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KemPharm, Inc. Announces Positive Results from Phase 1 Trial of KP201 for Pain

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa, May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- KemPharm, Inc. today announced positive results from a Phase 1 clinical trial of its most advanced opioid-based drug candidate, KP201, a novel hydrocodone prodrug for treating pain.  KP201 is a new chemical entity (NCE) composed of hydrocodone chemically bound to a ligand.

The data confirmed that KP201 is cleaved in man as predicted, releasing the active pharmaceutical compound hydrocodone into the bloodstream at amounts equivalent to the reference listed drug (RLD), Norco®.  Importantly, intact KP201 could not be detected in systemic circulation, indicating that minimal additional studies are warranted to determine the impact of KP201 exposure in the body.

"Our findings from this first clinical trial of KP201 are as good as we could have hoped," stated Sven Guenther, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at KemPharm. "The human pharmacokinetic profile of KP201 indicates that the prodrug releases hydrocodone efficiently and is bioequivalent to the comparator drug, supporting a 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway for KP201 in combination with acetaminophen. KP201 has unique physiochemical and pharmacological attributes that deliver additional patient benefits, including reduced potential for abuse as well as reduction or elimination of opioid-induced constipation."

The Phase 1 study was a single dose, three-treatment, three-period, six-sequence, cross-over PK study in which twenty-four healthy volunteers received oral doses of 5 mg KP201, 10 mg KP201, or 10/325 mg tablet of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen (Norco®, RLD).  The objectives of the study included evaluation of the serum concentrations of hydrocodone, certain metabolites, and intact KP201, as well as safety and tolerability.

"We believe KP201 has the potential to assume sizeable market share, given the opportunity for extended market exclusivity in acute and chronic pain, as well as the potential to minimize opioid-induced constipation," commented Travis Mickle, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at KemPharm.  "We expect to be in a position to file an NDA for KP201 within the next 18 to 24 months, allowing us to position the product in full compliance with the FDA's recent decision to limit acetaminophen in prescription products."

About KP201

KP201, KemPharm's lead clinical prodrug candidate for the treatment of pain, is composed of hydrocodone attached to a ligand.  Preclinical studies suggest that KP201 may exhibit unique abuse deterrent properties and lower incidence of constipation based on its physicochemical and pharmacological characteristics as compared with currently approved narcotic analgesics.  KemPharm believes it may be able to use the 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway for a more rapid development timeline.

About KemPharm, Inc.

KemPharm, Inc. is focused on the discovery and development of new chemical entities (NCEs) to treat serious medical conditions through its proprietary and broadly applicable LAT prodrug approach.  KemPharm utilizes its LAT prodrug technology to generate improved versions of FDA approved drugs.  The Company's business strategy includes seeking strategic development partners following rapid clinical proof of concept demonstration in a Phase 1 trial.  KemPharm also plans to explore discovery stage alliances with industry leaders, leveraging its prodrug know-how and LAT technology.  KemPharm is developing candidates for ADHD, pain, other central nervous system disorders.

Forward Looking Statements and Information

This release contains forward-looking statements which are not based upon historical fact, including, without limitation, "will," "should," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "predict," "believe," "may" and "project." Such statements, including statements relating to developments, progress, timelines, plans of our clinical and preclinical programs, and potential benefits of KemPharm Inc.'s product candidates, involve various assumptions, known and unknown risks, and uncertainties which may cause actual results or events to be materially different and adverse from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements.  Such assumptions, risks and uncertainties may relate to difficulties or delays in discovery, development, testing, and regulatory approval of the company's product candidates, results that are inconsistent with preclinical results, unexpected adverse side effects, or inadequate therapeutic efficacy of the product candidates.  The forward-looking statements in this release speak only as of this date, and KemPharm disclaims any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement to reflect the occurrence of events or circumstances after the date hereof.

KemPharm, Inc.
Kate Holt, Ph.D.

The Ruth Group (on behalf of KemPharm)
Jason Rando/Eric Reiss (media)
(646) 536-7025/7032

Joshua Drumm (investors)
(646) 536-7006

SOURCE KemPharm, Inc.
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