After becoming the first company to obtain FDA approval for a 3D printed medication last August, Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Company, Inc. has announced the completion of a $35 million preferred stock financing, giving the 3D printed drug pioneer a big chunk of change with which to commercialize their 3D printed tablets and to develop even more.
Aprecia made headlines last year when the company first announced and then obtained FDA approval for a 3D printed drug called SPRITAM® (levetiracetam). Having licensed ZCorp’s binder jetting technology, responsible for many of the full-color prints that populate the 3D printing world, the company was able to produce this anti-epilepsy tablet as an instantly-dissolved, high dose medication. Aprecia calls the technology ZipDose and it allows those who have trouble swallowing, like the elderly, to obtain 1,000 mg of levetiracetam in a single dose.
The financing, led by Deerfield Management Company LP and with participation from JW Asset Management, has allowed Aprecia to convert its outstanding debt from the Great American Insurance Company and Scion Companies into preferred stock and sees Deerfield partner Jonathan S. Leff join Aprecia’s Board of Directors. The funding will give Aprecia the ability to commercialize their SPRITAM® brand of levetiracetam through an exclusive sales and marketing partnership with inVentiv Health, with plans to launch in the first half of 2016. On top of that, Aprecia plans to expand its ZipDose technology to other medications.
Don Wetherhold, CEO of Aprecia, says of the funding round, “The capital supplied by these prestigious firms, in conjunction with inVentiv Health’s continuous commitment to commercialization of Aprecia products, provides the resources required for success as we prepare to transition to a commercial enterprise during the next three to six months.”
This is obviously big news for the world of 3D printed medicine. So far, ZipDose technology has yet to show off the ability to 3D print patient-tailored pill dosages on-demand, a predicted use of 3D printing technology for the pharmaceutical field, but, as the first FDA-approved maker of 3D printed drugs, Aprecia has a leg up on what could, some day down the road, be a key technology for pill production. If and when the company does go public, they would certainly be a stock to keep one’s eye on.