VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - December 01, 2016) - Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX VENTURE: AQS) (OTCQB: AQSZF) ("Aequus" or the "Company"), a specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on developing, advancing and promoting differentiated products, announced today that it has successfully obtained provincial formulary coverage from Alberta Health and Manitoba Health for Vistitan™ (bimatoprost 0.03% w/v, ophthalmic solution). Alberta Health have additionally listed Vistitan™ as interchangeable to Lumigan RC® for the purposes of its formulary coverage, giving Aequus rapid access to an existing market in Alberta. According to IMS data, Lumigan RC® sold over CND$5M in Alberta and Manitoba combined in 2015.
Vistitan™ is approved for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. At the time of Aequus' launch of this product in April 2016, bimatoprost was only commercially available in a 0.01% concentration in Canada for this indication.
"We continue to work diligently to expand access to Vistitan™ across Canada," said Ian Ball, Chief Commercial Officer of Aequus, adding, "this product is a valuable addition to the treatment line-up and we are proud to be able to offer it to patients and Canadian payor groups at a reduced cost relative to other bimatoprost products currently available."
As previously announced, Vistitan™ is currently listed among 90% of private payor groups and as a benefit under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program.
Bimatoprost is a synthetic prostamide analogue and is structurally related to prostaglandin F2α. Its mechanism of action resembles that of prostaglandin F2α, a naturally occurring substance. Vistitan™, which was approved by Health Canada in 2014, is currently the only commercially available version of 0.03% bimatoprost ophthalmic solution indicated for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure in patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
Please refer to the product monograph for more details.
Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX VENTURE: AQS) (OTCQB: AQSZF) is a growing specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing high quality, differentiated products. Aequus' development stage pipeline includes several products in neurology and psychiatry with a goal of addressing the need for improved medication adherence through enhanced delivery systems. Aequus intends to commercialize its internal programs in Canada alongside its current portfolio of marketed established medicines and will look to form strategic partnerships that would maximize the reach of its product candidates worldwide. Aequus plans to build on its Canadian commercial platform through the launch of additional products that are either created internally or brought in through an acquisition or license; remaining focused on highly specialized therapeutic areas. For further information, please visit www.aequuspharma.ca.
This release contains forward-looking statements or forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities legislation that may not be based on historical fact, including, without limitation, statements containing the words "believe", "may", "plan", "will", "estimate", "continue", "anticipate", "intend", "expect", "potential" and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based on estimates and assumptions made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as the factors we believe are appropriate. Forward-looking statements in this release include but are not limited to statements relating to: access to markets in Alberta as a result of Alberta Health's listing of Vistitan™ as interchangeable to Lumigan RC®; access to markets in Manitoba as a result of the Manitoba listing; the expected impact of Vistitan™ expansion across Canada on Aequus and its revenues; and the Company's intention to commercialize its internal programs in Canada, form strategic partnerships and build its Canadian commercial platform. Such statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties and are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Aequus, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In making the forward looking statements included in this release, the Company has made various material assumptions, including, but not limited to general business and economic conditions, the ability of Aequus to integrate Vistitan™ into its existing pipeline and sales infrastructure, Aequus' assumptions regarding the sales of Vistitan™ being accurate, and the demand for Aequus and the expenses associated with Aequus' business continuing as expected by Aequus. In evaluating forward-looking statements, current and prospective shareholders should specifically consider various factors set out herein and under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated April 29, 2016, a copy of which is available on Aequus' profile on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com, and as otherwise disclosed from time to time on Aequus' SEDAR profile. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties, or a risk that is not currently known to us materialize, or should assumptions underlying those forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release and we do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently uncertain. Accordingly, investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
"Vistitan™" is a trademark owned or used under license by Sandoz Canada Inc.
"Lumigan RC®" is a registered trademark owned by Allergan Inc.