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Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. () recently gave an update on its next generation pseudoephedrine hydrochloride tablet, Nexafed, which was launched in Dec 2012.

Nexafed (30mg) is an immediate-release, next generation pseudoephedrine tablet which combines effective nasal congestion relief with IMPEDE technology that disrupts the conversion of pseudoephedrine into the dangerous drug, methamphetamine. The drug also meets a key human clinical efficacy standard of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As per the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, roughly 439,000 Americans (≥ 12 years) had abused methamphetamine.

The company reported that Nexafed is currently being sold in more than 2,600 U.S. pharmacies and has become the standard of care in many of these pharmacies. Repeat orders from pharmacies have also increased.

As on Aug 2013, Nexafed was distributed in about 1,400 U.S. pharmacies, of which about 66.7% were repeat customers. During the quarter and six months ended Jun 30, 2013, Acura shipped approximately $25,000 and $58,000 worth of Nexafed, respectively.

We are encouraged by the expansion in the distribution network of Nexafed. Nexafed is Acura’s second product to enter the market. Acura has initiated research on Impede 2.0, the next generation IMPEDE Technology, to upgrade Nexafed.

Acura has produced pilot scale quantities of Nexafed with IMPEDE 2.0 technology for further meth-resistance testing and pharmacokinetic testing. After successful testing, Acura will commercially introduce Nexafed using IMPEDE 2.0 technology.

Acura currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other companies that look well-positioned include Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (QCOR - Analyst Report), Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) and Actavis, Inc. (ACT - Analyst Report). While Questcor is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, Actavis and Actelion are Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stocks.

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