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AcelRx to Present Top-Line Data from Phase 3 Study of Sufentanil NanoTab® PCA System vs. IV PCA Morphine at the 66th Annual PostGraduate Assembly in Anesthesiology held in New York City

- First medical meeting presentation of top-line Phase 3 data demonstrating NanoTab System met both non-inferiority and superiority comparisons to IV PCA with morphine in open-label study -

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACRX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain, today announced that top-line data from its previously announced open-label, active-comparator study of its lead product candidate, the Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System, will be featured in poster presentations to be held at the 66th annual New York State Society of Anesthesiologists PostGraduate Assembly meeting in New York City to be held December 14-18, 2012.  The poster is authored by Dr. Timothy Melson of Helen Keller Hospital, Sheffield, AL, Dr. Alparslan Turan of The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, and Dr. Pamela Palmer of University of California, San Francisco, and Chief Medical Officer of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals and will be presented on Sunday, December 16, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Top-line results of the Phase 3 clinical trial demonstrate that the Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System was non-inferior (p<0.001) to intravenous (IV) patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with morphine for the primary endpoint of Patient Global Assessment (PGA) of method of pain control over the 48-hour study period as determined by the combined percentage of patients with PGA ratings of "good" or "excellent" (78.5% vs. 66.1% respectively).  The assessment of non-inferiority is based on a lower limit of -15% for the 95% confidence interval (CI) around the difference between these percentages.  Because the 95% CI was +3.2% to +21.6% for the 48-hour PGA, a statistical analysis for superiority could be performed, which demonstrated that for this study, the NanoTab System was statistically superior to IV PCA morphine for the PGA endpoint (p=0.009).  This statistically superior PGA was also seen at the 24 hour and 72 hour time points. Additionally, the percentage of patients rating the NanoTab System as "Excellent" was higher than those rating IV PCA morphine as excellent (42.9% vs. 30.6%, p=0.016).  Similar percentages of NanoTab System-treated and IV PCA morphine-treated patients dropped out of the study prematurely due to lack of efficacy (7.3% vs. 8.3% respectively) or due to an adverse event (7.9% vs. 11.1% respectively).

Nurses setting up the different treatments for use and managing patients in the study reported greater Overall Satisfaction (3.93 vs. 3.32 out of 5, p<0.001) and Overall Ease of Care (4.26 vs. 3.82, p=0.018) with the Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System compared to IV PCA morphine.  Likewise, patients in the study reported they had greater Overall Satisfaction (4.15 vs. 3.83 out of 5, p=0.003) and greater Overall Ease of Care (4.45 vs. 4.07, p<0.001) with the NanoTab System compared to IV PCA morphine.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to present this important data at the prestigious PostGraduate Assembly meeting," commented Pamela Palmer MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer and AcelRx co-founder.  "These first data from our Phase 3 program for the Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System demonstrate superiority over IV PCA morphine for both primary and secondary endpoints.  We look forward to the completion of our two remaining Phase 3 studies, which we expect to deliver in the first quarter of 2013," added Dr. Palmer.

About Post-Operative Pain
Acute pain management in the hospital, in particular post-operative analgesia, remains a challenge for healthcare providers with up to 75% of patients reporting inadequate pain relief following surgery.  Inadequate treatment of post-surgical pain can lead to decreased mobility, which increases the risks for serious medical complications, including deep vein thrombosis and partial lung collapse, potentially resulting in extended hospital stays.  More than 30 million surgical procedures per year result in moderate to severe pain in the US and EU, with an additional 27 million procedures in countries with moderate to high per capita healthcare expenditures.  The US, 5 main EU countries and Japan represented $5.1 billion of acute pain treatment product sales in 2008.  Currently patients experiencing post-operative pain in the hospital may have IV PCA treatment, typically utilizing morphine or hydromorphone.  However, there are deficiencies associated with the current use of IV PCA that can negatively impact patient safety, well-being and recovery.  These include drug-related side effects associated with morphine or hydromorphone, complications associated with IV delivery, and medication delivery errors typically associated with misprogramming of the complex IV PCA pumps.

About ARX-01, the Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System
ARX-01 is an investigational pre-programmed, non-invasive, handheld system that allows postoperative patients to self-dose with sublingual Sufentanil NanoTabs to manage their postoperative pain.  The ARX-01 System is designed to address the limitations of IV PCA by offering:

  • A high therapeutic index opioid: ARX-01 uses the high therapeutic index opioid sufentanil; it offers post-operative pain patients the potential for effective patient-controlled analgesia with a low incidence of drug-related side effects.
  • A non-invasive route of delivery: The sublingual route of delivery used in ARX-01 provides rapid onset of analgesia, therefore eliminating the risk of IV-related analgesic gaps and IV complications, such as catheter-related infections. In addition, because patients are not tethered to IV tubing and a pump for pain relief, ARX-01 allows for ease of patient mobility.
  • A simple, pre-programmed PCA solution: ARX-01 is a pre-programmed PCA System designed to eliminate the risk of pump programming errors.

About AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain. AcelRx's lead product candidate, the ARX-01 Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development, is designed to solve the problems associated with post-operative intravenous patient-controlled analgesia which has been shown to cause harm to patients following surgery because of the side effects of morphine, the invasive IV the complexity of infusion pumps.  AcelRx has two additional product candidates which have completed Phase 2 clinical development: ARX-02 for the treatment of cancer breakthrough pain, and ARX-03 for mild sedation, anxiety reduction and pain relief for patients undergoing painful procedures in a physician's office. AcelRx has initiated a Phase 2 study for a fourth product candidate, ARX-04, a sufentanil formulation for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain, funded through a grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.  For additional information about AcelRx's clinical programs please visit

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements related to the process and timing of anticipated future clinical development of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' product candidates, including the release ARX-01 top-line clinical trial data, the release and anticipated timing of additional ARX-01 clinical trial data, the potential filing of an NDA for the ARX-01 and the timing thereof, therapeutic and commercial potential of ARX-01 and the anticipated timing and therapeutic and commercial potential of other AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' product candidates.  These forward-looking statements are based on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks related to: the ability of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals to successfully complete the clinical trials for ARX-01, that fact that subsequent analyses of the full data set may lead to different (including less favorable) interpretations of the results than the analyses conducted to date or may identify important implications of the study that are not reflected in these statements, or be subject to differing interpretations by the regulatory agencies; the success, cost and timing of all product development activities and clinical trials; the uncertain clinical development process, including the risk that clinical trials, have an effective design, enroll a sufficient number of patients, or be completed on schedule, if at all; any delays or inability to obtain regulatory approval of its product candidates in the United States and Europe; its ability to obtain adequate clinical supplies of the drug and device components of its product candidates; its ability to attract funding partners or collaborators with development, regulatory and commercialization expertise; its ability to obtain sufficient financing to complete development and registration of its product candidates in the United States and Europe; its ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals of its product candidates in the United States and Europe; the market potential for its product candidates; the accuracy of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' estimates regarding expenses, capital requirements and needs for financing; and other risks detailed in the "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including its Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on December 7, 2012.  AcelRx Pharmaceuticals undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events or changes in its expectations.

SOURCE AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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