Sunovion Receives Complete Response Letter from FDA for Parkinson’s Disease Drug

January 31, 2019
  • The FDA is requiring additional information and analyses
  • No new cliincal studies are required


Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion) announced on 1/31/19 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Complete Response Letter (CRL) for the New Drug Application (NDA) for apomorphine sublingual film (APL-130277) to treat OFF episodes (the re-emergence or worsening of Parkinson’s symptoms otherwise controlled by medications) experienced by people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Upon review of the application, the FDA determined that it was unable to approve the apomorphine sublingual film NDA in its present form. The Agency requested additional information and analyses, but no new clinical studies are required.

“OFF episodes are a common and challenging part of Parkinson’s disease with few existing treatment options,” said Antony Loebel, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Sunovion, Head of Global Clinical Development for Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Group. “Sunovion remains committed to working with the FDA to address its requests so that we can bring apomorphine sublingual film to patients as expeditiously as possible.”

APL-130277, a novel formulation of apomorphine and a dopamine agonist, is being developed for the on-demand management of OFF episodes associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Apomorphine is currently FDA approved for the acute, intermittent treatment of hypomobility, “OFF” episodes (“end-of-dose wearing OFF” and unpredictable “ON/OFF” episodes) associated with advanced PD, and it is currently available in the U.S. as a subcutaneous injection. APL-130277 is intended to rapidly convert people living with PD from the OFF to the ON state and has been studied for treatment of motor OFF episodes up to five times per day and no sooner than two hours from the previous dose. APL-130277 has not been approved by the FDA. In October 2016, Sunovion acquired Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc. along with its product candidate APL-130277. The Michael J. Fox Foundation funded in part two Phase I trials of APL-130277 – a comparative biostudy in healthy volunteers and a dosing study in people with Parkinson's disease.




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