SAN DIEGO, May 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apricus Biosciences, Inc. ("Apricus Bio" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:APRI) ( http://www.apricusbio.com ), today provided an update regarding ongoing corporate activities and announced that it expects to file its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, May 10, 2013. As previously announced, the Company will host its first quarter 2013 financial results conference call today, May 10, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
"Apricus Bio began 2013 with a newly focused corporate strategy aimed at the commercialization, through partnerships, of its lead product Vitaros® for erectile dysfunction ("ED") and the development of its lead product candidate Femprox® for female sexual arousal disorder ("FSAD")," said Richard Pascoe, Chief Executive Officer of Apricus Bio. "Since the beginning of the year, we have made important progress in support of that goal, including the successful divestiture of multiple non-core assets, streamlining of our operations to better align them with our objectives, and advancement of our regulatory and commercial strategy for Vitaros® and Femprox®. We continue to believe that the greatest opportunity for shareholder value creation remains in the global development and commercialization, through strategic partnerships, of these lead assets."
Recent Corporate Developments
- European approval decision for Vitaros® in Europe via the Decentralized Procedure ("DCP"). We are currently awaiting a decision regarding the approval of Vitaros ® in Europe via the DCP with The Netherlands serving as the Reference Member State ("RMS"). In April of 2013, Apricus Bio, in consultation with our European commercialization partners, submitted to the RMS our response to the Day 120 List of Questions ("LOQ"). This week, which marked Day 180 of the regulatory approval process, the RMS confirmed that the major nonclinical, clinical and clinical safety issues outlined in the Day 120 LOQ have been resolved. While the regulatory review process is ongoing, and we remain in active dialogue with the RMS on certain remaining matters included in the Day 180 response, we believe that the marketing approval process for Vitaros® in Europe remains on track for an approval decision on Day 210 of the process assuming there are no other interruptions in the review process. If Vitaros® is approved by the RMS, our commercialization partners will commence with the National Phase approvals in their respective territories. Once those approvals are secured on a country-by-country basis, marketing of Vitaros® can then be initiated in each country by our commercialization partners. In Europe, existing ED products generated over $1 billion in sales in 2012 and Apricus Bio believes that a significant portion of the market remains untreated or undertreated, which represents a significant commercial opportunity for Vitaros®.
- Commercial Launch of Vitaros® in Canada. Vitaros® is approved in Canada, and Apricus Bio licensed Vitaros® to Abbott Canada for commercialization of the product in that territory. Abbott remains fully committed to a successful launch of the cold-chain version of Vitaros® in Canada in the shortest timeframe possible. Abbott is working with their contract manufacturer to optimize the product's shelf-life period, which is driven by specifications that are applicable only to the product that will be sold in Canada , prior to launching the product in that market. As a result of these ongoing developments, Abbott has confirmed that a Vitaros® launch in Canada in the first half of 2013 will not occur.
- Femprox® Development Program: Femprox® is our lead product candidate for the treatment of female sexual arousal disorder, or FSAD. To date, we have completed seven clinical studies with Femprox® including a 100 patient Phase 2 study in the U.S. and a 400 patient Phase 3 study in China. The data generated from these studies strongly suggests that Femprox® has the potential to effectively treat FSAD in a female patient population where there are currently no available FDA approved treatment options. Moreover, we believe that Femprox® could be the first and only on-demand treatment approved for FSAD, where estimates of the market size are on par with that found in the erectile dysfunction market. The Company continues to advance the Femprox® development program in close consultation with our clinical and regulatory advisors. Our near-term goal is to seek confirmatory regulatory guidance from the U.S. FDA in the form of an End-of-Phase 2 meeting.
- Divestiture of Non-Core Assets: The Company sold its product, Totect ® (dexrazoxane HCl), a marketed, injectable treatment for anthracycline extravasation, to Biocodex USA ("Biocodex") in March 2013, in line with its recently updated corporate strategy. Under terms of the arrangement, Apricus Bio received an upfront payment at closing and is eligible to receive royalties on net sales of Totect ® by Biocodex through 2016, in exchange for Apricus Bio's sale of its commercialization rights to Totect ® in North America and South America.