Averitas Pharma Announces FDA Approval of Qutenza for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain Associated with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy of the Feet


AACHEN, Germany and MORRISTOWN, N.J., July 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Grünenthal announced today that its U.S. subsidiary Averitas Pharma, Inc. received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Qutenza (capsaicin) 8% patch for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) of the feet in adults.[2] Qutenza is a topical, non-systemic, non-opioid pain treatment delivered in the form of a patch and is the first and only treatment of its kind to deliver prescription strength capsaicin directly into the skin.

“Pain associated with diabetic neuropathy is an extremely challenging condition to diagnose, treat and manage effectively, which has a significant quality of life impact for many patients,” said David M. Simpson, MD, principal investigator and Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “In addition, patients are dissatisfied with unresolved pain and the side effects associated with current systemic treatments.”

Neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), or diabetic nerve pain, is a progressive and debilitating complication of diabetes that will affect approximately more than 5 million Americans in 2020[1] and is expected to double by 2030.[3] Patients with diabetic nerve pain typically experience symptoms of numbness, tingling, as well as shooting or stabbing sensations that most often affect the lower extremities.[4]

“Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy has a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of millions of individuals, and we believe Qutenzacan be a much-needed non-opioid treatment option for these patients,” said Jan Adams, Chief Scientific Officer, Grünenthal. “This expanded indication of Qutenza in the U.S. is an exciting milestone in our efforts to make Qutenza available to even more patients in need worldwide.”

Qutenza offers physicians a different way to effectively treat neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Qutenza, a specially formulated patch, delivers prescription strength capsaicin directly to the skin during an in-office procedure. Thereby, it can reversibly desensitize and defunctionalize the TRPV1 (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1) receptor, which plays a critical role in pain signaling.

Qutenza can provide sustained relief that lasts for up to three months. Qutenza has no known drug-drug interactions. The most common adverse reactions include application site reactions, such erythema, pain, and pruritus. The majority of application site reactions were transient and self-limited.[2]

Qutenza (capsaicin) 8% patch has been approved in the U.S. for the management of neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia since 2009.

About Neuropathic Pain Associated with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

More than 34 million Americans – just over 1 in 10 – have diabetes[5], and diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage caused by diabetes, is one of its most common complications.[6] Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) affects around 28% of all patients diagnosed with diabetes and approximately half of those with DPN will experience the debilitating manifestations of painful DPN in their lifetime.[7-13] It is a progressive and debilitating condition in which patients experience symptoms of numbness, tingling, as well as shooting or stabbing sensations that most often affect the lower extremities.[4] Its consequences can be devastating and may result in foot ulcers, lower limb amputations and other poor outcomes.[7] In the U.S., one fourth of the health expenditure on diabetes is spent on diabetic peripheral neuropathy and is estimated to be more than $10 billion annually.[7,14,15]  

About Qutenza

Qutenza (capsaicin) 8% patch is approved in the US for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia and for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) of the feet in adults. A single localized procedure with Qutenza may provide up to 3 months of relief. Important U.S. safety information is available below and at www.qutenza.com.

Qutenza is also approved in Europe. For further information please visit www.grunenthalhealth.com.

About Averitas Pharma, Inc.

Averitas Pharma is a specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to delivering innovative, effective, non-opioid pain management options to patients in the U.S. The company was formed in 2018, as a subsidiary of GRT U.S. Holding, Inc. and member of the Grünenthal Group. For more information, visit www.averitaspharma.com.

About Grünenthal

Grünenthal is a global leader in pain management and related diseases. As a science-based, privately-owned pharmaceutical company, we have a long track record of bringing innovative treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to patients worldwide. Our purpose is to change lives for the better – and innovation is our passion. We are focussing all of our activities and efforts on working towards our vision of a world free of pain.

Grünenthal is headquartered in Aachen, Germany, and has affiliates in 29 countries across Europe, Latin America and the U.S. Our products are available in more than 100 countries. In 2019, Grünenthal employed around 4,700 people and achieved sales of € 1.4 bn.

More information: www.grunenthal.com


  1. 1.  LTP 2020-2030: ADDRESSABLE POPULATIONS BY CONDITION (PDPN, PSNP, PHN, CINP). Company data on file. April 30, 2020.
  2. 2.  QUTENZA® [prescribing information]. Morristown, NJ: Averitas Pharma.
  3. 3.  Gore, M., Brandenburg, N. A., Dukes, E., Hoffman, D. L., Tai, K.-S., & Stacey, B. (2005). Pain Severity in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is Associated with Patient Functioning, Symptom Levels of Anxiety and Depression, and Sleep. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 30(4), 374-385. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2005.04.009 
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html.
  5. 4.  Vinik, Aaron I., et al. Repeat treatment with capsaicin 8% patch (179mg capsaicin cutaneous patch): Effects on pain, quality of life, and patient satisfaction in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: an open-label, randomized controlled clinical trial; Journal of Current Medical Research and Opinion 2.12 (2019): 388-401.
  6. 5.  CDC Division of Diabetes Translation, National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/diabetes-stat-report.html#:~:text=New%20in%202020%2C%20the%20report,1%20in%203%E2%80%94have%20prediabetes. Accessed July 6, 2020.
  7. 6.  University of Chicago Center for Peripheral Neuropathy. Types of Peripheral Neuropathy. http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/learnaboutpn/typesofpn/diabetes/diabetes.shtml. Accessed July 6, 2020.
  8. 7.  Hicks, C. W., & Selvin, E. (2019). Epidemiology of Peripheral Neuropathy and Lower Extremity Disease in Diabetes. Current diabetes reports, 19(10), 86. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6755905/#!po=48.3333. Accessed July 6, 2020.
  9. 8.  Iqbal, Z., et al. (2018).  Clinical Therapeutics, 40(6), 828–849. doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.04.001.
  10. 9.  Sadosky, A., et al. (2013). Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, 79. doi:10.2147/dmso.s37415.
  11. 10. Boulton, A. J. M. (2005). Management of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. Clinical Diabetes, 23(1), 9–15. doi:10.2337/diaclin.23.1.9.
  12. 11. Franklin, G. et. al. (1990). American Journal of Epidemiology, 131(4), 633–643. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a115547.
  13. 12. Boomershine, C., Ormseth, M. J., & Scholz, B. A. (2011). Patient Preference and Adherence, 343. doi:10.2147/ppa.s16358. 
  14. 13. Young, M. J., et al (1993). Diabetologia, 36(2), 150–154. doi:10.1007/bf00400697.
  15. 14. Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care, 41(5), 917–928. doi:10.2337/dci18-0007.  
  16. 15.  Gordois, A., Scuffham, P., Shearer, A., Oglesby, A., & Tobian, J. A. (2003). The Health Care Costs of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy in the U.S. Diabetes Care, 26(6), 1790–1795. doi:10.2337/diacare.26.6.1790.

SOURCE Grünenthal Group

Posted: July 2020

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