Endo finds pain relief in Penwest's drug delivery tech

Endo Pharmaceuticals hates pain so much that one of its lead products, Opana ER, gives patients relief from moderate-to-severe pain around the clock. But, as the "ER" part of its name indicates, the drug works well not only due to the pain-relief technology, but because of the engine that drives it for extended periods of time. In fact, a great deal depends on the rate of release.

The drug-delivery engine that drives Opana ER is Timerx from Penwest Pharmaceutical. Endo liked Timerx drug delivery technology so much, they bought Penwest for $5 per share in cash, a total of about $168 million.

InPharmaTechnologist reports that the deal allows Endo to pocket more revenue from Opana ER before generics get into the act after January 2013 and to apply Timerx to other pain-management drugs.

The Timerx technology is based on two polysaccharides--xanthan and locust bean gum--that form a tight gel with a slowly eroding core. Penwest says the technology can speed development of timed-release pharmaceutical products.

"The Board of Directors and I concluded that this transaction is in the best interests of Penwest and its shareholders and is an excellent way to maximize the value of Penwest's most strategic asset, Opana ER," Penwest President and CEO Jennifer Good said in a statement.

- check out the Penwest release
- read the analysis from InPharmaTechnologist
- and see an illustration of Timerx in action