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Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (PCRX - Analyst Report) pain management drug Exparel is currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia. The drug was approved by the FDA in the final quarter of 2011 and launched in Apr 2012. A dedicated sales force commercializes Exparel, driving its sales.

Exparel has generated $25.1 million in the first year of launch. In the second quarter of 2013, net Exparel revenues were $15.2 million, up sequentially by 46.2%. Pacira has joined forces with CrossLink Bioscience for the promotion of Exparel for postsurgical pain management.

Under the five-year agreement, CrossLink will act as a local agent and a lead partner in the collaboration with additional distributors in selected markets across the U.S. to promote and sell Exparel. CrossLink will be paid on the basis of performance in designated hospitals.

A pilot program involving distributors from several orthopedic companies with exclusive territory designations was held in Apr 2013. This collaboration is an extension of that pilot program.

Currently, Exparel is in two phase III nerve block studies – one where it is studied as a femoral nerve block for patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty while the other study evaluates the safety and efficacy of Exparel in intercostal nerve block for posterolateral thoracotomy. In Aug 2013, Pacira announced a new study for the use of Exparel infiltrated into the transversus abdominis plane for postsurgical analgesia in abdominal hernia repair.

Pacira currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Jazz Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (JAZZ - Analyst Report), Roche Holding (RHHBY - Analyst Report) and Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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