Opiant Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi join forces on cannabinoid overdose

There are currently no approved treatments for acute cannabinoid overdose that is most commonly linked to ‘edibles’

Opiant Pharmaceuticals has signed an agreement with Sanofi to manufacture Opiant’s investigational agent OPNTOO4 (drinabant) for the treatment of Acute Cannabinoid Overdose (ACO). There are currently no approved treatments for ACO.

The addiction and overdose-focused company 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 commercialisation of drinabant for the emergency treatment of ACO.

The manufacturing of the drug will be performed in Sanofi Újpest site in Hungary, acting as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO).

“This agreement marks an important milestone in our partnership with Sanofi and the OPNT004 development program and supply chain,” said Roger Crystal, CEO of Opiant. “This further enhances our position as a leader in developing medicines for the treatment of addiction and drug overdose.”

The manufacturing of the drug will be performed in Sanofi Újpest site in Hungary, acting as CDMO

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 legalisation of cannabis in the US. 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.

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