PHOENIX, Oct. 22, 2012 -- Avella Specialty Pharmacy, under an agreement with DARA BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:DARA) will be a distribution source for Soltamox® (tamoxifen citrate, oral solution) in the United States. Soltamox is the first and only FDA-approved oral liquid formulation of tamoxifen citrate, a first-line therapy for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about one in eight. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about one in 36 and every three minutes, one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Right now there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors.1 The ability to adequately participate in an effective drug regimen can determine whether or not a patient may be one of those survivors, and those who have a problem swallowing pills may be at greater risk.

Tamoxifen is a lifesaving drug used to prevent and treat breast cancer. Staying on prescribed tamoxifen therapy over the long term is critical for people with breast cancer; otherwise, it could affect the outcome of their treatment. Until now, tamoxifen has been available only in pill form.

"A significant number of breast cancer patients may have difficulty swallowing pills. This may lead some patients to miss doses or discontinue therapy altogether," stated David J. Drutz, M.D., DARA's chief executive officer. "The availability of liquid tamoxifen may offer women with breast cancer a convenient, comfortable alternative.""

Problems with swallowing may not always be obvious and may include coughing during or after eating. DARA is making available a clinically validated, simple 10-question survey that anyone can take to assess whether he or she has a swallowing difficulty. Called "EAT-10," the survey is available at

Dr. Drutz said, "The partnership with Avella Specialty Pharmacy to distribute Soltamox in the United States leverages DARA's existing commercial infrastructure, provides DARA with a well-respected and established commercial partner, and presents an opportunity to make Soltamox and potential future cancer-support products readily available for patients in this important market."

Avella is a specialty pharmacy with retail locations in eight states as well as a national distribution facility. Originally established in 1996, Avella provides individualized care and support to patients and providers. The company is also noted for its ability to assist patients in getting access to their medications, including financial assistance.

"At Avella, we are committed to helping patients and are responsible for getting the medications to the patient. Making access easier for patients helps them to stay on their therapy, which leads to better health outcomes," said Avella President, Keith Cook. "Since our inception, we've taken great pride in the fact that all of our team members do what it takes to regularly provide the highest level of fully-integrated pharmacy services to our patients and their providers. This goal is reinforced in our company mission to optimize patient health through a relentless devotion to clinical excellence."

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1 American Cancer Society

Fast Facts:

  • Soltamox is a liquid form of tamoxifen.
  • Patients who have trouble swallowing pills may forego even lifesaving medication.
  • Seniors and inpatients are at increased risk for swallowing problems.
  • Women experience more discomfort with pill swallowing than men.
  • Avella is known for its strategies to assist patients to have access to lifesaving medications, including offsetting the financial burden.

About Avella Specialty Pharmacy

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Avella is a National Accredited Specialty Pharmacy, providing individualized care and support to patients since 1996 (formerly operating as The Apothecary Shops, Inc.). Avella's clinical pharmacists and staff members are experts in managing complex disease states and providing compassionate care. The company offers a nationwide distribution service to complement its retail locations. Avella reached 1,064th on Inc. magazine's list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country, up more than 500 places from 2011. In addition, The Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards has named Avella Specialty Pharmacy as the fastest-growing private company based in the state. For more information, please visit

The Avella Specialty Pharmacy logo is available at:

About DARA BioSciences, Inc.

DARA is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of oncology treatment and supportive care products. DARA sharpened its focus in oncology through its January 2012 acquisition of Oncogenerix, Inc., which holds the exclusive U.S. marketing rights to Soltamox®. Soltamox is a novel oral liquid formulation of tamoxifen citrate, a product used widely in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Soltamox is the only FDA approved oral liquid version of tamoxifen citrate and fulfills a vital clinical need for patients who cannot tolerate existing solid tablet formulations of this drug. For more information, visit

Safe Harbor Statement

All statements in this news release that are not historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially for DARA from those projected. Those factors include risks and uncertainties relating to DARA's ability to timely commercialize and generate revenues or profits from Bionect®, Soltamox® or other products given that DARA only recently hired its initial sales force and DARA's lack of history as a revenue-generating company, FDA and other regulatory risks relating to DARA's ability to market Bionect, Soltamox® or other products in the U.S. or elsewhere, DARA's ability to develop and bring new products to market as anticipated, DARA's current cash position and its need to raise additional capital in order to be able to continue to fund its operations, the current regulatory environment in which the company develops and sells its products, the market acceptance of those products, dependence on partners, successful performance under collaborative and other commercial agreements, competition, the strength of DARA's intellectual property and the intellectual property of others, the potential delisting of DARA's common stock from the NASDAQ Capital Market, risks and uncertainties relating to DARA's ability to successfully integrate Oncogenerix and other risk factors identified in the documents DARA has filed, or will file, with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Copies of DARA's filings with the SEC may be obtained from the SEC Internet site at DARA expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in DARA's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statements are based. DARA BioSciences and the DARA logo are trademarks of DARA BioSciences, Inc.

Ana Tackett