Pfizer’s Answer to OxyContin Rejected by FDA

Pfizer‘s (NYSE:PFE) drug, Remoxy, a pain medication designed in a way that is meant to discourage abuse, has failed to receive FDA approval. The FDA’s decision was delayed last month after Pfizer had issues on the manufacturing end, and there’s been no announcement as to whether that is the reason for the FDA’s rejection of the drug.

With the news, Pfizer’s shares have dropped, as well as those of its partners in the development of the drug, Pain Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:PTIE) and Durect Corp. (NASDAQ:DRRX). Shares in both partners are down around 30% today, significantly more than Pfizer’s 1.69% drop.

Remoxy was meant to compete with Purdue Pharma L.P.‘s OxyContin. The two drugs both rely on an extended-release formula for the drug oxycodone, which is used to treat severe pain. OxyContin is currently one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Pfizer designed Remoxy with a thick liquid form of oxycodone, making it more difficult to be crushed and snorted, injected, or dissolved in alcohol.

Remoxy was originally developed by Durect, which licensed to Pain Therapeutics in 2002, who later sub-licensed the rights to King Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Pfizer for $3.6 billion in March of this year, in large part because of the drug.

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