Galena launches Zuplenz nausea suppressor with MonoSol's oral film tech

MonoSol's oral film technology used to deliver an accurate dose of Galena's Zuplanz--Courtesy of Galena

Galena Biopharma ($GALE), long teamed up with MonoSol Rx for its oral film-based drug delivery platform, has launched its nausea suppressor Zuplenz in the U.S. for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Galena picked up the license to Zuplenz, a formulation of the drug ondansetron, from MonoSol last July.

The film, which employs MonoSol's PharmFilm technology to accurately dose medications in a postage-stamp-sized strip that dissolves in the mouth. For chemotherapy patients in particular who have uncontrollable bouts of nausea and vomiting, the delivery method ensures that the dose is not lost. It dissolves in about 10 seconds in the mouth, MonoSol says, with no water and little oral irritation.

"Ondansetron is the gold-standard treatment option for patients suffering from nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and surgical procedures," Galena CEO Mark Schwartz said in a statement. "We believe the unique and innovative product attributes of Zuplenz oral soluble film will be a valuable treatment option for patients and physicians to relieve the debilitating side-effects associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy."

The FDA approved Zuplenz all the way back in 2010 in adult and pediatric patients, and Galena in 2014 paid MonoSol $5 milion in cash and stock with undisclosed milestones.

"MonoSol Rx has established our proprietary PharmFilm technology in multiple approved and pipeline products, including Zuplenz and Suboxone," MonoSol CEO Mark Schobel said. Suboxone is MonoSol's opioid addiction sublingual film. "We believe Galena's established, oncology focused commercial team understands the advantages of our PharmFilm technology and can successfully commercialize Zuplenz in all three indications."

Galena found itself in turbulent waters around this time last year as its CEO "left" unexpectedly with no severance pay. The company is looking to Zuplenz to ramp up its sales in the aftermath.

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