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AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Announces The Departure Of David Chung

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACRX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain, today announced that David Chung has resigned as Chief Commercial Officer in order to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of a medical device company.  Richard King, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, will assume the duties and responsibilities of the Chief Commercial Officer, and will lead the continued build-out of the commercial organization and launch preparation for Zalviso until a suitable replacement is found.  The Company has begun a search for Mr. Chung's replacement.

"David has laid a solid foundation and began the build of a commercial team that will continue the pre-commercial activities for Zalviso," commented Richard King, president and chief executive officer.  "We anticipate no delay in our commercial launch plans pending a positive PDUFA. We also wish David success in his new endeavor."

"I am proud to have been associated with a company with such high caliber and passionate employees that is striving to bring the benefits of Zalviso to patients, and in beginning the establishment of the commercial group that will support that effort," commented David Chung.

Mr. King has served as a director, president and chief executive officer for AcelRx since May 2010.  Prior to this time, Mr. King accumulated over 20 years of commercial experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry both in the UK and the US.  Mr. King was the most senior dedicated commercial executive at Tercica, Inc., Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Solvay Pharmaceuticals (US organization) and Unimed Pharmaceuticals, and while at these organizations oversaw launches for several highly successful brands such as AndroGel®[1] (first testosterone gel), Somatuline Depot®[2] (a somatostatin analog to treat acromegaly) and Advicor®[3] (a combination of extended release niacin and lovastatin).

[1] AndroGel® is a registered trademark of AbbVie Inc.

[2] Somatuline Depot® is a registered trademark of Ipsen Pharma S.A.S. 

[3] Niaspan® is a registered trademark of AbbVie Inc., and Mevacor® is a registered trademark of Merck & Co., Inc.

About AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain. AcelRx's lead product candidate, Zalviso™, is designed to improve the management of moderate-to-severe acute pain in adult patients in the hospital setting by utilizing a high therapeutic index opioid, through a non-invasive delivery route via a pre-programmed, patient-controlled analgesia device.  AcelRx has announced positive results from each of the three completed Phase 3 clinical trials for Zalviso, and has submitted an NDA to the FDA seeking approval for Zalviso in the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain in adult patients in the hospital setting.  AcelRx plans to initiate a Phase 3 clinical trial for ARX-04, a product candidate for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain in a medically supervised setting, during the second half of 2014. The company has two additional pain treatment product candidates, ARX-02 and ARX-03, which have completed Phase 2 clinical development. For additional information about AcelRx's clinical programs, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements related to the build out of the Company's commercial organization, anticipated approval of the NDA by the FDA, planned initiation of the Phase 3 clinical trial for ARX-04, and the therapeutic potential of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' product candidates, including Zalviso. These forward-looking statements are based on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks related to: AcelRx's ability to build an effective commercial organization, AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' ability to receive regulatory approval for Zalviso; any delays or inability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of its product candidates, including Zalviso, in the United States and Europe; its ability to obtain sufficient financing to commercialize Zalviso and proceed with clinical development of ARX-04; the success, cost and timing of all product development activities and clinical trials, including the planned Phase 3 ARX-04 trial; the market potential for its product candidates; and other risks detailed in the "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals'U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on May 8, 2014. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events or changes in its expectations.

Timothy E. Morris
Chief Financial Officer

Brian Korb
The Trout Group LLC

SOURCE AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.