Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s somewhat diminished presence in medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence as a result of competition with its buprenorphine-naloxone product has not steered it out of the substance use disorders arena. The company announced this week that it has entered into a license agreement that will give it worldwide rights to develop and market an oral medication being evaluated for alcohol use disorders treatment.
Reckitt Benckiser, which contributed to a revolutionizing of opioid treatment with the emergence of its medication Suboxone, intends to move forward with a Phase IIB proof-of-concept study of arbaclofen placarbil, a product candidate from biopharmaceutical company XenoPort.
Arbaclofen placarbil will be tested for its capacity to suppress alcohol craving, reduce alcohol intake and facilitate maintenance of abstinence in a dependent population. The medication is seen as having a more favorable pharmacokinetic profile than baclofen, with less fluctuation in plasma levels.
Reckitt Benckiser CEO Shaun Thaxter said in a news release, “Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals recognizes that there is a tremendous need for more effective, well-tolerated treatment options among the growing patient population with alcohol use disorders, and we believe arbaclofen placarbil is a natural fit for our growing addiction treatment pipeline.”