Opiant Pharmaceuticals Expands Partnership with Sanofi, Signs Agreement for Manufacturing OPNT004 for Treatment of Acute Cannabinoid Overdose
SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 23, 2019 – Opiant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPNT), a specialty pharmaceutical company developing medicines for addictions and drug overdose, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) to manufacture Opiant’s investigational agent OPNTOO4 (drinabant) for the treatment of Acute Cannabinoid Overdose (ACO). Opiant intends to reformulate drinabant, a high affinity, selective cannabinoid receptor antagonist, for parenteral administration in an emergency department setting. Opiant licensed exclusive global rights from Sanofi for the development and commercialization of drinabant for the emergency treatment of ACO. The manufacturing will be performed in Sanofi Újpest site (Hungary) acting as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO).
“This agreement marks an important milestone in our partnership with Sanofi and the OPNT004 development program and supply chain, ” said Roger Crystal, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Opiant. “This further enhances our position as a leader in developing medicines for the treatment of addiction and drug overdose.”
ACO is most often linked to the ingestion of both “edibles”, products containing large quantities of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that are often sold as brownies, cookies, and candies, and synthetic cannabinoids (sold with names such as “K2” and “Spice”) that are more potent, easily obtained, and less expensive than cannabis containing products. It is estimated that ACO resulted in more than one million emergency department visits in the United States in 2016, and is expected to rise with increasing legalization of cannabis in North America. Features of ACO can include psychosis, hallucinations, nausea and vomiting, as well as feelings of paranoia, agitation, panic and anxiety. These symptoms often require emergency medical attention and can take from hours to days to fully resolve. There are currently no approved treatments for ACO.
About Opiant Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Opiant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company developing medicines for addictions and drug overdose. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institutes of Health, describes addictive disorders as chronic relapsing brain diseases that burden society at both the individual and community levels. Opiant's first drug overdose product, NARCAN® Nasal Spray, is licensed to Adapt Pharmaceuticals, now owned by Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. For more information, visit www.opiant.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or our future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our or our industry's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed, implied or inferred by these forward-looking statements, and among other things, our ability to maintain cash balances and successfully commercialize or partner our product candidates currently under development. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "could," "would," "expects," "plans," "intends," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "projects," "potential," or "continue" or the negative of such terms and other comparable terminology. These statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and projections about future events. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Actual events or results may differ materially. In evaluating these statements, you should specifically consider various factors. Additional factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 21, 2019, including under the caption titled "Risk Factors." These and other factors may cause our actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement. We undertake no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release to conform those statements to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by applicable law.