More MS news articles for Sep 2001

HP Acthar(R) Gel, Autoimmune Disorders Treatment, Now Widely Available After Four-Year Limited Access

Updated: Wed, Sep 26 11:35 AM EDT

UNION CITY, Calif., Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMEX:QSC) announced that it began shipping HP Acthar(R) Gel (repository corticotropin injection) to wholesalers after a four-year period during which limited supplies were available.

Acthar Gel previously had been available only in limited amounts as part of a special access program administered by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). The agent is used to treat seriously ill children with a seizure complex, referred to as West syndrome, or infantile spasm, a potentially fatal disorder, as well as patients with multiple sclerosis who experience severe and painful episodes of "flare."

"We are delighted that Questcor is making this critically important product more widely available after this long period of restricted distribution," said Abbey S. Meyers, President of NORD. "We have been working closely with the company over the last several months to ensure that anyone with a need for Acthar Gel is now able to readily receive the product through more traditional channels. Too many people have suffered as a result of not having access to Acthar Gel."

Questcor estimates the reintroduction of Acthar Gel into normal distribution channels should open access to an additional 5,000 patients suffering from various autoimmune disorders. Previously with the limited access program, approximately 1,600 patients annually were allowed access to Acthar Gel.

The company announced in July 2001 that it acquired the worldwide rights to the corticotropin product, which is indicated for the treatment of numerous autoimmune disorders, and would reintroduce Acthar Gel to the general marketplace by the end of September.

"By returning Acthar Gel to its full production and distribution, Questcor is pleased that it can now make this vital therapy available to the thousands of patients with conditions responsive to corticosteroid therapy who can benefit from its therapeutic value," said Charles J. Casamento, CEO of Questcor.

Acthar Gel was originally introduced to the US market in 1952 by Armour Laboratories. It is indicated for a wide variety of diseases and disorders including, disorders related to the endocrine, rheumatic, and hematological systems; diseases related to the nervous system such as acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, collagen, dermatologic, ophthalmic, respiratory, neoplastic, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as edematous and allergic states.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company that serves the needs of the acute care and critical care hospital market with its proprietary products including Glofil(TM)-125 and Inulin for measuring renal GFR, Ethamolin(R) for sclerotherapy, and Pramidin(R) for diabetic gastroparesis. Questcor's late stage pipeline products are being developed to treat diabetic gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), delayed onset emesis (vomiting), congenital lactic acidosis (CLA), and various central nervous system disorders. As part of a strategy to develop its products globally, Questcor has entered into over 20 contractual relationships with public and private companies including: Ahn-Gook Pharmaceuticals, of Korea; CSC Pharmaceuticals Handels GmbH of Vienna, Austria; Crinos Group of Como, Italy; Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., of Osaka, Japan; Rigel, Inc. of South San Francisco, CA; and Tularik, Inc. of South San Francisco, CA.


Except for the historical information contained herein, this press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements are subject to certain factors, which may cause the Company's results to differ. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to, the Company's need for additional funding, uncertainties regarding the Company's intellectual property and other research, development, marketing and regulatory risks, and, to the ability of the Company to implement its strategy and acquire products and, if acquired, to market them successfully as well as the risks discussed in Questcor's report on Form 10-K/A for the calendar year ended December 31, 2000 and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The risk factors and other information contained in these documents should be considered in evaluating Questcor's prospects and future financial performance."

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