Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( PCRX ) recently reported results from a study on Exparel. The study was conducted to evaluate Exparel as the foundation of a multimodal postsurgical pain management regimen for patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Data was presented by Pacira at the 7th Annual Orthopedic and Spine Summit.
The study enrolled 200 patients undergoing TKA, who received either a femoral nerve block or Exparelin 1:1 ratio. The study showed a lower pain score of 4.0 in the Exparel group compared to a 4.9 score in the femoral nerve block group during the first day of surgery. During week 3 and week 9 follow up, greater improvement in knee flexion was seen with 109° to 121° for the Exparel group versus 100° to 105° for the femoral nerve block group.
Shorter overall length of hospital stay was seen in the Exparel group (2.2 days) as compared to the femoral nerve block group (2.5 days). This study showed a 55.5% reduction in medication and delivery system costs. Increased satisfaction was also found in the Exparel group.
Exparel is currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia. The drug was approved by the FDA in the final quarter of 2011 and launched in Apr 2012. In the second quarter of 2013, net Exparel revenues were $15.2 million, up sequentially by 46.2%.
Pacira carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks that look attractive include Biogen Idec Inc. ( BIIB ), Gilead Sciences Inc. ( GILD ) and Affymetrix Inc. ( AFFX ). All three carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).