By Ed Coghlan
Sometimes, it’s just better doing it yourself.
BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BDSI) announced that it has terminated its licensing rights for BELBUCA™ (buprenorphine) buccal film with Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Endo). This follows a strategic decision made by Endo regarding their U.S. branded pain business.
Because of the agreement, the world-wide rights to BELBUCA will be transferred back to BDSI on January 2017.
“BELBUCA provides a number of important patient benefits. BELBUCA is one of the only Schedule III options for chronic pain management, meaning it has less abuse and addiction potential compared to Schedule II products,” said Dr. Mark A. Sirgo, President and Chief Executive Officer of BDSI. “BELBUCA has also been shown to have a good tolerability profile and is available in a range of doses to meet the analgesic needs of a wide range of patients.
Dr. Sirgo thinks this gives his company more flexibility and profit potential in helping treat chronic pain.
“Now with BELBUCA and BUNAVAIL, our drug for the treatment of opioid dependence, BioDelivery Sciences is well-positioned to provide healthcare providers and their patients a responsible solution for the treatment of chronic pain while also addressing the widespread concerns over the growing problem of opioid abuse, addiction and overdose in this country.”
While BDSI plans to provide additional details on its commercial plans for BELBUCA at an event in late January, significant physician targeting work has identified the early and most likely adopters of BELBUCA. BDSI will initially leverage its existing sales force and capitalize on commercial synergies with BUNAVAIL for a focused commercial approach targeting identified healthcare providers which BDSI believes creates the potential to incrementally grow BELBUCA sales without the requirement of significant resources. BDSI will also explore other options for longer-term growth for BELBUCA both within and ex-U.S.
Given what the company says are greater long-term commercial and profitability opportunities with BELBUCA, BDSI will transition its primary commercial emphasis to BELBUCA while BUNAVAIL efforts will be limited to current BUNAVAIL prescribers and on driving sales from upcoming and future managed care contracts.
Dr. Sirgo concluded, “We believe BELBUCA is well positioned to provide healthcare providers and their patients a responsible solution for the treatment of chronic pain while also addressing the widespread concerns over the growing problem of opioid abuse, addiction and overdose in this country. BELBUCA provides important patient benefits and is well differentiated from other opioids. And as such, we believe BELBUCA has promising growth potential and the ability to add tremendous value to our company.”