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Bankrupt Purdue Seeks Court OK to Make New Opioid Overdose Drug

Feb. 12, 2020, 7:21 PM

Purdue Pharma LP is asking the bankruptcy court for permission to partner with another pharmaceutical company to develop a new treatment for overdoses of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

In a redacted motion filed Tuesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Purdue said the unnamed partner “develops and commercializes pre-loaded drug device combinations” using a pre-filled syringe and a “proprietary autoinjector platform.”

Purdue, through its affiliate Greenfield Bioventures L.P., wants the partnership to develop and sell an injectable form of nalmefene hydrochloride, which is more potent and longer-lasting than naloxone.

Naloxone is currently the go-to drug to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

Purdue filed for bankruptcy in September after being overwhelmed with lawsuits connected with the nation’s opioid epidemic. The Stamford, Conn.-based company, which manufactures OxyContin, is among several pharmaceutical manufacturers that have come under fire for how heavily they marketed opioid-based medications as all-purpose pain killers.

“The Debtors are not suggesting that nalmefene should be a replacement for naloxone,” the company said in the filing. “Rather, the Debtors view nalmefene as a valuable addition to the existing collection of opioid rescue medications that is well-suited to treating overdoses from powerful synthetic opioids.”

Purdue can’t afford to wait, the filing said. The partner is the company “most likely to deliver a nalmefene autoinjector within the desired timeframe that can be used safely and effectively by the general public.”

Nalmefene’s half-life is longer than fentanyl, making it better than naloxone for reviving patients who have overdosed on fentanyl or other synthetic opioids, said Jon Lowne, Purdue’s senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Purdue selected its prospective partner after a review of seven companies, Lowne said in a declaration filed with the court Tuesday.

Judge Robert D. Drain will hold a hearing on the motion Feb. 21.

The case is Purdue Pharma LP, Bankr. S.D.N.Y., No. 19-23649, Motion filed 2/11/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie A. Pappas in Wilmington, Del. at lpappas@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

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