King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE:KG) announced today that it has licensed from Merck Santé S.A.S., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the exclusive rights to market and sell CYANOKIT® 5 g (hydroxocobalamin for injection) ANTIDOTE in the U.S. CYANOKIT® is indicated for the treatment of known or suspected cyanide poisoning, typically caused by smoke inhalation from fires.
"CYANOKIT® is well-suited to King’s existing line of acute care products,” said Brian A. Markison, Chairman, President and CEO. “Our portfolio of antidotes currently serves the emergency medical services community, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal, state and local agencies. The addition of CYANOKIT® to this portfolio is a natural fit, as we are uniquely positioned to market this antidote in both pre-hospital and hospital settings.”
CYANOKIT® will be sold and distributed through Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of King.
Cyanide is a chemical that can exist as a colorless gas or as white powder or crystals. Cyanide exposure/poisoning potentially can occur through the following sources: smoke inhalation from structure fires, when products containing carbon and nitrogen burn, such as wool, paper, cotton, silk and plastics; exposure to industrial processes that result in products used in building construction, transportation vehicle interiors, and in residential or commercial building interiors and furnishings; and in the event of a terrorist attack. Smoke inhalation from building fires is the most common source of cyanide poisoning.1
CYANOKIT® is the only emergency antidote indicated for both known and suspected cyanide poisoning. The active ingredient is hydroxocobalamin, which forms a strong bond with cyanide, converting it to vitamin B12, which can then be safely excreted from the body. It is designed specifically to be used on the scene or at the hospital for acute cyanide poisoning, or suspected poisoning, from any source.
“Whether the result of a structure fire or terrorist act, cyanide poisoning is a life-threatening matter that requires immediate medical attention,” said Dr. Joe Nelson, State EMS Medical Director for Florida, which stocks CYANOKIT® in emergency medical service and fire vehicles. “The ability to treat victims of known or suspected cyanide poisoning at the scene helps protect first responders and citizens and can save lives.”