Ownership of Finesco-Scomedica will allow Apricus Bio to directly launch Vitaros® and its other products in France, Europe's second-largest drug market
Conference Call/Webcast to be Held Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 5:15 PM ET
SAN DIEGO, June 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apricus Biosciences, Inc. ("Apricus Bio") (Nasdaq:APRI) (www.apricusbio.com) today announced that it has agreed to accept, by way of a share contribution, ownership of the shares of Finesco, the French parent and holding company of Scomedica ("Scomedica"), a leading French healthcare contract sales and marketing organization in anticipation of the approval of Apricus Bio's Vitaros® for erectile dysfunction ("ED") in Europe.
Scomedica is a private company with 80 pharmaceutical sales representatives that have successfully marketed drugs in France for global pharmaceutical companies like Novartis—with 2011 annual revenues of approximately €8 million ($10.1 million). More importantly, Apricus Bio does not intend to continue using Scomedica as solely a contract sales force, but intends to also use its French sales force as a base for the Company's commercial operations in Europe, starting with the launch of Vitaros® for ED when approved. Bringing Finesco and Scomedica into the Apricus Bio family of companies will enable the Company to bring its own drugs and additional partnered drugs to the key French market to build a strong pipeline in this country.
"Scomedica's large and experienced sales team gives us the ability to launch products, including Vitaros® for ED into one of the world's top markets for pharmaceuticals," said Dr. Bassam Damaj, President and Chief Executive Officer of Apricus Bio. "Specifically for Vitaros®, we intend to market the drug ourselves starting next year in France and we currently expect that at our peak we may capture approximately 30% of the ED market in that country if the drug is approved.
According to IMS Health, the ED market in France is one of the largest in Europe, at €130 million ($163.8 million) in 2010. "This transaction allows us to develop an organization that will recognize the drug's full commercial potential in one of the largest ED markets in Europe, delivering significant added value to our shareholders," said Dr. Damaj.
Apricus will also explore registration and/or commercialization of its other products in the French market, including Granisol®, NitroMist™, Femprox™ and MycoVa®. In addition, the Company is in negotiations for additional products to sell in the French market and currently expects to market and sell at least 5 marketed products in France by 2014.
Moreover, Apricus Bio believes that its ability to sell drugs in France will make it easier for the Company to enter other European markets. "The French market is a great stepping stone for our commercial operations into all of Europe," explained Damaj.
Under the terms of the agreement, Finesco's existing shareholders will contribute to Apricus Bio 100% of the outstanding common stock of Finesco in exchange for newly issued shares of Apricus Bio common stock valued at €7 million ($8.8 million USD) at the closing, followed by additional newly issued shares worth approximately €1.8 ($2.3 million USD) in the first quarter of 2013, if Scomedica achieves certain revenue milestones during 2012. Finesco and Scomedica will become wholly-owned subsidiaries of Apricus Bio. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions and certain termination provisions as described therein.
"Scomedica is a proven sales leader in the French healthcare market with a strong record of success in product launches and marketing campaigns," said Gérard Burger, President of Scomedica. "Our organizations are highly complementary, and we look forward to working with our new colleagues to provide best-in-class pharmaceutical marketing for Apricus Bio's deep product pipeline."
Conference Call Information
The call can be accessed in the U.S. by dialing 877-407-8031 and outside of the U.S. by dialing 201-689-8031 and asking the conference operator for the Apricus Bio Conference Call. The teleconference replay will be available for one week by dialing in the U.S. 877-660-6853 and outside of the U.S. by dialing 201-612-7415. Replay passcodes 286 and 396566 are both required for playback. The conference call will also be webcast live at http://www.investorcalendar.com/IC/CEPage.asp?ID=168939. The webcast replay will be available for three months.
Vitaros® is a topically delivered formulation of alprostadil combined with Docecyl 2-N, N-(dimethylamino)-propionate hydrochloride (DDAIP HCl), Apricus' proprietary NexACT® delivery technology, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction ("ED"). When absorbed through the skin, alprostadil, a vasodilator, directly boosts blood flow, thereby causing an erection.
Vitaros® differs from oral medications in two ways. First, it is applied locally, directly to the penis as a cream, instead of administered orally and absorbed systemically. This topical application helps to reduce side effects and provides men who cannot take the existing oral medications a patient-friendly alternative. Second, clinical studies have shown that Vitaros® works on average in approximately 15 minutes, compared to a reported onset time of 30 minutes, or longer, for oral medications.
FINESCO is the French holding company of Scomedica. Scomedica is a leading French pharmaceutical sales and marketing company specializing in product positioning, product launch, marketing and sales for primary care physicians and specialists. Scomedica has been leading successful pharmaceutical sales campaigns in France for nearly 20 years and is located near Paris, France. For further information on FINESCO and Scomedica, visit http://www.finesco-medica.com.
About Apricus Biosciences, Inc.
Apricus Bio is a San Diego-based revenue-generating pharmaceutical company, with commercial products and a broad pipeline across numerous therapeutic classes.
Revenues and growth are driven from the sales of the Company's commercial products through its Apricus Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and NexMed (USA), Inc. subsidiaries and through out-licensing in certain territories of its product pipeline and NexACT® technology.
Apricus Bio's current NexACT® pipeline includes Vitaros®, approved in Canada for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, as well as compounds in development from pre-clinical through pre-registration currently focused on Sexual Dysfunction, Oncology, Dermatology, Autoimmune, Pain, Anti-Infectives, Diabetes and Consumer Healthcare.
Apricus Bio currently markets Totect® (dexrazoxane HCl), the only drug approved in the US for the treatment of anthracycline extravasation. The Company also plans to market in the U.S. or certain other countries the following products: (a) Granisol® (granisetron HCI) oral solution, the only FDA-approved, oral, ready-to-use liquid solution of granisetron, (b) Aquoral™, an FDA-cleared, prescription-only spray for the treatment of Xerostomia (the medical term for dry mouth due to a lack of saliva) and (c) NitroMist® (nitroglycerin sublingual spray), an FDA-approved nitrate vasodilator indicated for acute relief of an attack or acute prophylaxis of angina pectoris (chest pain) due to coronary artery disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart).
The Company also expects to develop and/or acquire and then bring to market additional pharmaceutical products in areas of care that will benefit patient needs worldwide.
Statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, as amended: with the exception of the historical information contained in this release, the matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that may individually or mutually impact the matters herein described for a variety of reasons that are outside the control of the Company, including, but not limited to, its ability to successfully integrate Finesco and Scomedica into the Company and further develop its products and product candidates, to have its products and product candidates such as Vitaros®, Femprox® and MycoVa™ receive patent protection and be approved by relevant regulatory authorities, to successfully commercialize such products as Totect®, Granisol®, Aquoral™ and NitroMist™ and NexACT® product candidates and drug delivery technology and to achieve its development, commercialization and financial goals. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements as actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein. Readers are urged to read the risk factors set forth in the Company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K, subsequent quarterly reports filed on Form 10-Q and other filings made with the SEC. Copies of these reports are available from the SEC's website or without charge from the Company.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. The shares to be contributed by Apricus Biosciences have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and are to be issued, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions to issuance, pursuant to exemptions from the registration provisions of such Act. The shares may not be re-offered or resold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.