Avella Specialty Pharmacy to Distribute Soltamox

Avella Specialty Pharmacy, under an agreement with DARA BioSciences, Inc, will be a distribution source for Soltamox, the first and only FDA-approved oral liquid formulation of tamoxifen citrate for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

Avella Specialty Pharmacy, under an agreement with DARA BioSciences, Inc, will be a distribution source for Soltamox (tamoxifen citrate, oral solution) in the United States. Soltamox is the first and only FDA-approved oral liquid formulation of tamoxifen citrate, a first-line therapy for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36 and every 3 minutes, 1 woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Right now there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors. The ability to adequately participate in an effective drug regimen can determine whether or not a patient may be one of those survivors, and those who have a problem swallowing pills may be at greater risk.

Tamoxifen is a lifesaving drug used to prevent and treat breast cancer. Staying on prescribed tamoxifen therapy over the long term is critical for people with breast cancer; otherwise, it could affect the outcome of their treatment. Until now, tamoxifen has been available only in pill form.

"A significant number of breast cancer patients may have difficulty swallowing pills. This may lead some patients to miss doses or discontinue therapy altogether," stated David J. Drutz, MD, DARA's chief executive officer. "The availability of liquid tamoxifen may offer women with breast cancer a convenient, comfortable alternative."

Problems with swallowing may not always be obvious and may include coughing during or after eating. DARA is making available a clinically validated, simple 10-question survey that anyone can take to assess whether he or she has a swallowing difficulty. Called "EAT-10," the survey is available at www.swallowingdifficulties.org.

Dr. Drutz said, "The partnership with Avella Specialty Pharmacy to distribute Soltamox in the United States leverages DARA's existing commercial infrastructure, provides DARA with a well-respected and established commercial partner, and presents an opportunity to make Soltamox and potential future cancer-support products readily available for patients in this important market."

Avella is a specialty pharmacy with retail locations in eight states as well as a national distribution facility. Originally established in 1996, Avella provides individualized care and support to patients and providers. The company is also noted for its ability to assist patients in getting access to their medications, including financial assistance.

"At Avella, we are committed to helping patients and are responsible for getting the medications to the patient. Making access easier for patients helps them to stay on their therapy, which leads to better health outcomes," said Avella President, Keith Cook. "Since our inception, we've taken great pride in the fact that all of our team members do what it takes to regularly provide the highest level of fully-integrated pharmacy services to our patients and their providers. This goal is reinforced in our company mission to optimize patient health through a relentless devotion to clinical excellence."

SOURCE: Nasdaq