Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACUR) and KemPharm, Inc. (NASDAQ:KMPH) announced that they have entered into a License Agreement (the “Agreement”) whereby Acura will provide its proprietary Aversion® Technology toKemPharm to use with its current and in-development immediate release (IR) opioid product candidates. Aversion® Technology is a patented composition of commonly used active and inactive pharmaceutical ingredients providing abuse deterrent features (ADF) and benefits for orally administered pharmaceutical drug products.

The Agreement provided for an upfront cash payment of $3.5 million to Acura at execution and grants KemPharm development and commercialization rights for up to three IR product candidates containing two of KemPharm’s opioid prodrugs. Additional payments are provided in the Agreement should KemPharm exercise its option to use Acura’s Aversion® Technology with more than the three products. Acura is eligible to receive a royalty at a low single-digit rate based on commercial sales by KemPharm of all products developed under the Agreement. KemPharm will solely own the intellectual property resulting from any new product development.

“Acura’s Aversion® Technology, an FDA-approved aversive ADF approach without a food effect, and KP201/IR, our priority lead product candidate, together offer significant potential benefits,” stated Travis C. Mickle, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of KemPharm. “We believe today’s Agreement will help us bridge the regulatory approval process between current abuse deterrence products and the ability of our new molecular entity prodrugs to demonstrate their ADF properties.”

“Based on the strength of our existing data, as well as what we view to be favorable developmental, regulatory and market conditions, we expect this agreement with Acura to allow us to bring a unique prodrug product with the addition of demonstrated aversive barriers to the market in the near term,” Mickle continued. “Access to this technology was contemplated in the guidance for timelines we recently provided for KP201/IR.”

“We are excited to partner with KemPharm who, like us, is committed to address the problem of prescription opioid abuse,” saidBob Jones, President and CEO of Acura. “We believe KemPharm shares our objective of aggressively developing and bringing to the healthcare community new abuse deterrent IR opioid analgesics to treat pain.”(Original Source)

Shares of Acura closed yesterday at $1.18, down $0.07 or -5.60%. ACUR has a 1-year high of $3.52 and a 1-year low of $1.16. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.61 and its 200-day moving average is $2.17.

On the ratings front, FBR analyst Vernon Bernardino reiterated a Buy rating on ACUR, with a price target of $10, in a report issued on August 10. The current price target implies an upside of 747.5% from current levels. According to, Bernardino has a yearly average return of -15.4%, a 26% success rate, and is ranked #4069 out of 4180 analysts.

Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. operates as a pharmaceutical company, which engages in the research, development and commercialization of products intended to address medication abuse and misuse, utilizing its proprietary aversion and impede technologies. It operates its business through the research, development and manufacture of innovative abuse deterrent, orally administered pharmaceutical products.