Pfizer launches first U.S. once-daily liquid ADHD drug

Pfizer ($PFE) has launched Quillivant XR (controlled-release methylphenidate hydrochloride) for the treatment of ADHD. This is the first once-daily, extended-release liquid methylphenidate for ADHD available in the U.S.

The FDA approved Quillivant XR in September 2012 for use in patients 6 years old and above. It uses Tris Pharma's OralXR+ platform, which coats tiny drug particles so that they release the drug over 24 hours and then suspends them in a liquid. Known as LiquiXR, this liquid formulation masks the taste of the drug, is easier to swallow than tablets or capsules, and allows accurate dose adjustment, making it ideal for use in children.

Pfizer bagged exclusive U.S. rights to Quillivant XR when it acquired NextWave Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $680 million. NextWave developed Quillivant XR in collaboration with Tris Pharma, and is also developing NWP09, an extended-release chewable formulation of methylphenidate. This has completed a Phase III trial in children, and an NDA is planned for this year.

According to the CDC, around one in 10 children aged 4-17 in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ADHD, making it one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders, and it can last into adulthood. Quillivant XR is available from pharmacies and under Pfizer's Helpful Answers patient assistance program.

- read the press release