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AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) Receives European Patent Approval for Extended Commercial Exclusivity for Zenair

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) acquires, develops and commercializes therapeutic products for the treatment of chronic diseases of the central nervous system, as well as inflammatory and infectious diseases.

The company today announced the European patent office has granted the company a new patent, which extends the exclusivity period for its lead product candidate, Zenvia – used in the treatment of pseudobulbar affect (PBA) – through 2023. The new European patent fits well into the company’s objectives, encompassing the company’s current clinical development programs in PBA and diabetic peripheral neuropathic (DPN) pain, as well as other neurologic conditions.

PBA is a disinhibition syndrome associated with various neuropathologies, and is characterized by involuntary, and sometimes inappropriate, outbursts of laughter or crying. But it’s no laughing matter; PBA is oftentimes referred to as “pathological laughing and weeping”, “emotional liability”, or “pathologic emotionality”, and is associated with multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and other conditions. Receiving the patent will allow the company to further pursue its developments and commercial exclusivity to treat PBA.

“The granting of a new European patent for Zenvia is another important milestone for AVANIR,” Keith Katkin, AVANIR’s president and CEO stated in a press release. “Our entire team is working diligently to complete the phase 3 clinical development of Zenvia for the PBA indication and prepare for our expected commercialization in the U.S. This new patent significantly extends the period of Zenvia commercial exclusivity throughout Europe and enhances the global potential of our primary asset.”

“We are extremely pleased with the decision by the European Patent Office to grant this application. This patent provides a significantly longer period of commercial exclusivity for Zenvia in Europe, and adds to AVANIR’s broad intellectual property portfolio,” Greg Flesher, vice president of business development at AVANIR stated in the press release. “We have the corresponding patent application pending within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and based on the issuance of the European patent we are optimistic about receiving a similar response in the U.S. as well.”

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