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Biopharmaceuticals FDA

 News Release - July 18, 2006

AstraZeneca Submits NDA for Sustained Release Formulation of SEROQUEL(R) for Schizophrenia Treatment

WILMINGTON, Del., July 18 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN ) today announced that it has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a sustained release formulation of SEROQUEL® (quetiapine fumarate) - SEROQUEL® SR in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. SEROQUEL tablets, in the currently available immediate release formulation, are approved for the treatment of acute manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and the treatment of schizophrenia.

In clinical trials supporting the FDA submission, the investigational once-daily formulation demonstrated an effective dose range of SEROQUEL SR of 400-800 mg/day. In addition, these trials aimed to show that an effective dose can be achieved as early as day 2.(1)

The company expects to make a SEROQUEL SR filing in the European Union towards the end of 2006.

SEROQUEL is the #1 prescribed atypical antipsychotic in the United States.(2) With a well-established safety and efficacy profile, SEROQUEL has had more than 16 million patient exposures worldwide since its launch in 1997. In 2005, global sales for SEROQUEL reached $2.8 billion.


SEROQUEL is indicated for the treatment of acute manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, as either monotherapy or adjunct therapy with lithium or divalproex, and the treatment of schizophrenia. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for continued treatment.

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk (1.6 to 1.7 times) of death compared to placebo (4.5% vs 2.6%, respectively). SEROQUEL® (quetiapine fumarate) is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Prescribing should be consistent with the need to minimize the risk of tardive dyskinesia. A rare condition referred to as neuroleptic malignant syndrome has been reported with this class of medications, including SEROQUEL.

Hyperglycemia, in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics, including SEROQUEL. Patients starting treatment with atypical antipsychotics who have or are at risk for diabetes should undergo fasting blood glucose testing at the beginning of and during treatment. Patients who develop symptoms of hyperglycemia should also undergo fasting blood glucose testing.

Precautions include the risk of seizures, orthostatic hypotension, and cataract development.

The most commonly observed adverse events associated with the use of SEROQUEL in clinical trials were somnolence, dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, asthenia, abdominal pain, postural hypotension, pharyngitis, SGPT increase, dyspepsia, and weight gain.

SEROQUEL immediate release tablets are approved for dosing two to three times per day. In schizophrenia, dosing should be increased gradually to 300-400 mg/day by the fourth day. In the elderly and in patients with hepatic impairment, consideration should be given to a lower starting dose, a slower rate of dose titration, careful monitoring during the initial dosing period, and a lower target dose.

Please see accompanying full Prescribing Information ( for SEROQUEL and visit

About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder with symptoms including distorted perceptions of reality, hallucinations and delusions, confused thinking, and flat or blunted emotions.(3,4) The first signs of schizophrenia typically emerge in the teenage years or early twenties.(4) Almost 2.2 million American adults - 1.1 percent of the population age 18 and older - suffer from schizophrenia.(4) Medications are important in the management of symptoms.(5) While there is no cure for schizophrenia, it is a highly treatable and manageable illness.(4) Medications are classified into two categories - "conventional" and "atypical" antipsychotics.(4)


AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $23.95 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $10.77 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit:

This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to AstraZeneca's business. By their nature, forward-looking statements and forecasts involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially. For a discussion of those risks and uncertainties, please see the company's Annual Report/Form 20-F for 2005.


(1) DA-SER-41.
(2) All atypical prescriptions: Total prescriptions Jan 06 to May 06. IMS Health. National Prescription Audit.
(3) American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). Fourth Edition. Arlington, VA, 2000. 299.
(4) National Alliance for the Mentally Ill: About Mental Illness/Schizophrenia fact sheet. Reviewed by Daniel Weinberger, M.D.: October 2003
(5) Miller, Rachel and Susan E. Mason. Diagnosis Schizophrenia: A Comprehensive Resource. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.

Source: AstraZeneca

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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