Pacira BioSciences, Inc. announced that the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion recommending marketing authorization for an expanded indication of EXPAREL to include use in children aged 6 years and older as a field block for treatment of somatic post-operative pain from small- to medium-sized surgical wounds. The European Commission approval was based on the results of the Phase 3 PLAY study of EXPAREL infiltration in pediatric patients undergoing spinal or cardiac surgeries. Overall findings were consistent with the pharmacokinetic and safety profiles for adult patients with no safety concerns identified at a dose of 4 mg/kg.
The PLAY study enrolled 98 patients to evaluate safety and the pharmacokinetics of EXPAREL for two patient groups: patients aged 12 to less than 17 years and patients aged 6 to less than 12 years. The European Commission decision is applicable to all 27 European Union member states plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The data is still under review in the United Kingdom.
EXPAREL was initially approved by the European Commission in November 2020 as a brachial plexus block or femoral nerve block for treatment of post-operative pain in adults, and as a field block for treatment of somatic post-operative pain from small- to medium-sized surgical wounds in adults.