In September 2018, Deerfield committed $20 million to ARS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ARS is developing an intranasal epinephrine product. Currently, patients at risk of anaphylaxis due to food allergies, insect bites or other allergens carry epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly referred to as “EpiPens” based on the brand name of the leading product in the market. ARS is developing an alternative to the epinephrine auto-injector that uses proprietary formulation technology to deliver epinephrine via a nasal spray rather than injection.
In initial pharmacokinetic studies in healthy volunteers, ARS has shown that its nasal spray provides epinephrine blood levels that are similar to that achieved with epinephrine injection. The financing will be used to fund product development, and manufacturing scale-up as well as clinical development designed to support a filing for marketing authorization in the United States.