Opiant Pharmaceuticals, a company developing treatments for addiction and drug overdoses, announced it has signed an exclusive agreement with Sanofi for the manufacture of the investigational agent OPNTOO4 (drinabant).
The agreement will see Sanofi manufacture the drug candidate at its site in Újpest, Hungary, acting as a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).
Drinabant is a high affinity, selective cannabinoid receptor antagonist, for parenteral administration, investigated as an emergency treatment of acute cannabinoid overdose (ACO).
ACO is most often linked to the ingestion of edible products containing large quantities of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Smokable synthetic cannabinoids, such as ‘K2’ and ‘Spice’, which are more potent, easily obtained, and cheaper than cannabis containing products, are also responsible for ACO.
Features of ACO can include psychosis, hallucinations, nausea and vomiting, as well as feelings of paranoia, agitation, panic and anxiety. There are currently no approved treatments for ACO.
According to Opiant, ACO resulted in more than one million emergency department visits in the US in 2016, with this number expected to rise due to the increasing legalization of cannabis.
Opiant has also developed Narcan, a nasal spray indicated for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose, which was licensed to Adapt Pharmaceuticals, now owned by Emergent BioSolutions.