The company's shares climbed about 9 percent to
$2.54 in after-hours trading.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick had announced a ban on the
drug, formally declaring a public health emergency on March 27
stemming from abuse of opioids in the New England state.
The U.S. District Court for Massachusetts granted a preliminary
injunction against the ban, saying that by imposing its own
conclusion about the safety and efficacy of Zohydro, the state was
obstructing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's constitutionally
The federal court order goes into effect on April 22.
"Although the ban may prevent someone from misusing the drug, the
ban prevents all in need of its special attributes from receiving
the pain relief Zohydro ER offers," Judge Rya Zobel said.
The injunction comes in the midst of a furor over Zohydro as the
United States grapples with a rise in opioid abuse. The class of
drugs includes not only powerful prescription painkillers but also
heroin. Massachusetts has seen a spike in the number of opioid- and
Zohydro, an extended-release form of hydrocodone, has come under
scrutiny from members of the U.S. Congress, state attorneys general,
medical groups and drug treatment experts seeking to block its use.
Although intended for release over a 12-hour period, the medicine
can be crushed and inhaled or injected, making a full dose available
FDA last year approved Zohydro, Zogenix's sole product on the
market, despite concerns from an advisory panel over the drug's
potential for abuse.
Zogenix maintains the drug is a necessary option for patients with
severe, around-the-clock pain who cannot tolerate acetaminophen.
[to top of second column]
"Today's legal ruling was a positive step forward for
Massachusetts patients," said Zogenix Chief Executive Roger Hawley.
Unlike competing products such as AbbVie Inc's Vicodin and UCB's
Lortab, Zohydro does not contain acetaminophen, which has been
linked to liver damage.
FDA, in a statement, said it is following the legal proceedings in
Massachusetts and remains concerned about efforts by states to ban
"Both the prevention of prescription opioid abuse and appropriate
pain management are top public health priorities at FDA. Actions to
advance one should not impede the other," the agency said.
The case was in Re: Zogenix Inc vs Deval Patrick in the U.S.
District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 14-11689-RWZ
(Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago and Natalie Grover in
Bangalore; additional reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington;
editing by Savio D'Souza, Jonathan Oatis and Mohammad Zargham)
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