Alitair Pharmaceuticals, Inc., today announced that it received a Notice
of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
for its ion exchange resin formulation of benzonatate. The patent
includes specific claims for reducing or eliminating the choking hazard
associated with conventional liquid formulations of benzonatate.
"Benzonatate is the only non-narcotic prescription cough product
available today, but in its current form, it has a significant choking
hazard if a patient bites into the liquid-filled gel cap. Our oral solid
ion exchange resin formulation has been shown to reduce or eliminate the
choking hazard," stated Alitair President and CEO, William W. Howard,
Ph.D. "Our proprietary technology allows us to bind benzonatate to a
resin particle, which represents a completely novel formulation approach
and resolves this significant safety issue."
"This Notice of Allowance marks an important milestone in our
benzonatate product development strategy and may be the key to
benzonatate becoming a successful Rx-to-OTC switch candidate," continued
Howard. "This is highly desirable, because the need for safe and
effective non-narcotic cough formulations is great, especially when you
consider how widespread dextromethorphan abuse has become."
Alitair is filing a second patent related to its benzonatate product
candidate, which will further strengthen the Company's intellectual
property portfolio. Alitair is actively seeking a partner for its
benzonatate product candidate and estimates annual sales between $75 and
$100 million for a prescription or OTC benzonatate product using its
proprietary ion exchange resin technology.