Shire, Shionogi's ADHD drug for adults clears late-stage trial in Japan

FILE PHOTO : Vitamins made by Shire are displayed at a chemist's in northwest London July 11, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shire Plc and Shionogi & Co Ltd said a drug to treat ADHD in adults had met its main goal in a late-stage trial in Japan, bringing it one step closer to approval in the world’s third-biggest market for ADHD treatments.

It is the first clinical trial evaluating the drug, Intuniv, in patients aged 18 and over, the drugmakers said, adding that it is already approved in Japan for treatment in younger patients.

The trial found the drug, Intuniv, was better than a placebo in improving functioning in adults diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they said in a statement.

London-listed Shire has been looking to Japan to boost its growing adult ADHD drugs business. The Japanese market for ADHD treatments is growing at more than 20 percent annually, the statement said.

In contrast to Shire’s other ADHD drugs such as Adderall XR and Mydayis, Intuniv is a non-stimulant treatment. Such treatments tend to have fewer side-effects but are typically less effective.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Edwina Gibbs