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Orexo and Hospira sign Rapinyl distribution agreement

Orexo and Hospira sign a distribution agreement which grants Hospira exclusive rights to market and sell Rapinyl break-through cancer pain treatment in the Asia-Pacific region

Sweden-based pharmaceutical company Orexo and specialty medication delivery company Hospira have signed a distribution agreement which grants Hospira exclusive rights to market and sell Rapinyl (fast-dissolve fentanyl), Orexo's break-through cancer pain treatment.

The contract with Hospira covers distribution rights in Asia Pacific markets including Australia and New Zealand. Hospira will also be responsible for regulatory approval in these markets.

The market rights for Rapinyl were licensed to Kyowa Hakko Kogyo for the Japanese market in 2003. For North America, Orexo licensed the drug to Endo Pharmaceuticals in 2004 and to ProStrakan for the EU in 2005. In 2006, a distribution agreement was signed with Hungarian distributor Gedeon Richter for the CIS, Bulgaria and Romania.

Rapinyl was developed using Orexo's proprietary sublingual tablet technology, where a rapidly dissolving tablet is placed under the tongue and the active substance is absorbed by the mucous membrane.

Zsolt Lavotha, CEO of Orexo, said: "Hospira has a strong market position in cancer treatment, and the company has a well-established distribution network in the Asia Pacific region. We believe that Hospira will be effectively commercialising Rapinyl in all the markets in the territory. For Orexo, distributor agreements are important source for generating additional profitability from Rapinyl on a global basis."

Tim Oldham, president of Hospira Asia-Pacific, said: "The Asia Pacific market is growing rapidly, both in terms of patients and access, and this new partnership with Orexo will help our companies improve the life of patients and the effectiveness of their caregivers in the region."

30th September 2008

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