Anesiva, Arcion merge to form pain drug company

Struggling pain management company Anesiva has been rescued from possible bankruptcy through a merger with Baltimore-based Arcion Therapeutics, a privately held company. The combined company will be known as Arcion Therapeutics. Arcion and Anesiva shareholders will own approximately 64 percent and 36 percent, respectively, of the outstanding shares of the combined company.

"Anesiva has been through a lot this last year," CEO Michael Kranda said in a conference call this morning. The company went through a round of job cuts in September of 2008, but its real problems began when it stopped production of its pain patch Zingo due to continued manufacturing problems. In April, auditors issued a going-concern notice to the company after Anesiva said it didn't have enough funds to complete development of its only drug, Adlea.

Anesiva's Aldea, a drug for post-operative pain, will join Arcion Therapeutics's pipeline of pain drugs for diabetic neuropathy, post-herpetic neuralgia and other forms of moderate and severe pain. "Because of the focus of our product portfolio and the strength of the combined team of executives and advisors, we believe that we can operate under a virtual, cost-efficient business model that will create many value-driving milestones," said Michael Kranda, chief executive officer of Anesiva.

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