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US FDA approves Nuvigil wake-promoting agent

Cephalon : 18 June, 2007  (New Product)
Cephalon has received approval from the US FDA to market Nuvigil (armodafinil) Tablets [C- IV].

The treatment is a non-amphetamine wake-promoting agent formulated to treat excessive sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), narcolepsy, and shift work sleep disorder (SWSD).

In OSAHS, Nuvigil is indicated as an adjunct to standard treatment(s) for the underlying obstruction.

Nuvigil is the single-isomer formulation of modafinil, the active pharmaceutical ingredient contained in Provigil (modafinil) Tablets [C-IV], which was approved by FDA in 1998 to improve wakefulness.

'FDA approval of Nuvigil is a major accomplishment and the result of collaborative efforts with the scientific and regulatory communities', said Dr Lesley Russell, executive vice president, Worldwide Medical and Regulatory Operations.

'We are excited about the future of Nuvigil and we have initiated additional clinical work to explore its potential in a wide range of medical disorders'.

Cephalon's clinical programme will evaluate the use of Nuvigil as a treatment for serious medical conditions such as bipolar depression, cognition associated with schizophrenia, excessive sleepiness in medical conditions such as Parkinson's disease, and fatigue in patients who are being treated for cancer.

The company currently plans a commercial launch of Nuvigil once additional clinical data has been amassed.

'The approval of Nuvigil allows us to preserve our current leadership position in the area of wakefulness', said Frank Baldino, Jr, PhD, chairman and CEO, Cephalon. 'More importantly, we now have a longer-term opportunity to further characterize the utility of this compound beyond wakefulness'.

Nuvigil is protected by a US patent expiring in 2023.

The agency has approved final labelling for Nuvigil, including a bolded warning, which is consistent with the draft labelling received by the company in March 2007.
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