AVANIR PHARMACEUTICALS ANNOUNCES RESEARCH COLLABORATION WITH DEPARTMENT OF
VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR SCREENING PSEUDOBULBAR AFFECT (PBA) SYMPTOMS IN VETERANS
WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Veterans with TBI at Risk for Debilitating Condition, Pseudobulbar Affect,
Causing Uncontrollable Crying and/or Laughing Outbursts
ALISO VIEJO, Calif., March 6, 2013
ALISO VIEJO, Calif., March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanir Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. (NASDAQ: AVNR) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) and United BioSource Corporation (UBC) today announced a pilot study to
screen for pseudobulbar affect (PBA) symptoms in approximately 1,000 veterans
with traumatic brain injury (TBI) . According to The Bob Woodruff Foundation,
it is estimated that more than 320,000 service members have sustained
traumatic brain injuries.
PBA occurs when a TBI or other neurological condition, such as multiple
sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), Parkinson's disease, stroke or
Alzheimer's disease, damages the areas of the brain that controls normal
emotional expression, causing uncontrollable episodes of crying or laughing.
These outbursts are often contrary or exaggerated to the patient's inner
emotional state, causing them to laugh or cry when they may not find the
situation to be particularly funny or sad. As a result, many of those
afflicted with PBA have significant impairment on measures of general health
status, occupational and social function. People with PBA tend to have higher
incidence of depressive symptoms and often avoid social activities they would
"This is the first study prospectively assessing PBA symptoms in veterans with
TBI," said Randall Kaye, MD, chief medical officer at Avanir Pharmaceuticals.
"This research will provide key insights including the estimated prevalence of
PBA symptoms in this population."
Avanir, UBC, the medical community and the VA will gain a deeper understanding
of the prevalence of PBA symptoms in veterans suffering from TBI, as well as
the prevalence of comorbid mood or behavioral disorders. Ultimately, the
intent is to use the information gathered to develop a screening protocol for
identifying and treating PBA symptoms to improve the quality of care for our
About the Study
A screening questionnaire is being sent to 1,000 patients within the VA system
in the Boston area who were identified as having a TBI. Analysis of the
patients' charts will be performed for those with a screening score that is
indicative of the presence of PBA symptoms. Data to be captured includes
demographics as well as other mood or behavioral diagnoses.
About Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military
TBI is widely regarded as the "signature wound" of the Iraq and Afghanistan
wars, accounting for 22 percent of all injuries and 59 percent of
blast-related injuries. Based on existing data, veterans' advocates believe
that between 10 and 20 percent of Iraq veterans, or 150,000 to 300,000 people,
have some level of TBI. Among wounded troops, the rate of TBI rises to 33
percent. In the past decade, more than 230,000 American soldiers were
diagnosed with TBI.
About Pseudobulbar Affect
People with pseudobulbar affect (PBA) have sudden outbursts of involuntary
crying or laughing, even though there may not be anything particularly sad or
funny to trigger those emotions. Many people who suffer from PBA describe
their episodes as uncontrollable, exaggerated, or different from their true
feelings. PBA may occur when certain neurologic diseases or injury damage the
areas of the brain that control normal expression of emotion. This damage can
disrupt brain signaling, causing a "short circuit" and triggering episodes of
involuntary crying or laughing. PBA can occur in people diagnosed with a
variety of otherwise unrelated neurologic conditions such as Lou Gehrig's
disease (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, stroke, traumatic
brain injury (TBI), and Alzheimer's disease. For more information about PBA,
please visit www.PBAinfo.org.
About Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on
bringing innovative medicines to patients with central nervous system
disorders of high unmet medical need. As part of our commitment, we have
extensively invested in our pipeline and are dedicated to advancing medicines
that can substantially improve the lives of patients and their loved ones. For
more information about Avanir, please visit www.avanir.com.
AVANIR^® is a trademark or registered trademark of Avanir Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. in the United States and other countries.
^©2013 Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Forward Looking Statements
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth
in this press release, including statements regarding Avanir's plans,
potential opportunities, financial or other expectations, projections, goals
objectives, milestones, strategies, market growth, timelines, legal matters,
product pipeline, clinical studies, product development and the potential
benefits of its commercialized products and products under development are
forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions
of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking
statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual
results to differ materially, including the risks and uncertainties associated
with Avanir's operating performance and financial position, the market demand
for and acceptance of Avanir's products domestically and internationally,
research, development and commercialization of new products domestically and
internationally, including the risks and uncertainties associated with meeting
the objectives of the study of pseudobulbar affect in patients with a
traumatic brain injury, including, but not limited to, continued funding,
delays or failures in enrollment, obtaining additional indications for
commercially marketed products domestically and internationally, obtaining and
maintaining regulatory approvals domestically and internationally, and other
risks detailed from time to time in the Company's most recent Annual Report on
Form 10-K and other documents subsequently filed with or furnished to the
Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements are based
on current information that may change and you are cautioned not to place
undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the
date of this press release. All forward-looking statements are qualified in
their entirety by this cautionary statement, and the Company undertakes no
obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement to reflect events
or circumstances after the issuance of this press release.
Avanir Investor & Media Contact
Ian Clements, PhD
+1 (949) 389-6700
SOURCE Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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