DURECT Corporation and Endo Pharmaceuticals Sign Agreement to Develop and Commercialize DURECT’S Seven-Day Transdermal Pain Patch

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CUPERTINO, Calif., March 14, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — DURECT Corporation
(Nasdaq: DRRX) announced today that it has signed an agreement with Endo
Pharmaceuticals Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Endo Pharmaceuticals
Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: ENDP), that will give Endo the exclusive license to
develop and commercialize DURECT’s sufentanil-containing transdermal patch in
the U.S. and Canada. The sufentanil patch, which is in early-stage clinical
development, employs DURECT’s proprietary TRANSDUR(TM) drug-adhesive matrix
formulation and is being studied to provide relief of moderate-to-severe
chronic pain for up to seven days. Effective immediately, Endo will assume
all remaining development and regulatory filing responsibility, including the
funding thereof.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020717/DRRXLOGO )

“We believe that Endo is an excellent choice for the development and
commercialization of our transdermal sufentanil patch,” said James E. Brown,
DVM, President and CEO of DURECT Corporation. “Our TRANSDUR-Sufentanil pain
patch attracted high interest from a number of potential partners. We selected
Endo because of its strong track record for successfully launching and
building new products in the field of pain management. We are excited to
continue to advance our goal to become a specialty pharmaceutical company
through our right under this agreement to co-promote this product in the
chronic pain space alongside such a strong marketing partner.”

“As a market leader in pain management, Endo is continually looking for
innovative patent-protected products that have the potential to deliver safe
and effective relief for patients with pain,” said Peter A. Lankau, President
and Chief Operating Officer of Endo. “We feel that DURECT’s sufentanil patch
could offer physicians and patients significant benefits over currently
marketed products. The product’s weeklong duration combined with its reduced
size (about 20% of the size of the on-market transdermal fentanyl patches but
with a therapeutically equivalent dose) may offer improved patient convenience
and compliance. The transdermal sufentanil patch is expected to compete in
the $4 billion strong-opioid market.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Endo will pay DURECT an upfront fee of
$10 million, with additional payments of approximately $35 million upon
achievement of predetermined regulatory and commercial milestones. Endo will
also pay undisclosed royalties to DURECT on net sales of the sufentanil
transdermal patch.

DURECT Corporation will be hosting a conference call to discuss this
announcement on Monday, March 14, at 4:00 P.M. Eastern Time. To participate in
the conference call, please dial in to 1-800-273-1249 (domestic) or
1-310-744-2160 (international) and request for “DURECT Corporate Event,” entry
code 6358. Please dial in 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. A
replay of the call will be available for 24 hours starting March 14, 2005 at
8:15 P.M. Eastern Time by dialing 1-888-203-1112 (domestic) or 1-719-457-0820
(international), passcode 1246080.


DURECT Corporation is an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company focused
on the development of pharmaceutical systems based on its proprietary drug
delivery platform technologies that treat chronic debilitating diseases and
enable biotechnology products. These platform technologies include the
SABER(TM) Delivery System (a patented and versatile depot injectable useful
for protein and small molecule delivery), the ORADUR(TM) sustained release
oral gel-cap technology (an oral sustained release technology with several
potential abuse deterrent properties), the DURIN(TM) Biodegradable Implant
(drug-loaded implant system), the TRANSDUR(TM) transdermal technology and the
MICRODUR(TM) Biodegradable Microparticulates (microspheres injectable system).
DURECT also collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to develop and
commercialize proprietary and enhanced pharmaceutical products based on its
technologies. DURECT has five disclosed on-going development programs of which
four are in collaboration with pharmaceutical partners. Additional information
about DURECT is available at www.www.durect.com.

trademarks of DURECT Corporation. Other referenced trademarks belong to their
respective owners.

DURECT Forward-Looking Statement

The statements in this press release regarding DURECT’s TRANSDUR-
Sufentanil patch in development, product development plans, potential product
benefits and anticipated financial returns are forward-looking statements
involving risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ
materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and
uncertainties include, but are not limited to, DURECT and Endo’s abilities to
complete the design, development, and manufacturing process development of the
product candidate, obtain product and manufacturing approvals from regulatory
agencies and manufacture and commercialize the product candidate, as well as
marketplace acceptance of the product candidate. Further information regarding
these and other risks is included in DURECT’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for
the year ended December 31, 2004 filed with the SEC on March 14, 2005 under
the heading “Factors that may affect future results.”


Schond L. Greenway (investors), Executive Director, IR and Strategic Planning,
408-777-1417, or
Melissa M. Ta (media), Associate Director, Corporate
Communications, 408-777-1417,
both of DURECT Corporation; or
Stephanie C. Diaz
(investors), 415-885-2298, or sdiaz@vidaLLC.com; or
Tim Brons (media),
646-319-8981, tbrons@vidaLLC.com,
both of Vida Communication, for DURECT

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