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*NEWS: Opiod Overdoses Targeted by Joint Agreement

A company that develops treatments for substance abuse announced today a preliminary agreement with a chemical production company to develop and commercialize a new treatment to for opiod overdoses. The financial terms of the partnership have not been disclosed.

BioCorRx, with HQ in Anaheim is partnering with VDM Biochemicals, with HQ in Lake Forest, based on its belief that this treatment will be a viable alternative to naloxone in the market to reverse overdoses.

Currently, naloxone is the only treatment widely available, in various forms and routes of administration, for opioid overdose reversal, according to a press release issued today by BioCorRx.

Unlike naloxone, this opioid antagonist molecule developed by VDM, is 100% purely synthetic, while naloxone relies on natural sources for manufacturing. The potential benefits of a synthetic molecule include a shorter and less costly manufacturing cycle, which could be helpful in the event of any future naloxone shortage, or a shortage of other similar antagonist drugs.

VDM believes that this molecule may have a stronger affinity for opioid receptors than naloxone (approximately three times more), which may result in a “superior” reversal of opioid overdose from fentanyl, the use of which has increased in recent years. Reversing a fentanyl overdose often requires multiple doses of naloxone. The molecule was invented by Dr. Vardan Martirosyan.

VDM believes this molecule may also address other potential issues, including alcohol-use disorder, by reducing cravings. The molecule was also found to alleviate severe blood pressure loss due to septic shock or severe bleeding.

BioCorRx and VDM plan to jointly conduct additional non-clinical studies to further validate the initial research, after a definitive agreement is reached.

“It stands to reason that with the plethora of readily available prescription and illicit opioid drugs on the market, there should be more options available for antagonists other than naloxone,” David Martirosyan, the CEO of VDM said in the release. 

BioCorRx’s core business is centered on the creation of treatment approaches that prevent abuse of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in opioids.

It developed a a non-addictive, medication-assisted treatment program, with two components. The first includes an outpatient implant procedure performed by a licensed physician. The implant delivers naltrexone.

The second component is a one-on-one counseling program specifically tailored for the treatment of alcoholism and other substance abuse addictions for those receiving long-term naltrexone treatment.

The company also has an R&D subsidiary, BioCorRx Pharmaceuticals, which is currently developing injectable and implantable naltrexone products for potential future regulatory approval.

It’s raised $7 million, including a $4.1 million investment from private equity firm Alpine Creek Capital Partners in 2016, according to news reports. It’s now raising money to advance from over-the-counter to the Nasdaq, according to those reports. It was previously known as Fresh Start Private Management, an alcohol treatment and rehab company. 

VDM Biochemicals specializes in the synthesis and distribution of a range of chemicals, analytical reagents and specialty products for life science research.

Its clients include pharma and biotech companies, academic and research institutions, hospitals and government laboratories.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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