Opiant Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company developing medicines for addictions and drug overdose, announced that it has signed an agreement with Sanofi to manufacture Opiant’s investigational agent OPNTOO4 (drinabant) for the treatment of Acute Cannabinoid Overdose (ACO).
Opiant intends to reformulate drinabant, a high affinity, selective cannabinoid receptor antagonist, for parenteral administration in an emergency department setting. Opiant licensed exclusive global rights from Sanofi for the development and commercialization of drinabant for the emergency treatment of ACO. The manufacturing will be performed in Sanofi Újpest site (Hungary) acting as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO).
“This agreement marks an important milestone in our partnership with Sanofi and the OPNT004 development program and supply chain,”
said Roger Crystal, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Opiant.
“This further enhances our position as a leader in developing medicines for the treatment of addiction and drug overdose.”
ACO is most often linked to the ingestion of both “edibles”, products containing large quantities of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that are often sold as brownies, cookies, and candies, and synthetic cannabinoids (sold with names such as “K2” and “Spice”) that are more potent, easily obtained, and less expensive than cannabis containing products. It is estimated that ACO resulted in more than one million emergency department visits in the United States in 2016, and is expected to rise with increasing legalization of cannabis in North America.
Features of ACO can include psychosis, hallucinations, nausea and vomiting, as well as feelings of paranoia, agitation, panic and anxiety. These symptoms often require emergency medical attention and can take from hours to days to fully resolve. There are currently no approved treatments for ACO.