California-based Opiant earlier this year was awarded a $7.4 million
grant by the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Institute
on Drug Abuse for the development of a nasally-applied version of
overdose treatment nalmefene.
Addiction to opioids - mainly heroin and prescription painkiller
fentanyl - has emerged as a serious public health crisis in the
United States, especially in rural areas. The epidemic claimed over
70,000 lives last year.
Fentanyl is an opioid used as a pain medication and together with
other medications for anesthesia. It is also made illegally and used
as a recreational drug, often mixed with heroin or cocaine.
As part of Consort's deal, its units Aesica and Bespak will work
with Opiant to produce a clinically pre-filled nasal spray with
nalmefene, which is used in treating opioid overdose and alcohol
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They will also supply Opiant with clinical samples and registration
batches for clinical studies and obtaining regulatory approvals.
Once the nasal spray receives approval from the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, Consort's units will make and supply the device for
commercial purposes, it said.
Opiant expects to file a new drug application with regulators for
the drug and device combination in 2020, Consort said.
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick
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