Titan Pharmaceuticals implant for opioid use disorder attracts media attention in Canada

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An implant developed by Titan Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTNP) for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) is drawing attention in Canada. 

Marketed under the brand name Probuphine, the first-of-its-kind implant delivers an ongoing low dose of buprenorphine for six months, minimizing the challenges of daily supervised dosing associated with other OUD medications such as Suboxone and methadone. Following the initial six-month treatment period, a new implant placed in the opposite arm could extend the duration of treatment to up to one year. 

Montreal-based Knight Therapeutics received Health Canada approval for Probuphine in April 2018, two years after the implant received approval in the United States, and announced the implant’s official Canadian launch in October 2018. Knight has the exclusive right to distribute Probuphine in Canada under a license agreement with San Francisco-based Titan.

Knight has priced the implant, which is equivalent to six month’s treatment of Suboxone, at $1,495. The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health has recommended that provincial drug plans reimburse the cost of the implant for patients who are stable on a maximum of eight mg of buprenorphine daily and are undergoing counselling. 

Abby Hardy