December 16, 2022
AbbVie Submits Supplemental New Drug Application to U.S. FDA to Support New Indication of LINZESS® (linaclotide) for Functional Constipation in Children and Adolescents 6 to 17 Years of Age
  • If approved, linaclotide would be the first prescription therapy for functional constipation in children and adolescents 6 to 17 years of age 1
  • Submission is based on positive Phase 3 study data demonstrating linaclotide (72mcg) resulted in increases in frequency of spontaneous bowel movements (SBM) and improved stool consistency in children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Dec. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) today announced that it has submitted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for linaclotide (LINZESS®) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of children and adolescents 6 to 17 years of age with functional constipation (FC). The sNDA submission is based on results from a Phase 3 clinical trial, which met the primary and secondary endpoints, evaluating linaclotide (72 mcg) for increased frequency of spontaneous bowel movements (SBM) and improvement in stool consistency in patients aged 6 to17 years.  LINZESS is developed and marketed by AbbVie and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals in the United States and is currently indicated for the treatment of adults with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) or irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

"Although functional constipation is common among pediatric patients, it has long been difficult to manage due to a lack of approved prescription treatment options," said Celine Goldberger, MD, PhD, vice president, head of US medical affairs, AbbVie. "This milestone demonstrates our tireless work to advance the standards of care in order to make a difference in patients' lives."

In the multicenter double-blind Phase 3 study evaluating LINZESS in patients 6 to 17 years of age with functional constipation, a total of 330 patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio between linaclotide or placebo. Linaclotide showed a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement compared to placebo in 12-week SBM frequency rate (SBMs/week), the primary endpoint. Linaclotide-treated patients demonstrated a greater than two-fold least squares mean change from baseline in SBMs/week (2.220) compared to placebo (1.050) (p<0.0001).

The Phase 3 study demonstrated acceptable safety in the pediatric population. The most common adverse event in the pediatric Phase 3 study was diarrhea which occurred in 4.3% of linaclotide-treated patients versus 1.8% in the placebo group.

FC in children is defined as a condition with hard, infrequent bowel movements that are often difficult or painful to pass.2 FC is a common problem in children of all ages, with a worldwide prevalence ranging between 0.7% and 29.6%.3  Core symptoms of FC include decreased stool frequency, harder stool consistency, painful passage of stools, and fecal incontinence.2

About Linaclotide 

Linaclotide is a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist that is thought to work in two ways based on nonclinical studies. Linaclotide binds to the GC-C receptor locally within the intestinal epithelium. Activation of GC-C results in increased intestinal fluid secretion and accelerated transit and a decrease in the activity of pain-sensing nerves in the intestine. The clinical relevance of the effect on pain fibers, which is based on nonclinical studies, has not been established. In the United States, Ironwood and AbbVie co-develop and co-commercialize LINZESS® for the treatment of adults with IBS-C or CIC. In Europe, AbbVie markets linaclotide under the brand name CONSTELLA® for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe IBS-C. AbbVie is partnered with Ironwood for the development and commercialization of linaclotide in all other territories worldwide. LINZESS® and CONSTELLA® are registered trademarks of AbbVie. Any other trademarks referred to in this press release are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

LINZESS Important Safety Information 
LINZESS (linaclotide) is indicated in adults for the treatment of both irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).



LINZESS is contraindicated in patients less than 2 years of age. In nonclinical studies in neonatal mice, administration of a single, clinically relevant, adult oral dose of linaclotide caused deaths due to dehydration. 


  • LINZESS is contraindicated in patients less than 2 years of age due to the risk of serious dehydration.
  • LINZESS is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction.

Warnings and Precautions 
Pediatric Risk 

  • LINZESS is contraindicated in patients less than 2 years of age. In neonatal mice, linaclotide increased fluid secretion as a consequence of age-dependent elevated GC-C agonism resulting in mortality within the first 24 hours due to dehydration. There was no age-dependent trend in GC-C intestinal expression in a clinical study of children 2 to less than 18 years of age; however, there are insufficient data available on GC-C intestinal expression in children less than 2 years of age to assess the risk of developing diarrhea and its potentially serious consequences in these patients. The safety and effectiveness of LINZESS in patients less than 18 years of age have not been established.


  • Diarrhea was the most common adverse reaction in LINZESS-treated patients in the pooled IBS-C and CIC double-blind placebo-controlled trials. The incidence of diarrhea was similar in the IBS-C and CIC populations. Severe diarrhea was reported in 2% of 145 mcg and 290 mcg LINZESS-treated patients, and in <1% of 72 mcg LINZESS-treated CIC patients. If severe diarrhea occurs, dosing should be suspended, and the patient rehydrated.

Common Adverse Reactions (incidence ≥2% and greater than placebo) 

  • In IBS-C clinical trials: diarrhea (20% vs 3% placebo), abdominal pain (7% vs 5%), flatulence (4% vs 2%), headache (4% vs 3%), viral gastroenteritis (3% vs 1%) and abdominal distension (2% vs 1%).
  • In CIC trials of a 145 mcg dose: diarrhea (16% vs 5% placebo), abdominal pain (7% vs 6%), flatulence (6% vs 5%), upper respiratory tract infection (5% vs 4%), sinusitis (3% vs 2%) and abdominal distension (3% vs 2%). In a CIC trial of a 72 mcg dose: diarrhea (19% vs 7% placebo) and abdominal distension (2% vs <1%).

See full Prescribing Information including Boxed Warning: 

About AbbVie
AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women's health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @AbbVie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements
Some statements in this news release are, or may be considered, forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions, among others, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, failure to realize the expected benefits from AbbVie's acquisition of Allergan plc ("Allergan"), failure to promptly and effectively integrate Allergan's businesses, competition from other products, challenges to intellectual property, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry and the impact of public health outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics, such as COVID-19. Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," of AbbVie's 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as updated by its subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. AbbVie undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.


  1. Data on file. AbbVie, Inc. 104746
  2. Di Lorenzo C, Hyams JS, Saps M,  et al. Chapter 16: Childhood Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Child/Adolescent. In: Drossman DA, Chang L, Chey WD, et al. Rome IV: Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction. Raleigh, NC: Rome Foundation; 2016.
  3. Mugie SM, Benninga MA, Di Lorenzo C. Epidemiology of constipation in children and adults: a systematic review. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2011;25:3-18.


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