Acute agitation is associated with several psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar mania 1 in adults.
NRL-4 is a proprietary formulation incorporating the science of Intravail®, which provides consistent and reliable absorption of medication via a proven, commercially available, single-use nasal sprayer. Intravail transmucosal absorption enhancement technology enables the noninvasive delivery of a broad range of protein, peptide, and small-molecule drugs. Neurelis is able to leverage the formulation, developmental, and regulatory success of its FDA-approved product to optimize the pathway to regulatory submission and approval of NRL-4.
Approximately 1.7 million episodes of acute agitation are treated in an emergency setting annually in the United States. Clinical manifestations follow a continuum of severity, ranging from a mere increase in ideation and behavioral activity to very acute and violent episodes. The symptoms of acute agitation can escalate rapidly (minutes to hours) or slowly (weeks). While aggression and violence are not core features, acute agitation can quickly progress to the highest levels of intensity, with potentially dangerous behaviors, high risk of personal injuries (to patient, medical personnel, and others), and property damage. Once the symptoms have become severe, intervention in the emergency medical setting is often required. Currently there are no FDA-approved medications for acute rescue use outside medical settings.
"Early identification and prompt intervention are critical to reduce the likelihood for symptomatic escalation and the need for acute medical intervention," said Enrique Carrazana, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Neurelis. "Early recognition of symptoms and/or triggers, whether by the patient or caregiver, may provide a window of opportunity for episodic prevention in many patients. A treatment option for early intervention is a vital and significant unmet need among this patient population."
Neurelis, Inc., is an innovation-driven neuroscience company providing a highly differentiated approach to target unmet medical needs. Neurelis is focused on the development and commercialization of product candidates for epilepsy and the broader central nervous system (CNS) market. On January 10, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Neurelis' VALTOCO® (diazepam nasal spray) as an acute treatment of intermittent, stereotypic episodes of frequent seizure activity (ie, seizure clusters, acute repetitive seizures) that are distinct from an individual's usual seizure pattern in adult and pediatric patients 6 years of age and older. In addition to VALTOCO, the company is developing NRL-2 for intermittent use to control acute panic attacks, NRL-3 as a noninvasive acute therapy to stop seizures that have progressed to status epilepticus, and NRL-4 as a noninvasive rescue therapy to address the escalation of acute agitation symptoms associated with schizophrenia and bipolar 1 mania in adults. The Neurelis technology platform includes Intravail®, ProTek® and Hydrogel™, three proprietary, noninvasive drug-delivery and stabilization technologies applicable to a wide range of molecules, including therapeutic proteins, peptides, non-peptide macromolecules, and small molecules. For more information on Neurelis, please visit www.neurelis.com.
Important Safety Information about VALTOCO:
VALTOCO® (diazepam nasal spray) is indicated for the acute treatment of intermittent, stereotypic episodes of frequent seizure activity (ie, seizure clusters, acute repetitive seizures) that are distinct from a patient's usual seizure pattern in patients with epilepsy 6 years of age and older.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
RISK FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH OPIOIDS
Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death.
- Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate
- Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required
- Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation
Contraindications: VALTOCO is contraindicated in patients with:
- Known hypersensitivity to diazepam
- Acute narrow-angle glaucoma
Central Nervous System (CNS) Depression
Benzodiazepines, including VALTOCO, may produce CNS depression. Caution patients against engaging in hazardous activities requiring mental alertness, such as operating machinery, driving a motor vehicle, or riding a bicycle, until the effects of the drug, such as drowsiness, have subsided, and as their medical condition permits.
The potential for a synergistic CNS-depressant effect when VALTOCO is used with alcohol or other CNS depressants must be considered, and appropriate recommendations made to the patient and/or care partner.
Suicidal Behavior and Ideation
Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including VALTOCO, increase the risk of suicidal ideation and behavior. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or unusual changes in mood or behavior. Advise patients and caregivers to be alert for these behavioral changes and to immediately report them to a healthcare provider.
Benzodiazepines, including VALTOCO, can increase intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma. VALTOCO may only be used in patients with open-angle glaucoma only if they are receiving appropriate therapy. VALTOCO is contraindicated in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma.
Risk of Serious Adverse Reactions in Infants due to Benzyl Alcohol Preservative
VALTOCO is not approved for use in neonates or infants. Serious and fatal adverse reactions, including "gasping syndrome," can occur in neonates and low-birth-weight infants treated with benzyl alcohol-preserved drugs, including VALTOCO. The "gasping syndrome" is characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, and gasping respirations. The minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which serious adverse reactions may occur is not known.
The most common adverse reactions (at least 4%) were somnolence, headache, and nasal discomfort.
Diazepam, the active ingredient in VALTOCO, is a Schedule IV controlled substance.
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Neurelis, Inc. at 1-866-696-3873 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (www.fda.gov/medwatch).
Please read full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning, for additional important safety information.