|EKR Therapeutics Achieves Key Growth Milestone with the Acquisition of Rights from Pacira Pharmaceuticals to DepoDur®|
EKR Therapeutics, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing, and commercializing proprietary products to enhance patient quality-of-life in the acute care setting, today announced it has acquired exclusive marketing and distribution rights to DepoDur® (morphine sulfate extended release liposome injection) for the Americas from San Diego-based Pacira Pharmaceuticals who will continue to manufacture the product.
Formerly a business unit of SkyePharma, PLC, Pacira Pharmaceuticals is an independent private company focused on developing and manufacturing controlled-release injectable products based on their DepoFoam® and Biosphere® drug delivery platforms.
DepoDur, which utilizes the DepoFoam technology, is the only extended-release opioid that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for epidural use. A single injection of DepoDur into the lumbar epidural space may provide pain relief for up to 48 hours following major surgery without the restrictions and potential complications associated with an indwelling epidural catheter.
“Pacira’s technology platform significantly enhances the value potential of DepoDur and the product’s characteristics fit exceptionally well with EKR’s acquisition model,” said Howard Weisman, EKR’s Chairman & CEO. “DepoDur is patent protected, addresses an important medical need in our market space, and has growth prospects that can be fully exploited through the application of EKR’s expertise and strengths in the acute care market.”
Fred Middleton, Pacira’s Chairman of the Board commented, “EKR Therapeutics has demonstrated in the past that they possess the strengths to successfully bring a focused marketing and clinician targeting approach to DepoDur to help it reach its full commercial potential. This product was clinically developed as a proprietary treatment by Pacira R&D and it received FDA approval in 2004 for long-acting post-surgical pain management. We welcome EKR’s validation of our technology platform and their promotional support of DepoDur. We look forward to working with EKR as our partner on the expanded commercial marketing of DepoDur.”
Mr. Weisman further noted, “EKR is commencing a number of pre-launch activities, including interacting with opinion leaders, and we expect to fully deploy our sales force in support of DepoDur early next year.” He concluded, “We are very optimistic about EKR’s growth prospects in 2008 as we foresee a ramp up in sales for both DepoDur and Gelclair® and anticipate favorable market synergies between these products.” Gelclair, which is marketed to acute care facilities and cancer centers, is indicated for the management of pain associated with oral lesions of various etiologies, including chemotherapy and radiation induced oral mucositis/stomatitis.
Tong Zhang, Ph.D., Director of Business Development for EKR, added, “Acquiring the rights to DepoDur exemplifies EKR’s strategy of focusing on building a portfolio of premier products in the acute care space.” He further noted, “Our strict acquisition criteria center on innovative products that offer value to healthcare providers and their patients, thus, representing excellent opportunities for EKR to realize strong returns on investment.”