Treating the ravaging affecting effects of heroin addiction is a multi-front battle that requires a wide variety of therapies and a counseling. Medications — like methadone — are widely used to treat addiction, but the field of available options is ever widening. However, because of the consequences that a failure of one of these treatments can have on a patient’s life, approval is carefully vetted by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.
After analyzing clinical data from trials of Titan Pharmaceuticals’ (TTNP.OTC) matchstick-size implant, called Probuphine, the regulatory body decided to support approval in a vote of 10 to 4, reported Bloomberg. A further vote determined that the drug is an effective and safe treatment for heroin and prescription painkiller addictions. While some questioned whether the dose of the active ingredient, buprenorphine, was suitable to help addicts, the advisers supported a risk-mitigation plan.
This is at least an incremental step forward in a disease that can have very tragic consequences,” Christopher Kratochvil, a panel member and associate vice chancellor for clinical research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, told the publication. “More data is needed on the safety, but at least it’s a step.”
Not only is the treatment an advancement in the medical field, it also has the potential to generate $360 million in sales in 2018, according to Brinson Patrick Securities analyst Michael Higgins. The South San Francisco, California-based company licensed the U.S. and Canadian rights for the treatment to Apple Tree Partners’ Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, and as a result, it could receive a $50 million milestone payment once the drug reaches the market.
Shares of Titan rose as much as 38 percent Friday morning after the news was released to their highest level in almost four years, hitting $1.70 at 9:56 a.m. New York time.