Orexo signs distribution agreement with Hospira in Asia for pain product Rapinyl™

Orexo AB and the specialty pharmaceuticals and medication delivery company Hospira have signed a distribution agreement that grants Hospira exclusive rights to market and sell Rapinyl™, Orexo’s patented product for treatment of break-through pain in cancer, in Asia Pacific markets including Australia and New Zealand. Market rights for the US, the EU and Japan were previously out-licensed, while another distribution agreement has also been signed for the CIS, Bulgaria and Romania.

“Hospira has a strong market position in cancer treatment, and the company has a well-established distribution network in the Asia Pacific region. Demand for new, effective pain treatments is growing rapidly in this region, and we believe that Hospira will be effectively commercializing Rapinyl™ in all the markets in the territory,” says Zsolt Lavotha, president and CEO of Orexo AB. “For Orexo, distributor agreements are important source for generating additional profitability from Rapinyl on a global basis” he said.

Rapinyl™ is intended for treatment of breakthrough pain in cancer. It is based on Orexo’s unique and patented sublingual tablet technology in which a rapidly dissolving tablet is placed under the tongue and the active substance is absorbed by the mucous membrane. The new drug form is designed to provide quickly administered, predictable and reproducible pain relief and also results in simplified treatment for patients suffering from breakthrough pain.

“Rapinyl™ is the latest addition to our branded specialty pharmaceutical portfolio in the region and will support our vision of Advancing Wellness for cancer patients across Asia. It compliments our existing oncology and oncology-support product range and our sales and marketing strengths. The Asia Pacific market is growing rapidly, both in terms of patients and access, and this new partnership with Orexo will help our companies improve the life of patients and the effectiveness of their caregivers in the region” added Tim Oldham, President, Asia-Pacific, for Hospira.

The contract with Hospira covers distribution rights in Asia Pacific markets including Australia and New Zealand. Hospira will also be responsible for regulatory approval in these markets. The market rights for Rapinyl™ have been licensed to Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. Ltd. for the Japanese market since 2003, to Endo Pharmaceuticals for the North American market since 2004 and to ProStrakan Group plc for the EU since 2005. During 2006, a distribution agreement was signed with Gedeon Richter Ltd. for the CIS (Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union), Bulgaria and Romania.