November 11, 2006
Study Demonstrates Importance of Patient Education and Training for Epinephrine Auto-Injectors
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The majority of patients who use an epinephrine auto-injector prefer Twinject(R) (epinephrine injection, USP 1:1000) after education and training according to a study presented today at the 2006 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia. The study, entitled "Patient Education and Awareness About the Use of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors," was funded by Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pediatric-oriented specialty pharmaceutical company. The study queried patients on the level of training received, the importance of various product features, comfort level regarding the use of an auto-injector and product preference.
The study group consisted of patients diagnosed with anaphylaxis and their caregivers. All participants had a current prescription for EpiPen(R)*, one of two epinephrine auto-injectors currently available in the U.S. by prescription for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. Following detailed product demonstrations, 92 percent of patients in the study preferred Twinject, the only available product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that contains two doses of epinephrine in a single, compact device for self-administration. In addition, the study showed that more than half of the patients did not receive any product training along with the prescription for EpiPen."This study underscores the importance of and need for more patient education," said Myron Zitt, M.D., a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Chief of Allergy-Immunology at the Queens Long Island Medical Group PC. "Physicians and their staff consistently need to provide anaphylaxis education and demonstrations of both epinephrine auto-injectors to ensure that their patients are comfortable and prepared to treat quickly when the need arises."
Among the auto-injector features, patients indicated that ease of use was the most important. These patients also strongly favored having a second dose of epinephrine available for a prolonged or biphasic reaction.
Anaphylaxis is an acute, usually unanticipated, and often life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate treatment with epinephrine. Recent studies have shown that while 35 percent of anaphylaxis episodes require a second dose of epinephrine, only 16 percent of patients actually carry two doses at all times. In this study, 81 percent of the patients preferred carrying one Twinject versus two EpiPen auto-injectors.
"Verus is dedicated to delivering solutions to address the unmet needs of anaphylactic patients," said Robert W. Keith, President and Chief Operating Officer of Verus. "This study demonstrates that Twinject is accomplishing that goal, providing an easy-to-use epinephrine auto-injector with two doses in a single, compact device."
Verus is committed to providing innovative, comprehensive resources for anaphylactic patients. In October, the company introduced a user friendly on-line training site for Twinject at http://www.twinjecttraining.com/. Patients can order demonstrator units and instructional DVDs in English and Spanish at http://www.twinject.com/.
Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening systemic reaction triggered by exposure to one or more various antigens, including foods, insect stings, drugs, and latex products. Up to 43 million people in the U.S. alone are at risk for anaphylactic episodes, and underlying incidence rates are expected to continue increasing in future years. Up to eight percent of children have food allergies, with sensitivities to peanuts and tree nuts among children having doubled in the past five years. The timing, location, pattern (including onset, severity and length) and specific treatment requirements for each future episode cannot be predicted in advance. As such, all at-risk patients need to be fully prepared at all times for these unpredictable episodes.
Twinject(R) Auto-Injector (epinephrine injection, USP 1:1000) is the only available product approved by the FDA that contains two doses of epinephrine in a single, compact device. This is an important feature, as published studies demonstrate that more than one dose of epinephrine may be required for approximately one in three patients to properly address the allergic reaction, with the second dose often needed within 5-10 minutes after the first. Furthermore, a recent study demonstrated that only 16 percent of patients carry two single-dose auto-injectors at all times. More information about anaphylaxis and Twinject is available on Verus' Twinject website at http://www.twinject.com/.
Verus Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to improving the lives of children and those who care for them. Verus is building a portfolio of products for the unmet medical needs of children through acquisitions and alliances, with an initial focus on the treatment of asthma, allergies, and related diseases and conditions. Verus is differentiated by its pediatric orientation and its strong financial position and experienced management team, which allows the company to capitalize on an extensive network to build its product portfolio and pursue complementary transactions. The company's rigorous, disciplined approach to strategic decision-making and core competencies in development and commercialization is expected to provide significant value to its partners. More information about Verus is available on the company's corporate website at http://www.veruspharm.com/.
Verus(R) and Twinject(R) are registered trademarks of Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
* EpiPen(R) is a registered trademark of Dey L.P. Verus' use of this mark in no way implies any affiliation with or sponsorship or endorsement by Dey.
Verus Pharmaceuticals cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts may be forward-looking statements. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Verus that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Verus' business including, without limitation, statements about: its ability to identify appropriate acquisition, licensing, or co-development and/or promotion candidates in the future or be able to take advantage of the opportunities it identifies; difficulties or delays in developing, obtaining regulatory approval, manufacturing and commercializing its products; unexpected performance or side effects of its products that could delay or prevent development or commercialization, or that could result in recalls or product liability claims; the scope and validity of patent protection for its products; competition from other pharmaceutical companies; and its ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Verus undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
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