AcelRx Gains on Dsuvia Study Results

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACRX) rose Monday on the results of research into its pain medication.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, earlier during the month, announced an investigator-initiated study to assess the perioperative use of Dsuvia (sufentanil sublingual tablet) for same-day surgical procedures in patients on buprenorphine therapy for opioid-use disorder or chronic pain management.

The principal investigator, Dr. Naum Shaparin, is the Interim Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Program at Montefiore Medical Center and Professor of Anesthesiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Dsuvia for perioperative management of surgical pain in patients on buprenorphine treatment.

Data from a total of 30 patients were evaluated for endpoints which include overall perioperative opioid use, length of post-anesthesia care unit recovery time, outpatient prescription opioid use over the first 24 hours after discharge home, and adverse events.

Data from these patients will be compared to historical matched control patients on buprenorphine treated with standard IV opioids in the perioperative setting.

"Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, but it binds with extremely high affinity to the mu-opioid receptor. When patients on buprenorphine require a surgical procedure, they need the analgesic efficacy of a full opioid agonist, but the opioids currently in use have a lower receptor binding affinity and cannot displace the partial agonist off the receptor, thereby limiting their effect," said Dr. Shaparin.

ACRX shares pulled ahead 12 cents, or 9.8%, to $1.35.