Avanir Pharmaceuticals has been granted a new patent in the US to extend the period of exclusivity for Zenvia, a treatment for pseudobulbar affect, a neurological disorder that can cause sudden episodes of crying or laughter.

The company received a notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office extending the company’s patent for a low-dose quinidine formulation to 2025.

Avanir vice-president of business development Greg Flesher said that with this additional exclusivity, the company has substantially enhanced the long-term value of this innovative CNS therapy.

“The new Zenvia patent will strengthen our worldwide intellectual property portfolio and is expected to provide 15 years of commercial exclusivity in the US from the time of anticipated US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval,” Flesher said.

A low-dose quinidine formulation of Zenvia met its primary efficacy endpoint in the recently announced confirmatory Phase III STAR trial. There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for PBA.