EKR Therapeutics Achieves Key Growth Milestone with the Acquisition of Rights from Pacira Pharmaceuticals to DepoDur, a Novel Extended-Release Opioid Analgesic for Post Operative Pain
CEDAR KNOLLS, N.J. and SAN DIEGO -- 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."
About EKR Therapeutics, Inc.
EKR Therapeutics is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company that has brought together a highly seasoned team of industry professionals. The Company focuses on the acquisition, development and commercialization of proprietary products for the acute care segment of the healthcare market, including oncology supportive care therapeutics. From its inception in late 2005, EKR has been organized to be a class leader in commercializing products to address unmet and under-satisfied medical needs or to otherwise enhance the therapeutic value of acute-care prescription products. EKR's goal is to be the pre-eminent provider of acute-care specialty products, backed by a commitment to excellence in customer service. For additional information about EKR visit the Company's website at http://www.ekrtx.com.
About Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacira Inc., a Delaware corporation, which is controlled and funded by a group of financial investors including Sanderling Ventures, HBM Bioventures (Cayman) Ltd, OrbiMed Advisors, and MPM Capital. This business is based in San Diego, CA, and focuses on formulating, developing and manufacturing controlled-release injectable products based on two proprietary drug delivery platforms: DepoFoam and Biosphere. Revenues are generated from two marketed products: DepoCyt for lymphomatous meningitis and DepoDur for the treatment of post-surgical pain. For additional information about Pacira visit the Company's website at http://www.pacira.com