Unlike Zohydro from ZNGX, Purdue Pharma’s drug is more difficult to crush — making it harder for addicts to abuse the drug. Both drugs are powerful painkillers designed to treat chronic lower back pain. The potential for Zohydro abuse prompted the FDA to suggest that the drug could have a short stay on the market even when it was approved for sale, Bloomberg notes.
In fact, earlier this month, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D) of New York and Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius arguing that the FDA approval of Zohydro should be revoked.
If Purdue Pharma’s drug does win approval, it could spell the end of the ZNGX drug. When the regulator approved Zohydro — a single-ingredient hydrocodone drug — last year, its director of pain drugs said that the agency would consider pulling the ZNGX drug from the market if “an abuse-deterrent formulation that remains safe and effective for patients” was developed.
The Purdue drug has successfully completed a final-stage trial. ZNGX is rushing to create a version of Zohydro that is more resistant to tampering, but that won’t be ready for about two years.
Zohydro’s planned release this month has drawn concern from medical experts who fear that the highly-addictive drug will be rapidly abused.
ZGNX stock closed at $4.54 a share on Tuesday. Over the past year, ZGNX stock has more than doubled in value.