9. May 2012 12:41
Pfizer’s oral anticonvulsant Lyrica (pregabalin) has failed a phase III trial as a treatment for neuropathic pain in patients with diabetes.
Lyrica is licensed in the EU for treatment of anxiety, but in the US it is also approved for treatment of neuropathic pain, epileptic seizures and fibromyalgia.
The negative trial result is likely to discourage Pfizer’s attempts to widen the product’s use in Europe.
Pfizer has also ended an unsuccessful trial of Lyrica as a treatment for HIV-related neuropathy.
The diabetes study tested patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a complication affecting 20% of people with the disease.
Relative to placebo, Lyrica did not achieve the pain reduction specified as a trial endpoint. The HIV study had similar results.
Lyrica is a ‘blockbuster’ drug, with sales of over $3bn in 2010.
Its patent exclusivity will end in 2018, and Pfizer is seeking new indications to extend its lifespan.