Makena, a progestin injection for the prevention of preterm birth that has been approved for use since 2011, has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a subcutaneous auto-injection product to supplant its intramuscular injection formulation, announced its manufacturer, AMAG Pharmaceuticals, on Feb. 14.
The intramuscular injection’s 7-year orphan drug exclusivity expired earlier in February. AMAG plans to offer both products priced at parity, according to the company’s press release . The newer product has a smaller, thinner needle. Both products are intended for use in a woman who has a singleton pregnancy of less than 37 weeks’ gestation and who has had a prior spontaneous preterm singleton delivery. The intramuscular injection is available in both single-dose and multidose vials.
Makena revenues in 2017 were nearly $400 million. The drug was the subject of a price controversy in 2011 under its maker at the time, KV Pharmaceutical, which subsequently cut the price by more than half .
The injection has several contraindications, including blood clots and hormone-sensitive cancers. Its efficacy is based on an improved number of women who used it and were delivered at more than 37 weeks’ gestation rather than on a directly demonstrated clinical benefit in neonatal morbidity or mortality.
Read more in AMAG’s press release .