Apricus Biosciences Announces National Phase Approval for Erectile Dysfunction Cream - Vitaros(R) in Belgium

Vitaros(R) Remains on Track for Launch in 2014 SAN DIEGO, Jan. 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apricus Biosciences, Inc. ("Apricus" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:APRI) (www.apricusbio.com), today announced that Belgium's Ministry of Social Affairs, Public Health and Environment has granted national phase approval to Vitaros(®), indicated for the treatment of patients with erectile dysfunction ("ED"). The Company has now received a total of eight national phase approvals for Vitaros(®), including Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom ("UK") following its broad approval by European health authorities in June 2013. Apricus has an exclusive commercialization partnership in place with Hexal AG, an affiliate within the Sandoz Division of the Novartis Group of Companies ("Sandoz"), for the commercialization of Vitaros(®) in several European countries, including Belgium. "We are pleased to be working with our partner Sandoz as they make progress towards preparing Vitaros(®) for commercial launch in their licensed territories including Belgium," said Richard Pascoe, Chief Executive Officer of Apricus. "We remain excited about the opportunity for all of our existing partners to bring the first and only on-demand, topical erectile dysfunction treatment to the market this year." In June 2013, Apricus announced that its marketing application for Vitaros(®) was approved through the European Decentralized Procedure ("DCP"). Under the DCP, Apricus filed its application for marketing approval designating the Netherlands as the Reference Member State ("RMS") on behalf of nine other European Concerned Member States ("CMS") participating in the procedure. The Company continues to work toward obtaining the remaining national phase approvals in Spain and Luxembourg. Once launched, Vitaros(®) will become the first new and novel ED product in nearly a decade, and with its unique product profile that addresses a large number of patients who cannot or do not respond well to the existing therapies, or who are intolerant to the systemic effects of PDE-5 inhibitors, it is well-positioned for commercial success. In Europe alone, the existing ED products generated over $1 billion in sales in 2012. Apricus believes that a significant portion of the market remains untreated or under-treated, which represents a substantial commercial opportunity for Vitaros(®). Vitaros(®) is currently partnered in key markets, including with Takeda in the UK, Sandoz in Germany, Switzerland and certain countries in Northern Europe, Bracco in Italy, Majorelle in France, Monaco and certain African countries, and Abbott in Canada. The Company's existing commercialization partners are preparing for Vitaros(®) product launches in their respective territories with product launches expected throughout 2014. About Vitaros(®) Vitaros(®) has been approved for the treatment of ED by the European health authorities and by Health Canada.  Vitaros(®) is a topically-applied cream formulation of alprostadil, a vasodilator, combined with our proprietary permeation enhancer DDAIP.HCl, which directly increases blood flow to the penis, causing an erection. Alprostadil is a widely accepted alternative to the PDE-5 inhibitors for difficult to treat patients, and Vitaros(®), which was determined to be safe and effective by the European health authorities and previously by Health Canada, offers greater market opportunity due to its patient-friendly form versus other alprostadil dosage forms and also relative to oral ED products. With nearly 150 million men worldwide who suffer from ED and an ED market size of approximately $1 billion in revenue in Europe alone, Vitaros(®) represents a major market opportunity for Apricus and its commercial partners given its unique product profile and its potential to treat a large underserved population. About Apricus Biosciences, Inc. Apricus Biosciences, Inc. (APRI) is a pharmaceutical company that develops and markets through its licensing partners innovative treatments that have the potential to help large patient populations across numerous, large-market therapeutic classes including male and female sexual health. The Company has one approved product, Vitaros(®), for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, which is now approved in Europe and Canada and will be commercialized by Apricus' marketing partners, which include Abbott Laboratories Limited, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International GmbH, Hexal AG (Sandoz), Bracco SpA and Laboratoires Majorelle. Femprox(®), the Company's product candidate for the treatment of female sexual interest/arousal disorder, has successfully completed a nearly 400-subject proof-of-concept study. For further information on Apricus, visit http://www.apricusbio.com. Apricus' Forward-Looking Statement Safe Harbor Statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, as amended: with the exception of the historical information contained in this release, the matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that may individually or mutually impact the matters herein described for a variety of reasons that are outside the control of the Company, including, but not limited to, its ability to further develop its product Vitaros(®) for ED, such as the room temperature version of Vitaros(®) and product candidate Femprox(®) for female sexual interest/arousal disorder among others; to have its product and product candidates receive additional patent protection and be approved by relevant regulatory authorities in Europe, the United States, Canada and in other countries, such as additional national phase approvals for Vitaros(®) in the remaining CMS territories, Spain and Luxembourg; to successfully commercialize such product and product candidates and other NexACT® product candidates and drug delivery technology; and to achieve its other development, commercialization and financial goals, such as successfully manufacturing and launching Vitaros(®) in partnered territories. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements as actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein. Readers are urged to read the risk factors set forth in the Company's most recent annual report on Form 10- K, as amended, subsequent quarterly reports filed on Form 10-Q, as amended, and other filings made with the SEC. Copies of these reports are available from the SEC's website or without charge from the Company. CONTACT: Apricus Investor Relations: David Pitts or Lourdes Catala Argot Partners 212-600-1902 david@argotpartners.com lourdes@argotpartners.com This announcement is distributed by GlobeNewswire on behalf of GlobeNewswire clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that: (i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and (ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein. Source: Apricus Biosciences, Inc. via GlobeNewswire [HUG#1756761]