Shire to Launch Long-Acting ADHD Drug in the UK
Shire has rolled out their long-acting ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) drug Intuniv nationwide. In doing so the treatment options for patients aged six to 17 years old in whom stimulant medicines are not suitable or are ineffective has been extended.
The treatment is a selective alpha-2A adrenergic receptor agonist that offers a unique mechanism of action in ADHD.
Preclinical studies suggested that the drug may exert physiological effects by selectively stimulating the alpha-2A adrenergic receptor in the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain known to control several cognitive functions which include attention and social behaviours.
Intuniv prolonger release acquired European approval in September last year, as a result of data from three pivotal Phase III studies investigating its short- and long-term safety and efficacy in the target patient population.
It is estimated within the UK, that ADHD affects 3%-9% of school-age children and young people, although in Europe, more than 10% of all patients either do not respond to or tolerate treatment with stimulants. Atomoxetine is the only other non-stimulant treatment currently available in Europe, therefore the launch of Intuniv will offer patients an approved and much needed alternative.
“The availability of the new non-stimulant, guanfacine (Intuniv) prolonged release tablets, may represent an important alternative treatment option, enabling physicians to tailor ADHD therapy to those patients for whom stimulants are not suitable,” stated Chris Steer a consultant paediatrician, NHS Fife.
Intuniv has already cleared the cost-effectiveness obstacle in Scotland, having been accepted for use on the NHS by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.