Zogenix shares fall after Purdue advances rival drug

March 12 Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:37am EDT

March 12 (Reuters) - Shares of Zogenix Inc fell 14 percent after Purdue Pharma LP said it was moving ahead with an abuse-resistant rival to Zogenix's much-criticised painkiller.

Zogenix's drug, Zohydro, has recently faced heavy opposition from addiction experts and physicians who alleged that the drug could be lethal to new patients and children and was not safer than other current pain drugs.

Purdue Pharma's drug and Zohydro contain hydrocodone, which belongs to a widely used class of pain drugs known as opioids.

Opioids are extensively abused and pose a huge concern for health regulators. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already adopted measures to curb painkiller abuses, including a recommendation to tighten restrictions on products that contain hydrocodone.

An abuse-resistant version of hydrocodone can thus find greater acceptability with regulators, physicians and patients.

Purdue Pharma's drug is difficult to abuse through snorting and injecting.

Purdue Pharma said a late-stage trial of its drug showed the treatment significantly reduced chronic low back pain compared with a placebo.

The company plans to file a marketing application with the FDA later this year, it said.

Zogenix's shares fell 64 cents to $3.90 in early trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. (Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)