REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACRX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain, today announced that it has entered into a new amended and restated credit facility with Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. (NYSE: HTGC) that extends AcelRx's current relationship with Hercules, which was established in June 2011. The new Hercules credit facility provides for up to $40 million of new loans. "The proceeds from this credit facility provide AcelRx with additional operating capital and contingency funding for our commercialization activities as we continue to prepare for the launch, if approved, of Zalviso™," stated Richard King, president and CEO of AcelRx. "These proceeds also provide the financial flexibility to fund additional pipeline development programs should we decide to advance any of our pipeline opportunities forward. We appreciate the support of Hercules, and its confidence in Zalviso TM and the AcelRx management team." AcelRx drew the first tranche of $15 million at the closing of the new credit facility. AcelRx applied approximately $8.5 million of the proceeds to repay its outstanding obligations under the prior credit facility with Hercules. This repayment eliminated approximately $8.5 million of remaining scheduled principal payments in 2014. The second tranche of up to $10 million can be drawn, at AcelRx's option, at any time prior to June 30, 2014. The third tranche of up to $15 million is conditioned upon the approval of Zalviso by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and if approved, can be drawn at AcelRx's option, at any time between December 15, 2014 and March 15, 2015. AcelRx plans to use the proceeds of the remaining tranches to provide additional funding for the commercialization of Zalviso and as a potential source of funding for clinical trials for other development programs in its pipeline, and for general corporate purposes. General terms of the loan agreement include interest-only payments for 15 months until April 1, 2015, with the possibility of extending the interest-only period to two years until January 1, 2016, if the FDA approves Zalviso on or prior to April 1, 2015. Following the interest-only period, AcelRx will repay the loans in equal monthly payments of principal and interest through the scheduled maturity date on October 1, 2017 (which would be extended until January 1, 2018 if the Company obtains FDA approval of Zalviso on or prior to April 1, 2015). Further information with respect to the loan arrangement with Hercules, is contained in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed on December 19, 2013 by AcelRx with the Securities and Exchange Commission.