St. Louis Business Journal – November 26, 2016 - Maryland Heights-based specialty pharmaceutical firm Highland Pharmaceuticals LLC has inked a deal with global healthcare supplier Perrigo Co.  Highland develops drug delivery products that help deter abuse of the pharmaceuticals.  It has developed a tamper-resistant pseudoephedrine which the company claims is 98 percent effective at blocking the common domestic method of illegal meth production.

Dublin, Ireland-based Perrigo has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Highland for its Tarex meth-blocking technology and also has gained distribution rights for Highland's Zephrex-D pseudoephedrine product that uses the Tarex technology.  Charles Jongeward, president of Highland, declined to disclose financial details of the deal but said that over the 12-year period of the licensing agreement, it will net a return of more than the capital invested to date in the company.

If Highland is successful in inking a similar licensing deal for the abuse-deterrent opioid it is developing, it will mean "VC-like returns" for the company, Jongeward said.  Highland, which has nine employees, had revenue of $1 million this year and is projecting $4 million in revenue next year.

Perrigo, which reported revenue of $1.35 billion in its latest quarter, manufactures and distributes store-brand versions of cold and allergy medicines as well as generic prescription drugs.  The company said it plans to integrate Highland's tarex technology into its store-brand pseudoephedrine products and will immediately begin distribution of the Zephrex-D brand to its retail customers.

Jeff Needham, Perrigo's president of Consumer Healthcare-Americas, said that illegal methamphetamine use continues to be a significant issue across the country and that Perrigo is committed to leveraging the Tarex technology "to extend our line of meth-resistant pseudoephedrine products in the future."

Jongeward said the licensing agreement with Perrigo follows Highland's basic business strategy: to develop a drug delivery system, produce a product to show a market exists for the technology, then license it to an existing company that has the resources to market and distribute the product extensively.  With the licensing agreement for the meth-blocking technology now in place, Highland will focus on further development of applications for abuse-deterrent opioids, which cannot be crushed into a powder for inhalation or injection and release an insufficient amount of narcotic when smoked.  Jongeward said the company will be adding three or four formulation chemists to its staff to assist with the development.  He said to wrap up development of the product and complete all the required testing will take more than two years. "This has never been about making huge profits or building a huge organization, It's about problem solving, doing what's right and making our communities a safer place to live."


Dublin, Ireland – September 26, 2016 – Perrigo Company plc (NYSE: PRGO; TASE) today announced an exclusive licensing agreement with Highland Pharmaceuticals, LLC for its Tarex® methamphetamine (“meth”) blocking technology and the distribution rights of Zephrex-D® (pseudoephedrine HCI 30 mg).  Zephrex-D® was developed using the Tarex® technology and is the only product that is proven to be more than 98% effective at blocking the common domestic method of illegal meth production.

This agreement is part of Perrigo’s ongoing efforts in the fight against meth drug abuse. Perrigo plans to integrate the Tarex® technology into its store brand and retailer own label pseudoephedrine HCI products in the future and will immediately begin distribution of Zephrex D® to its retail customers.

Perrigo's Executive Vice President & President, Consumer Healthcare - Americas, Jeff Needham commented that, “Across the country, illegal methamphetamine use continues to be a significant issue. Our investment in Tarex® technology is another example of Perrigo’s commitment to help protect and promote healthier communities. We are committed to leveraging the technology to extend our line of meth-resistant pseudoephedrine products in the future.”

According to Charles Jongeward, President of Highland Pharmaceuticals, “the strategic alignment with Perrigo ensures our formulation technology in a soft gel format will be introduced across the largest customer base possible and will help put the vast majority of domestic meth labs out of business, saving tax dollars and make our communities a safer place to live.”  “Long term we should witness a decline in environmental clean-up sites and fewer burn patients in area hospitals.”  We could not have found a better partner and look forward to growing with the Consumer Healthcare Division.