Depomed gastric pill swells investor interest

Large fund investors appear to be hanging onto shares of Depomed when their more typical behavior following positive news from the FDA is to sell. The company's once-daily treatment for post-herpetic neuralgia, Gralise, gained the regulator's approval last month.

The reason for the extended interest might just be the management team, writes Tro Kalayjian in Seeking Alpha. But "the real star" is the company's AcuForm delivery technology. The polymeric gastric-retentive pill swells enough to prevent passage through the pylorus, the gateway to the duodenum. So the pill remains in the upper GI tract delivering API until it eventually dissolves.

Kalayjian cites the staying power of AcuForm as a therapeutic differentiator while accordion pills, floating dosage forms, and ulcerating muco-adhesives have fallen by the wayside. "The technology is as elegant as it is useful," he writes.

AcuForm is now the delivery method for three FDA-approved products: Glumetza for diabetes, Proquin for urinary tract infections, and Gralise. For the latter, Depomed is currently in discussions with Abbott Labs about a licensing deal.  

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