Reformulating existing drugs
The business model Eagle has followed, and which has brought the company such success, has been to take existing pharmaceutical drugs and chemically reformulate them to address shortcomings of the reference product, in many cases producing life-changing results.
“Historically, our business model was amongst the first of its type,” Tarriff explained. “When we started, we were the only company focused on reformulating those drugs and changing the way they’re used. What sets us apart, the value we have at Eagle, is identifying the problems that patients and caregivers are having.”
“We spend a lot of time listening to the stakeholders in the pharma business—physicians, pharmacists, nurses, payers, FDA, and most importantly, patients. We identify the problems with existing products and figure out ways to fix them—that element, combined with the people we have at Eagle, is what really sets us apart.”
Eagle has primarily focused on reformulating drugs that tackle rare and critical medical conditions, which are extremely complicated, or delicate, to treat, such as cancer, malignant hyperthermia, nerve agent exposure, and acute radiation syndrome.
“We have two drugs on the market today, one of which is Bendeka®, a chemotherapy drug, which we reformulated so that patients would spend less time in the infusion chair,” Tarriff elaborated. “We went from a drug that was infused over 30 to 60 minutes down to just ten minutes. We also developed a drug called Ryanodex®, which is used to treat a rare and often fatal disease called malignant hyperthermia. We were able to reduce the amount of liquid solution that was needed for treatment from 720mL (12-13 vials) down to one little 5mL vial.
“One of the many reasons I believe we are situated well for the future is that we are currently collaborating with the US Department of Defense to develop a drug for nerve agent exposure,” he added. “We finished our final study of this drug in May with positive results. Ryanodex is also being studied for acute radiation syndrome and exertional heat stroke. The idea is you reformulate, you make the drug easier to use, with meaningful patient benefits, and potentially execute on the clinical and regulatory process required for approval for indications that didn’t exist before.”
“We’re uniquely positioned going forward because there are numerous situations like this in the marketplace where drugs just need to be improved. And that’s where we come in.”