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Acacia Pharma Launches BYFAVO™ (remimazolam) in the United States for Procedural Sedation in Adults Undergoing Medical Procedures Lasting 30 Minutes or Less

Acacia Pharma Group plc
·15-min read

Acacia Pharma Launches BYFAVO™ (remimazolam) in the United States for Procedural Sedation in Adults Undergoing Medical Procedures Lasting
30 Minutes or Less

  • Approximately 40 million procedures take place annually in the US that require the use of procedural sedation

  • BYFAVO is the second Acacia Pharma product approved and launched in the US in the last year and extends its portfolio of new products targeting unmet needs in anesthesia

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No 596/2014.

Cambridge, UK and Indianapolis, US – 28 January 2021: Acacia Pharma Group plc (“Acacia Pharma”, the “Group” or the “Company”) (EURONEXT: ACPH), a hospital pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new products aimed at improving the care of patients undergoing significant treatments such as surgery, other invasive procedures or cancer chemotherapy, announces today that BYFAVO™ (remimazolam) has been launched and is now commercially available in the US for order and delivery to customers through major wholesalers and specialty distributors.

BYFAVO was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 2 July 2020 for the induction and maintenance of procedural sedation in adults undergoing procedures lasting 30 minutes or less. It received its Schedule IV designation from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on 6 October 2020, finalizing the approval process and clearing the way for final packaging and shipping to the US.

Acacia Pharma has built critical sales, marketing, medical education and operational support teams over the past two years to allow it to directly commercialize both BYFAVO and BARHEMSYS® in the US through its own sales channels. The Company’s experienced commercial team is focused on addressing the combined large market opportunities for procedural sedation and prevention and treatment of post-operative nausea & vomiting (PONV), which BYFAVO and BARHEMSYS target, respectively, that exist in the US hospital market. The initial focus of the commercial team over the first year of launch is to ensure that BYFAVO is listed on hospital formularies, based on the unmet needs it can address and the health economic benefits it can deliver.

“We are delighted to make BYFAVO available to anesthesia providers and to the millions of patients across the US who require moderate sedation to undergo medical procedures each year,” commented Mike Bolinder, Acacia Pharma’s CEO. “BYFAVO and BARHEMSYS have a clear and shared value proposition focused on safely and rapidly mobilizing patients after such procedures, which drives revenues of hospitals and surgical centers in the US. The launches come at a time when Covid-19 has had a significant impact on such centers, creating significant patient backlogs and impacting ongoing revenues. We believe our products can help improve patient throughput, which is now even more relevant for healthcare providers and their patients. We believe that the ability to help address the current backlog of elective surgeries, together with ongoing shortages for existing drugs in these therapeutic areas, puts Acacia Pharma in a strong position as the Company enters these markets.”

Mr. Bolinder added: “It is a tremendous achievement for our company to gain approval and launch two new products in the US within the course of the last year. I would like to thank our partners at PAION as well as the Acacia Pharma team and our stakeholders who have enabled us to bring this new and innovative therapeutic to market, particularly given the challenges caused by the pandemic over the past year.”

Dr. Jim Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of PAION AG, stated: “We are excited to support Acacia in their commercialization process, and we are delighted by the strong commitment to BYFAVO by our US partner Acacia. As sales build through the next months and years PAION will be receiving royalties of between 20–25% in the US. We look forward to a successful launch of what is a unique new product entering the market.”

BYFAVO is now available for ordering in the US through the major wholesalers and selected specialty distributors, including Cardinal Health, Amerisource Bergen, Besse, McKesson, McKesson Medsurg, Morris and Dickson, and Curascript.

###

Contacts

Acacia Pharma Group plc
Mike Bolinder, CEO
Gary Gemignani, CFO
+44 1223 919760 / +1 317 505 1280
IR@acaciapharma.com

International Media
Mark Swallow, Frazer Hall, David Dible
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
+44 20 7638 9571
acaciapharma@citigatedewerogerson.com

US Investors
LifeSci Advisors
Irina Koffler
+1 917-734-7387
ikoffler@lifesciadvisors.com

Media in Belgium and the Netherlands
Chris Van Raemdonck
+32 499 58 55 31
chrisvanraemdonck@telenet.be

About Acacia Pharma

Acacia Pharma is a hospital pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new products aimed at improving the care of patients undergoing significant treatments such as surgery, other invasive procedures, or cancer chemotherapy. The Company has identified important and commercially attractive unmet needs in these areas that its product portfolio aims to address.

Acacia Pharma's first product, BARHEMSYS® (amisulpride injection) is marketed in the US for the management of postoperative nausea & vomiting (PONV).

BYFAVO™ (remimazolam) for injection, a very rapid onset/offset IV benzodiazepine sedative is approved and launched in the US for use during invasive medical procedures in adults lasting 30 minutes or less, such as colonoscopy and bronchoscopy. BYFAVO is in-licensed from Paion UK Limited for the US market.

APD403 (intravenous and oral amisulpride), a selective dopamine antagonist for chemotherapy induced nausea & vomiting (CINV) has successfully completed one proof-of-concept and one Phase 2 dose-ranging study in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

Acacia Pharma has its US headquarters in Indianapolis, IN and its R&D operations are centered in Cambridge, UK. The Company is listed on the Euronext Brussels exchange under the ISIN code GB00BYWF9Y76 and ticker symbol ACPH.

www.acaciapharma.com

About BYFAVO™

BYFAVO (remimazolam) for injection is a very rapid onset/offset intravenous benzodiazepine sedative for use during invasive medical procedures in adult patients lasting 30 minutes or less, such as during colonoscopy and bronchoscopy. Approximately 25 million such procedures take place annually in the US, of which around 90% use moderate sedation.

Cosmo in-licensed the US rights to BYFAVO from Paion AG in 2016 and together they have progressed the product candidate through to registration. BYFAVO is now approved and launched in the US and is indicated for the induction and maintenance of procedural sedation in adults lasting 30 minutes or less.

www.BYFAVO.com

Important Safety Information for BYFAVO (remimazolam) Injection

Indications
BYFAVO is a benzodiazepine indicated for the induction and maintenance of procedural sedation in adults undergoing procedures lasting 30 minutes or less.

Important Safety Information

WARNING: PERSONNEL AND EQUIPMENT FOR MONITORING AND RESUSCITATION AND RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH OPIOID ANALGESICS
Personnel and Equipment for Monitoring and Resuscitation

Risks From Concomitant Use With Opioid Analgesics and Other Sedative-Hypnotics
Concomitant use of benzodiazepines, including BYFAVO, and opioid analgesics may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. The sedative effect of intravenous BYFAVO can be accentuated by concomitantly administered CNS depressant medications, including other benzodiazepines and propofol. Continuously monitor patients for respiratory depression and depth of sedation.

Contraindication
BYFAVO is contraindicated in patients with a history of severe hypersensitivity reaction to dextran 40 or products containing dextran 40.

Personnel and Equipment for Monitoring and Resuscitation
Clinically notable hypoxia, bradycardia, and hypotension were observed in Phase 3 studies of BYFAVO. Continuously monitor vital signs during sedation and through the recovery period. Only personnel trained in the administration of procedural sedation, and not involved in the conduct of the diagnostic or therapeutic procedure, should administer BYFAVO. Administering personnel must be trained in the detection and management of airway obstruction, hypoventilation, and apnea, including the maintenance of a patent airway, supportive ventilation, and cardiovascular resuscitation. Resuscitative drugs, and age- and size-appropriate equipment for bag-valve-mask–assisted ventilation must be immediately available during administration of BYFAVO. Consider the potential for worsened cardiorespiratory depression prior to using BYFAVO concomitantly with other drugs that have the same potential (e.g., opioid analgesics or other sedative-hypnotics). Administer supplemental oxygen to sedated patients through the recovery period. A benzodiazepine reversal agent (flumazenil) should be immediately available during administration of BYFAVO.

Risks From Concomitant Use With Opioid Analgesics and Other Sedative-Hypnotics
Concomitant use of BYFAVO and opioid analgesics may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. The sedative effect of IV BYFAVO can be accentuated when administered with other CNS depressant medications (eg, other benzodiazepines and propofol). Titrate the dose of BYFAVO when administered with opioid analgesics and sedative-hypnotics to the desired clinical response. Continuously monitor sedated patients for hypotension, airway obstruction, hypoventilation, apnea, and oxygen desaturation. These cardiorespiratory effects may be more likely to occur in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, the elderly, and ASA-PS class III or IV patients.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

BYFAVO contains dextran 40, which can cause hypersensitivity reactions, including rash, urticaria, pruritus, and anaphylaxis. BYFAVO is contraindicated in patients with a history of severe hypersensitivity reaction to dextran 40 or products containing dextran 40.

Neonatal Sedation

Use of benzodiazepines during the later stages of pregnancy can result in sedation (respiratory depression, lethargy, hypotonia) in the neonate. Observe newborns for signs of sedation and manage accordingly.

Pediatric Neurotoxicity

Published animal studies demonstrate that anesthetic and sedation drugs that block NMDA receptors and/or potentiate GABA activity increase neuronal apoptosis in the developing brain and result in long-term cognitive deficits when used for longer than 3 hours. The clinical significance of this is not clear. However, the window of vulnerability to these changes is believed to correlate with exposures in the third trimester of gestation through the first several months of life but may extend out to approximately 3 years of age in humans.

Anesthetic and sedation drugs are a necessary part of the care of children needing surgery, other procedures, or tests that cannot be delayed, and no specific medications have been shown to be safer than any other. Decisions regarding the timing of any elective procedures requiring anesthesia should take into consideration the benefits of the procedure weighed against the potential risks.

Adverse Reactions
The most common adverse reactions reported in >10% of patients (N=630) receiving BYFAVO 5-30 mg (total dose) and undergoing colonoscopy (two studies) or bronchoscopy (one study) were: hypotension, hypertension, diastolic hypertension, systolic hypertension, hypoxia, and diastolic hypotension.

Use in Specific Populations
Pregnancy

There are no data on the specific effects of BYFAVO on pregnancy. Benzodiazepines cross the placenta and may produce respiratory depression and sedation in neonates. Monitor neonates exposed to benzodiazepines during pregnancy and labor for signs of sedation and respiratory depression.

Lactation
Monitor infants exposed to BYFAVO through breast milk for sedation, respiratory depression, and feeding problems. A lactating woman may consider interrupting breastfeeding and pumping and discarding breast milk during treatment and for 5 hours after BYFAVO administration.

Pediatric Use
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. BYFAVO should not be used in patients less than 18 years of age.

Geriatric Use
No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. However, there is a potential for greater sensitivity (eg, faster onset, oversedation, confusion) in some older individuals. Administer supplemental doses of BYFAVO slowly to achieve the level of sedation required and monitor all patients closely for cardiorespiratory complications.

Hepatic Impairment
In patients with severe hepatic impairment, the dose of BYFAVO should be carefully titrated to effect. Depending on the overall status of the patient, lower frequency of supplemental doses may be needed to achieve the level of sedation required for the procedure. All patients should be monitored for sedation-related cardiorespiratory complications.

Abuse and Dependence
BYFAVO is a federally controlled substance (CIV) because it contains remimazolam which has the potential for abuse and physical dependence.

Please click to access full Prescribing Information for BYFAVO.

BYF HCP ISI 10/2020
© 2020 Acacia Pharma Group Plc
BYFAVO™ is a trademark owned or licensed by Cosmo Technologies Ltd.

About BARHEMSYS®

BARHEMSYS is a selective dopamine-2 (D2) and dopamine-3 (D3) receptor antagonist, which Acacia Pharma has developed and protected for the management of PONV.

BARHEMSYS is indicated in adults for:

  • treatment of PONV in patients who have received antiemetic prophylaxis with an agent of a different class or who have not received prophylaxis

  • prevention of PONV, either alone or in combination with an antiemetic of a different class

www.BARHEMSYS.com

Important Safety Information for BARHEMSYS® (amisulpride) Injection

Contraindication

BARHEMSYS is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to amisulpride.

QT Prolongation

BARHEMSYS causes dose- and concentration-dependent prolongation of the QT interval. The recommended dosage is 5 mg or 10 mg as a single intravenous (IV) dose infused over 1 to 2 minutes.

Avoid BARHEMSYS in patients with congenital long QT syndrome and in patients taking droperidol.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring is recommended in patients with pre-existing arrhythmias/cardiac conduction disorders, electrolyte abnormalities (e.g., hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia), congestive heart failure, and in patients taking other medicinal products (e.g., ondansetron) or with other medical conditions known to prolong the QT interval.

Adverse Reactions

Common adverse reactions reported in ≥ 2% of adult patients who received BARHEMSYS 5 mg (n=748) and at a higher rate than placebo (n=741) in clinical trials for the prevention of PONV were: chills (4% vs. 3%), hypokalemia (4% vs. 2%), procedural hypotension (3% vs. 2%), and abdominal distention (2% vs. 1%).

Serum prolactin concentrations were measured in one prophylaxis study where 5% (9/176) of BARHEMSYS-treated patients had increased blood prolactin reported as an adverse reaction compared with 1% (1/166) of placebo-treated patients.

The most common adverse reaction, reported in ≥ 2% of adult patients who received BARHEMSYS 10 mg (n=418) and at a higher rate than placebo (n=416), in clinical trials for the treatment of PONV was infusion site pain (6% vs. 4%).

Use in Specific Populations

Lactation
Amisulpride is present in human milk. There are no reports of adverse effects on the breastfed child and no information on the effects of amisulpride on milk production.

BARHEMSYS may result in an increase in serum prolactin levels, which may lead to a reversible increase in maternal milk production. In a clinical trial, serum prolactin concentrations in females (n=112) increased from a mean of 10 ng/mL at baseline to 32 ng/mL after BARHEMSYS treatment and from 10 ng/mL to 19 ng/mL in males (n=61). No clinical consequences due to elevated prolactin levels were reported.

To minimize exposure to a breastfed infant, lactating women may consider interrupting breastfeeding and pumping and discarding breast milk for 48 hours after receiving a dose of BARHEMSYS.

Pediatric Use
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use
No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Renal Impairment
Avoid BARHEMSYS in patients with severe renal impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2). The pharmacokinetics of amisulpride in patients with severe renal impairment have not been adequately studied in clinical trials. Amisulpride is known to be substantially excreted by the kidneys, and patients with severe renal impairment may have increased systemic exposure and an increased risk of adverse reactions.

No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with mild to moderate renal impairment
(eGFR ≥ 30 mL/min/1.73 m2).

Drug Interactions

  • BARHEMSYS causes dose- and concentration-dependent QT prolongation. To avoid potential additive effects, avoid use of BARHEMSYS in patients taking droperidol.

  • ECG monitoring is recommended in patients taking other drugs known to prolong the QT interval (e.g., ondansetron).

  • Reciprocal antagonism of effects occurs between dopamine agonists (e.g., levodopa) and BARHEMSYS. Avoid using levodopa with BARHEMSYS.

Please click to access full Prescribing Information for BARHEMSYS.

Forward looking statements

This announcement includes forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and projections about future events. These statements may include, without limitation, any statements preceded by, followed by or including words such as "believe", "expect", "intend", "may", "plan", "will", "should", "could" and other words and terms of similar meaning or the negative thereof. Forward-looking statements may and often do differ materially from actual results. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions about the Company and its subsidiaries and investments, including, among other things, the development of its business, trends in its operating industry, and future capital expenditures and acquisitions. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances. Any forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current view with respect to future events and are subject to risks relating to future events and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to the Group's business, results of operations, financial position, prospects, growth or strategies and the industry in which it operates. Save as required by law or applicable regulation, the Company and its affiliates expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to update, review or revise any forward-looking statement contained in this announcement whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made.