King and Acura to Develop Immediate-Release Pain Medicines

November 8, 2007
Angie Drakulich
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

King Pharmaceuticals, and Acura Pharmaceuticals have entered into a license, development and commercialization agreement for the United States, Canada, and Mexico, encompassing a potentially wide range of opioid analgesic products utilizing Acura?s patented Aversion (abuse-deterrent) Technology platform.

Bristol, TN and Palatine, IL (Oct. 31)-King Pharmaceuticals, and Acura Pharmaceuticals have entered into a license, development and commercialization agreement for the United States, Canada, and Mexico, encompassing a potentially wide range of opioid analgesic products utilizing Acura’s patented Aversion (abuse-deterrent) Technology platform. According to company releases, both King and Acura have targeted development and commercialization of four immediate-release opioid analgesic products, including “ACUROX” tablets (oxycodone HCl, niacin, and a unique combination of other ingredients), formerly known as “OxyADF,” for treating moderate to severe acute pain.

“We are excited about partnering with Acura, which directly aligns with our recently announced emphasis on King’s neuroscience and hospital/acute care platforms, particularly our growing pain-management franchise,” said King CEO and President Brian A. Markison. 

Acura’s President and CEO Andy Reddick added, “We look forward to working closely with King to bring innovative immediate release opioid analgesic products to market…. Discouraging prescription drug abuse benefits patients, healthcare providers, third party payors, and society as a whole....”

Abuse and misuse of opioid analgesic medications, which provide immediate and long-acting pain relief, are of concern among physicians and pharmacists, explained King’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Eric Carter. Acura’s Aversion Technology could potentially reduce common methods of abuse by patients dealing with chronic or acute pain.

Under the terms of the agreement, King will make an upfront cash payment to Acura of $30 million for exclusive license rights of “ACUROX” tablets in the US, Canada, and Mexico, and another undisclosed opioid product utilizing Acura’s Aversion Technology, according to the release. King could end up making additional cash payments to Acura of up to $28 million relating to “ACUROX” tablets and similar amounts with respect to each subsequent Aversion Technology product developed under the agreement; these payments are dependent upon the achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones.

Headquartered in Tennessee, King Pharmaceuticals is a vertically integrated branded pharmaceutical company. Acura Pharmaceuticals, based in Illinois, is a specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in research, development and manufacture of innovative Aversion (abuse deterrent) Technology and related product candidates.