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Aequus Pharmaceuticals Announces Development Agreement for Transdermal Aripiprazole with Corium International


VANCOUVER, Canada, May 27, 2014 — Aequus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a life sciences company specializing in new transdermal formulations of existing and approved drugs, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Corium International, Inc., a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacture and commercialization of specialty transdermal products, to collaborate on the evaluation and development of a transdermal aripiprazole product candidate formulated by Aequus.  

The collaboration will initially be centered on feasibility studies and preclinical development activities.  Following this, the parties anticipate that they will advance the product through clinical trials, and jointly participate in the commercialization of the product. “We are excited to have entered into this relationship with Corium, a world-class transdermal development and manufacturing company, to advance our lead program, which we expect to enter clinical trials in 2014,” said Doug Janzen, President and CEO, Aequus Pharmaceuticals. “We are pleased to be working with Corium on this exciting product opportunity, and we look forward to the potential co-development of additional transdermal products with Corium in the near future, particularly in the central nervous system therapeutic area.”

Aequus’ lead program is a transdermal application of aripiprazole. Currently available as a once a day oral tablet under the brand name Abilify® and as a recently launched 30-day injectable under the brand name Abilify Maintena®, aripiprazole is used to treat CNS disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. It is one of the top three anti-psychotic agents worldwide, with 2013 sales exceeding $6bn. Despite the benefits aripiprazole provides, up to one third of patients prescribed oral aripiprazole have been shown to have poor adherence to their daily dosing schedule. Lack of adherence is a major concern, particularly in the treatment of schizophrenia, where patients could develop worsening of symptoms, relapse, suicidal attempts, repeated emergency room visits or re-hospitalization, and poor functional outcomes. Aequus is pursuing a new long-acting, transdermal alternative of aripiprazole to address this serious issue. Further, primary research conducted by Aequus involving 51 US psychiatrists highlighted the advantage of a long-acting transdermal product over other long-acting dosage forms such as intra-muscular injections due to the reversibility of a transdermal patch and the avoidance of painful injections.


Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a Vancouver-based company, focusing on enhancing delivery methods for approved drugs and select consumer products that are limited by non-compliance, high frequency dosing, first-pass metabolism side-effects, painful injections, or where the therapeutic profile can be improved by making a long acting alternative available. NorthView Ventures acted on behalf of Aequus in negotiating the agreement with Corium.

Abilify® is a registered trademark of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Abilify Maintena® is a registered trademark of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd

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