ANAHEIM, Calif., Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOR) today announced that the company will be teaming up with The Myositis Association (TMA) to support research and educational initiatives in dermatomyositis and polymyositis.
"Questcor is very pleased to be able to make this commitment to The Myositis Association and the dermatomyositis and polymyositis communities," said Steve Cartt, Chief Operating Officer of Questcor. "Further research into these rare autoimmune disorders is imperative and we feel very strongly about supporting initiatives to increase patient education and advance the knowledge and treatment of dermatomyositis and polymyositis."
Mr. Cartt added, "Acthar® is an emerging, FDA-approved treatment alternative for patients suffering from dermatomyositis and polymyositis. We believe that it is our responsibility to support the community through the funding of such initiatives and to make patients and their physicians aware of this important treatment option."
Questcor pledged $25,000 to fund research grants and fellowships through The Myositis Association in 2012. In addition, the Company will be attending TMA's annual conference this week in Orlando.
"Rare conditions like dermatomyositis and polymyositis often suffer from a lack of funding for basic research and education," said Bob Goldberg, Executive Director of The Myositis Association. "That's why we are so pleased that Questcor has stepped up to the table and made an immediate commitment to the myositis community. Our hope is that further research into the causes and consequences of dermatomyositis and polymyositis will ultimately lead to a better understanding of these disorders."
About Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis
Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) cause inflammation of the muscles and can lead to muscle atrophy or loss. Upon developing the disease, most patients experience a slow onset of muscle weakness over several months. The affected muscles are usually close to the trunk, so people may notice difficulty getting out of a chair, walking and lifting their arms. Muscles of the esophagus may be affected, causing difficulty swallowing and setting the stage for potentially problematic pneumonias. If the diaphragm (a large muscle in the thorax) is affected, shortness of breath can occur. In some patients fibrosis can occur in the lungs leading to decreased functionality. Patients with dermatomyositis can develop a severe rash or other skin changes, often over the eyes and face. Prolonged disability, including sustained muscle weakness, the need for aided ambulation, and impairment of tasks of daily living, occur in a large percentage of patients.
About The Myositis Association
The Myositis Association (TMA) was founded in 1993 by Betty Curry, a patient who identified the need for information and support for inclusion-body myositis patients; then quickly grew to include the other forms of myositis – dermatomyositis and polymyositis. TMA is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to solely serving patients with the inflammatory myopathies. Besides offering free membership to patients, TMA publishes online and print materials for patients and physicians, offers 45 support groups in the U.S., conducts an Annual Patient Conference and connects international myositis experts with the myositis medical and patient communities. TMA's research program has funded 34 grants and fellowships, totaling more than $3.5 million, in the past 10 years.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of patients with serious, difficult-to-treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Questcor's primary product is H.P. Acthar® Gel (repository corticotropin injection), an injectable drug that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of 19 indications. Of these 19 indications, Questcor currently generates substantially all of its net sales from three indications: the treatment of proteinuria in idiopathic types of nephrotic syndrome, the treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis in adults, and the treatment of infantile spasms in children under two years of age. With respect to nephrotic syndrome, the FDA has approved Acthar to "induce a diuresis or a remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome without uremia of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus." Acthar is approved for several rheumatology-related conditions including Dermatomyositis, Polymyositis, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Questcor is also exploring the possibility of developing markets for other on-label indications and the possibility of pursuing FDA approval of additional indications not currently on the Acthar label where there is high unmet medical need. For more information about Questcor, please visit www.questcor.com.
SOURCE Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.