Elite Pharmaceuticals Reports Successful Pivotal Bioequivalence Study for Abuse Deterrent Product ELI-200

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| Source: Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

NORTHVALE, N.J., March 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Elite" or the "Company") (OTCBB:ELTP) announced today successful results from a pivotal bioequivalence study initiated in January 2014 for Elite's undisclosed abuse deterrent opioid product, ELI-200. The study results demonstrated Elite's product is bioequivalent to the branded drug based on pharmacokinetic measures including peak concentration (Cmax) and area under the curve (AUC) for opioid blood plasma levels. The study was a single dose, open label, partially randomized, three-way cross over study in healthy volunteers with 42 subjects under fasted conditions and 38 subjects under fed conditions.

The formulation utilized Elite's proprietary pharmacological abuse deterrent technology with the opioid antagonist naltrexone. Levels of sequestration of naltrexone were also evaluated and dosing of Elite's intact formulation resulted in almost no exposure levels to naltrexone (LOQ of 4 pg/mL) and its metabolite 6-β-naltrexol (LOQ of 10 pg/mL) as intended. Elite will proceed with the development program for this product including completion of a human abuse liability study. Elite expects to file an NDA for this product by year end.

"As I have stated before, we have set in motion several initiatives that will have significant impact on Elite's future," commented Nasrat Hakim, Elite's President and CEO.  "Following the success of the pilot bioequivalence study in December for ELI-201, we are delighted with the results of this pivotal bioequivalence clinical study for ELI-200, our second opioid abuse deterrent product. ELI-200 is expected to be filed this year and will be the first NDA product filed by Elite with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

The bioequivalence studies for these opioid abuse deterrent products are being conducted under the direction of Camargo Pharmaceutical Services.

About Elite's Abuse Deterrent Technology

Elite's abuse deterrent products utilize the Company's proprietary pharmacological abuse deterrent technology. Elite's abuse deterrent technology is a multi-particulate capsule which contains an opioid agonist in addition to naltrexone, an opioid antagonist. Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist used primarily in the management of alcohol dependence and opioid dependence.  When this product is taken as intended, the naltrexone is designed to pass through the body unreleased while the opioid agonist releases over time providing therapeutic pain relief for which it is prescribed. If the multi-particulate beads are crushed or dissolved, the opioid antagonist, naltrexone, is designed to release. The absorption of the naltrexone is intended to block the euphoria by preferentially binding to same receptors in the brain as the opioid agonist and thereby reducing the incentive for abuse or misuse by recreational drug abusers.

About Section 505(b)(2)

The Company plans to file an NDA for this product based on the provisions of section 505(b)(2) of the U.S. Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.  Section 505(b)(2)  allows the FDA to approve a drug on the basis of data in the scientific  literature or data previously cited by the FDA as the basis for the  approval of related drugs. This procedure makes it easier and potentially faster for drug developers to obtain approval of new formulations of drugs based, in part, on proprietary data of the developer of the original drug.

About Camargo Pharmaceutical Services

Camargo is a full-service drug development partner specializing in the 505(b)(2) process — an approach for developing products that offer differentiated benefits. Camargo is capable of managing every facet of the plan throughout the development continuum, from feasibility assessments, formulation and testing the drug product, to conducting preclinical and clinical studies, to final submission.

About Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc. develops oral sustained and controlled release products. Elite's strategy includes assisting partner companies in the life cycle management of products to improve off-patent drug products and developing generic versions of controlled release drug products with high barriers to entry. Elite has seven commercial products currently being sold, twelve additional  approved products pending manufacturing site transfer and two additional products under review pending approval by the FDA. Elite's lead pipeline products include abuse resistant opioids utilizing the Company's patented proprietary technology, and a once-daily opioid. They are sustained release oral formulations of opioids for the treatment of chronic pain, which address two of the limitations of existing oral opioids: the provision of consistent relief of baseline pain levels and deterrence of potential abuse. Elite also provides contract manufacturing for Ascend Laboratories (a subsidiary of Alkem Laboratories Ltd.) and has partnered with Epic Pharma for the manufacturing and distribution of eleven approved products pending manufacturing site, with Hi-Tech Pharmacal to develop an intermediate for a generic product, and a Hong Kong based company to develop a branded product for the United States market and its territories. Elite operates a GMP and DEA registered facility for research, development, and manufacturing located in Northvale, NJ.

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Including those related to the effects, if any, on future results, performance or other expectations that may have some correlation to the subject matter of this press release, readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, its ability to obtain FDA approval of the transfers of the ANDAs or the timing of such approval process, delays, uncertainties, inability to obtain necessary ingredients and other factors not under the control of Elite, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Elite to be materially different from the results, performance or other expectations that may be implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and other factors, including, without limitation, the Company's ability to obtain sufficient funding under the LPC Agreement or from other sources, the timing or results of pending and future clinical trials, regulatory reviews and approvals by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory authorities, intellectual property protections and defenses, and the Company's ability to operate as a going concern, are discussed in Elite's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its reports on forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. Elite undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dianne Will, Investor Relations, 518-398-6222