Cangene Corporation (Cangene) and Camurus AB have announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Cangene bioPharma Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cangene, will have exclusive rights to commercialize episil® in the United States for the management and relief of pain associated with oral lesions, including oral mucositis (OM), which results from cancer therapy and other causes.
Cangene bioPharma plans to launch episil® in the United States in October 2012.
A severe side-effect of cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy, OM is characterized by painful ulceration and opportunistic mouth infections, and affects approximately 500,000 patients in the United States per year.
OM is caused by damage to the DNA in the basal epithelial cell lining of the mouth leading to decreased cell proliferation ability.
OM can limit the dosing and frequency of treatment for cancer, prevent patients from eating, and often necessitates hospitalization for re-hydration, opiate pain medication and total parenteral nutrition.
episil® has been clinically demonstrated to reduce pain for up to 8 hours. It is the first product for OM that is supplied as a ready-to-use, pocket-sized device, helping patients maintain their quality of life while undergoing cancer therapy.
"Lesions caused by OM are a painful reality for many patients undergoing cancer treatment and our research indicates a strong market need for alternative treatment options that will improve patients' quality of life," said John A. Sedor, President and CEO of Cangene.
Sedor continued, "In bringing episil® to the U.S, we are addressing a significant unmet medical need in a growing patient population, leveraging Cangene's wealth of experience in hospitals and oncology clinics and advancing our strategic focus on late-stage, in-licensing opportunities."
Fredrik Tiberg, President and CEO of Camurus said, "Cangene is an ideal partner for Camurus and episil®, with a highly experienced and effective sales and distribution structure targeting key haematology and oncology clinics in the U.S. We look forward to working closely together to provide a new and promising treatment alternative to patients across the U.S. who are suffering from OM and related problems".
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.