Aox­ing gets OK to make nar­cotic pain re­liever

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By NIU YUE in New York

Five years af­ter list­ing its shares on the New York Stock Ex­change, Aox­ing Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Co Inc vis­ited the NYSE again, its CEO an­nounc­ing that it had been granted a li­cense to pro­duce a nar­cotic pain re­liever in China.

Aox­ing an­nounced on Mon­day that it had re­ceived ap­proval from the China Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CFDA) to make ti­li­dine hy­drochlo­ride tablets.

“This is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone achieve­ment in the busi­ness devel­op­ment of Aox­ing Pharma,” CEO Yue Zhen­jiang said at the NYSE on Tues­day. “Ti­li­dine is less ad­dic­tive and works well on re­liv­ing pain. What’s more, it’s the first time it’s be­ing pro­duced in China.”

In a state­ment on Mon­day, Yue said that “this ap­proval is the cul­mi­na­tion of 12 years of re­search, devel­op­ment and reg­u­la­tory ac­tiv­i­ties. Our en­try into the mar­ket will be a sig­nif­i­cant break­through in China’s fight to treat pain. Our Ti­li­dine HCL tablets of­fer a con­ve­nient medium for de­liv­ery of this drug.”

He said that a re­port pub­lished by the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion in 1985 made him re­al­ize the great po­ten­tial of the pain-re­lief mar­ket in China.

Ac­cord­ing to a 2000 WHO sur­vey, the amount of per capita nar­cotic con­sump­tion in China was less than 1% of that in North Amer­ica, be­cause Chi­nese peo­ple hadn’t re­al­ized that re­liev­ing pain could im­prove both their phys­i­cal and men­tal health, and re­search and pro­duc­tion are for­bid­den with­out ap­proval.

Aox­ing, es­tab­lished in Shi­ji­azhuang in 2000, ac­quired per­mis­sion in 2002 to en­ter the nar­cotics mar­ket in China.

Other Aox­ing drugs, like an oxy­codone tablet and nalox­one sub­lin­gual tablet have al­ready com­pleted clin­i­cal tri­als, and the com­pany ex­pects them to be li­censed in China in the next year or two.

Yue said that the cur­rent gov­ern­ment has raised pain­man­age­ment treat­ment to the level of a hu­man right. A new pol­icy on guar­an­tee­ing treat­ment for pa­tients suf­fer­ing from pain while strictly pro­hibit­ing the abuse of con­trolled sub­stances has been in­tro­duced re­cently.

With an in­crease in re­im­burse­ment from the new med­i­cal in­sur­ance and the new Ru­ral Med­i­cal Co­op­er­a­tive Sys­tem, as well as the sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment of peo­ple’s living stan­dards, “the de­mand for nar­cotic medicines in China will be in­creas­ing over 30 per­cent yearly”, Yue said.

Aox­ing has 137 prod­ucts, many of them best-sell­ing pain-re­liev­ers.

Shares of Aox­ing, which trades un­der the sym­bol AXN, closed at $2.67, down 11 cents, in NYSE trad­ing on Tues­day. Hong Xiao in New York con­trib­uted to this story.

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