Zogenix Receives FDA Approval of New Formulation of Zohydro(R) ER

Zohydro ER with BeadTek to be available in the second quarter of 2015

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

Zogenix, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZGNX), a pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new formulation of Zohydro® ER (hydrocodone bitartrate) Extended-Release Capsules, CII, with BeadTek™.

BeadTek is a formulation technology designed to provide abuse-deterrent properties without changing the release properties of hydrocodone when Zohydro ER is used as intended. Concurrently, Zogenix has ongoing Human Abuse Liability studies, which will further characterize the abuse-deterrent properties of the new formulation. Zogenix intends to submit these data in the second half of 2015 to the FDA to support an amended product label, including abuse-deterrent claims consistent with the FDA's current draft Guidance for Industry, Abuse-Deterrent Opioids – Evaluation and Labeling.

BeadTek incorporates well-known pharmaceutical excipients that immediately form a viscous gel when crushed and dissolved in liquids or solvents. Zohydro ER is the only long-acting hydrocodone product administered every 12 hours, and the new formulation maintains the same efficacy and pharmacokinetic profile of the original formulation. Transition to Zohydro ER with BeadTek is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2015 for all prescribed strengths ranging from 10 mg to 50 mg, without disruption to patients currently on therapy.

"While we are very pleased with the outcomes from our safe use initiatives, implemented with the introduction of Zohydro ER last year, we believe moving forward with this formulation change at the earliest possible time is a responsible action for us to take," said Stephen Farr, Ph.D., president of Zogenix. "We are also committed to completing the ongoing studies to seek additional changes in the product label relating to abuse-deterrent properties by the end of the year."

Zohydro ER is indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. Zohydro ER does not contain acetaminophen, unlike many immediate-release hydrocodone products, reducing the risk for potential liver toxicity due to overexposure of acetaminophen.

About BeadTek™

BeadTek was developed using safe, well-known excipients and proprietary manufacturing processes to create an inactive ingredient that immediately forms a viscous gel when crushed and dissolved in liquids or solvents. All of the beads within the medication capsule are indistinguishable in color, shape, density and size, and do not impact the drug release profile when taken as directed.


Zohydro® ER is an extended-release opioid agonist indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.


Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse with opioids, even at recommended doses, and because of the greater risks of overdose and death with extended-release opioid formulations, reserve Zohydro ER for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain.

Zohydro ER is not indicated as an as‑needed (prn) analgesic.

Please see the Zohydro ER full prescribing information for the complete boxed warning and safety information.


See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning.

  • ZOHYDRO ER exposes users to risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient's risk before prescribing, and monitor regularly for development of these behaviors or conditions.
  • Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur. Monitor closely, especially upon initiation or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow ZOHYDRO ER whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose of hydrocodone.
  • Accidental ingestion of ZOHYDRO ER, especially in children, can result in a fatal overdose of hydrocodone.
  • Prolonged use of ZOHYDRO ER during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available.
  • Instruct patients not to consume alcohol or any products containing alcohol while taking ZOHYDRO ER because co-ingestion can result in fatal plasma hydrocodone levels.
  • Initiation of CYP3A4 inhibitors (or discontinuation of CYP3A4 inducers) can result in a fatal overdose of hydrocodone from ZOHYDRO ER.


Zohydro ER is contraindicated in patients with significant respiratory depression, acute or severe bronchial asthma, known or suspected paralytic ileus, and hypersensitivity to hydrocodone bitartrate.

Zohydro ER has warnings for: interactions with CNS depressants; elderly, cachectic, debilitated patients, and those with chronic pulmonary disease; hypotensive effects; patients with head injury or increased intracranial pressure; and concomitant use of CYP3A4 may increase opioid effects. Please see full prescribing information for the complete warning information.

Potential serious adverse events caused by opioids include addiction, abuse, and misuse; life-threatening respiratory depression; neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome; interactions with other CNS depressants; hypotensive effects; gastrointestinal conditions, and seizures. The most common adverse reactions associated with Zohydro ER (≥2%) include constipation, nausea, somnolence, fatigue, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, vomiting, pruritus, abdominal pain, peripheral edema, upper respiratory tract infection, muscle spasms, urinary tract infection, back pain, and tremor. With intravenous abuse, the inactive ingredients in Zohydro ER can result in death, local tissue necrosis, infection, pulmonary granulomas, and increased risk of endocarditis and valvular heart injury. Parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

About Zogenix

Zogenix, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZGNX) is a pharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing therapies that address specific clinical needs for people living with CNS disorders who need innovative treatment alternatives to help them return to normal daily functioning. For more information, go to www.Zogenix.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Zogenix cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "indicates," "will," "intends," "potential," "suggests," "assuming," "designed" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the company's current beliefs and expectations. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding: the ability of BeadTek to reduce the abuse potential of Zohydro ER; the expected timing of the transition to the Zohydro ER formulation with BeadTek and the submission of data to support an amended label for Zohydro ER with BeadTek and the transition to the Zohydro ER with BeadTek formulation; and the safety and effectiveness of Zohydro ER with BeadTek. Actual results may differ from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Zogenix's business, including, without limitation: Zogenix's dependence on the successful commercialization of Zohydro ER; public concern regarding the safety of drug products such as Zohydro ER and the impact of negative publicity and political influences relating to the regulation of the pain management market in general and opioids and Zohydro ER in particular; unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy of the modified Zohydro ER formulation that could limit commercialization, or that could result in recalls or product liability claims; Zogenix's ability to achieve broad market acceptance and generate revenues from sales of Zohydro ER; competition from other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; Zogenix's dependence on its contract manufacturers and its ability to ensure an adequate and continued supply of Zohydro ER with BeadTek to meet market demand for the transition to the modified Zohydro ER formulation; other difficulties or delays relating to the development, testing, manufacturing and marketing of an abuse deterrent formulation of Zohydro ER; and other risks detailed in Zogenix's prior press releases as well as in public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and Zogenix undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Zohydro® ER is a registered mark of Zogenix, Inc.

BeadTek™ is a trademark used by Zogenix under license.

Review Date: 
February 2, 2015
Last Updated:
February 5, 2015