Allergan, Inc. has announced that the FDA has approved ACUVAIL™ (ketorolac tromethamine ophthalmic solution) 0.45%, an advanced, preservative-free formulation of ketorolac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) indicated for the treatment of pain and inflammation following cataract surgery. Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness among older adults and cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the United States, with more than 3 million procedures performed each year. ACUVAIL™ is formulated at pH 6.8, enabling deionized drug delivery on the corneal surface. ACUVAIL™ contains carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), a viscous molecule also found in Allergan’s REFRESH® Brand Tears that enables the drug to adhere to the ocular surface and enhances patient comfort. With ACUVAIL™, patients benefit from the drug’s comprehensive inhibition of the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. Studies show that those enzymes should be blocked in order to inhibit the development of prostaglandins, which are considered to be the primary sources of pain and inflammation following cataract surgery. “Building on Allergan’s 60-year expertise in eye care, we are pleased to provide physicians and their patients with an advanced and effective NSAID option for the treatment of pain and inflammation following cataract surgery,” said Scott Whitcup, M.D., Allergan’s Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer. “With its preservative-free formulation, optimized tolerability and twice-daily dosing convenience, we anticipate that ACUVAIL™ will be a valuable addition to the overall management of cataract surgery patients.” The efficacy of ACUVAIL™ ophthalmic solution was assessed in two multi-center, randomized, double-masked, parallel group comparison studies involving more than 500 patients receiving either ACUVAIL™ or vehicle. In the clinical studies, the efficacy of ACUVAIL™ was defined as complete clearance of anterior chamber inflammation measured by summed inflammation score (SOIS) and ocular pain relief following cataract extraction with posterior chamber intraocular lens (IOL) implantation. Results of these studies demonstrated that at day seven, nearly twice as many patients receiving ACUVAIL™ solution had an SOIS score of zero when compared to patients treated with vehicle (32 percent versus 17 percent). In addition, patients were shown to have a significantly higher incidence of clearing of anterior chamber inflammation at day 14 versus patients receiving vehicle (53 percent versus 26 percent). ACUVAIL™ was also shown to be significantly superior to vehicle in resolving ocular pain post-cataract surgery. On day one post-cataract surgery, the percentage of ACUVAIL™ patients with pain scores of zero was 72 percent, compared to 40 percent for patients in the vehicle group. “As an ophthalmic surgeon, I rely on effective therapies that provide my patients with an optimal experience and improve visual outcomes,” said Eric Donnenfeld, M.D., F.A.C.S., Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island. “ACUVAIL™ is an enhanced ketorolac compound and the first preservative-free, twice-daily ophthalmic NSAID that demonstrates complete elimination of inflammation for patients undergoing cataract surgery.” ACUVAIL™ is expected to be available to physicians and patients in the United States in September 2009.