January, 31 2018 at 08:30 AM EST

WARREN, N.J., Jan. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to Riluzole Oral Soluble Film (riluzole OSF) for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating disease affecting as many as 30,000 Americans.i Riluzole OSF is currently in late-stage clinical development.

"We hope to bring riluzole OSF to ALS patients in the second half of 2019," said Keith J. Kendall, Chief Executive Officer of Aquestive. "Patients suffering from this debilitating neurodegenerative disease often find swallowing to be difficult or impossible. To help manage one element of this challenging disease for people with ALS and their caregivers, we developed riluzole OSF to dissolve instantly in the mouth without water, using our proprietary PharmFilm® technology."

The FDA's Office of Orphan Products Development grants drug sponsors with orphan drug designation for medications that are intended for use in diseases which affect fewer than 200,000 persons in the U.S. This designation provides sponsors with opportunities for assistance with development of designated medicines for rare diseases, including eligibility for a seven-year period of market exclusivity in the U.S. following product approval, FDA assistance in clinical trial design and an exemption from FDA user fees.

About Aquestive Therapeutics
Aquestive Therapeutics is a specialty pharmaceutical company that advances and commercializes medicines to solve critical healthcare problems and meaningfully improve people's lives. Aquestive is committed to addressing immediate CNS challenges by furthering its strong pipeline of products. As the undisputed leader in developing and delivering drugs via its proprietary technologies, the Company also collaborates with pharmaceutical partners to bring new molecules to market in differentiated and highly-marketable dosage forms. For more information, please visit aquestive.com.

Media inquiries:
Christopher Hippolyte
christopher.hippolyte@inventivhealth.com 
212-364-0458

Investor inquiries:
Stephanie Carrington
stephanie.carrington@icrinc.com 
646-277-1282

i Sources: CDC, "National Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Registry FAQ" https://wwwn.cdc.gov/als/alsfaq.aspx(Accessed January 2018) and 
ALS Association, "Quick Facts about ALS" http://www.alsa.org/news/media/quick-facts.html (Accessed January 2018)

SOURCE Aquestive Therapeutics