VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 16, 2020 -- Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) (“Aequus” or the “Company”), a specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on developing, advancing and promoting differentiated products, is pleased to announce that a major health authority in British Columbia recently announced a change to their dispensing formulary for tacrolimus, an immunosuppressive drug that is used to prevent organ rejection after transplantation. As of November 4, 2019, the health authority mandated that Sandoz tacrolimus, co-promoted by Aequus, is to be dispensed for all new patients requiring tacrolimus for prophylaxis of organ rejection in the province of British Columbia. Aequus receives a revenue share of the product from its partner, Sandoz.
“Aequus and Sandoz have worked tirelessly over the past few years to introduce Sandoz tacrolimus to patients in British Columbia,” said Ian Ball, CCO of Aequus. “This recent announcement marks a watershed moment for the province, providing long-term cost savings to both the province and patients that will require this treatment for the rest of their lives.”
From 2011-2018, British Columbia conducted 2,750 heart, kidney, or liver transplantations – with 440 transplantations performed in 2018 alone. As of 2018, 4,870 people living with an organ transplantation resided in British Columbia, representing roughly 20% of transplant patients in Canada.
“This is great news from our home province,” said Doug Janzen, CEO of Aequus. “Our commercial and market access teams have worked hard to provide the province with an alternative to the branded product, Prograf, which currently sells roughly $20M in product annually in British Columbia. This access will provide an added boost to our already impressive performance of growing Sandoz tacrolimus revenues across Canada and is the second piece of positive reimbursement news that Aequus has had regarding its growing product portfolio so far in 2020.”
Tacrolimus immediate release is an immunosuppressant used for the treatment and prevention of acute rejection following organ transplantation. Tacrolimus is part of a patient’s immunosuppressive therapy prescribed chronically in their lifelong management to prevent graft rejection. Tacrolimus is recommended as a first line calcineurin inhibitor treatment by the BC Transplant consensus guidelines and is prescribed in >90% of new kidney transplant patients (OPTN/SRTR 2014). Due to the chronic risk of graft rejection, tacrolimus has been classified as a Critical Dose Drug with a Narrow Therapeutic Index. In Canada, tacrolimus is available in an immediate release form, marketed under the brand name of Prograf® in Canada, and in an extended-release form, marketed under the brand name of Advagraf® in Canada. Aequus is promoting the first to market and only currently available generic version of Prograf®.
ABOUT AEQUUS PHARMACEUTICALS INC.
Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V:AQS) (OTCQB:AQSZF) is a growing specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing high quality, differentiated products. Aequus has grown its pipeline to include several commercial products in ophthalmology and transplant, and a development stage pipeline in neurology. For further information, please visit www.aequuspharma.ca
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This release may contain forward-looking statements or forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities legislation that may not be based on historical fact, including, without limitation, statements containing the words “believe”, “may”, “plan”, “will”, “estimate”, “continue”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “potential” and similar expressions. Forward- looking statements are necessarily based on estimates and assumptions made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as the factors we believe are appropriate. Forward-looking statements include but are not limited to statements relating to: the implementation of our business model and strategic plans; revenue growth trends into the future; expected timing for product launches; the Company’s expected revenues; the regulatory approval of its products; the Company’s ability to attract international partners; and ongoing discussions with and the Company’s ability to secure potential partners to further grow our product portfolio. Such statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties and are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Aequus, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In making the forward looking statements included in this release, the Company has made various material assumptions, including, but not limited to: obtaining regulatory approvals; general business and economic conditions; the Company’s ability to successfully out license or sell its current products and in-license and develop new products; the assumption that the Company’s current good relationships with third parties will be maintained; the availability of financing on reasonable terms; the Company’s ability to attract and retain skilled staff; market competition; the products and technology offered by the Company’s competitors; the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Company’s operations; and the Company’s ability to protect patents and proprietary rights. In evaluating forward looking statements, current and prospective shareholders should specifically consider various factors set out herein and under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form dated April 30, 2021, a copy of which is available on Aequus’ profile on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com, and as otherwise disclosed from time to time on Aequus’ SEDAR profile. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties, or a risk that is not currently known to us materialize, or should assumptions underlying those forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release and we do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently uncertain. Accordingly, investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward looking statements.