Orexo was founded in 1995 by Thomas Lundqvist, a pharmacist, Anders Pettersson, a physician and clinical pharmacologist , and Christer Nyström, a pharmacist and Professor of Galenic Pharmacy at Uppsala University.

The company’s first product, Diabact® UBT – a breath test for diagnosing the stomach ulcer bacterium, Helicobacter pylori – was registered in 2000.

The name Orexo

In 2003 the company adopted the name Orexo, which derives from Greek and is the future form of the verb "orégo" - "to attain, to extend." Orexo also means appetite. New shareholders contributed financing, thereby raising the level of activity in the company. New development projects were started and a new company management was appointed to lead the company into the next phase.

In 2005, Orexo was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. The company has since then entered into agreements with business partners and the development portfolio includes several potential drug candidates.

EU launch of Abstral®

Abstral was approved for the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain during 2008. The product was launched in Sweden in August 2008 via the joint-venture company ProStrakan AB. In early 2009, Orexo’s partner, Prostrakan, launched Abstral in the UK and Germany.

Launch of Edluar®

In March 2009, the US FDA approved Edluar for the treatment of short-term insomnia. Orexo’s global partner Meda launched the product on the US market in August 2009. 

Stronger ownership base

During 2010 Novo A/S became a new principal owner of Orexo.

Launch of a new strategy and new development program

In August 2010 the next stage of the strategy was launched: the use of proprietary, patented and proven technologies to develop new proprietary products within the specialty pharma segment. As part of this strategy Orexo initiated three new development programs with the aim of marketing the products through the company’s own marketing and sales organization, with focus on the USA.

Abstral launched in a number of EU countries

During 2010 Abstral was launched in a further 12 countries in Europe.

US approval of Abstral®

During 2011 Abstral was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA. The product was launched by ProStrakan in the USA.

Abstral® approved in Canada

Abstral was approved in Canada in 2011.

Renegotiated agreement with ProStrakan

In June 2012 Orexo acquired the commercial rights for Abstral in the USA while ProStrakan acquired the rights in the EU and the rest of the world.

Submission of New Drug Application for Zubsolv®

In September 2012 a New Drug Application was submitted in the USA for Zubsolv for the treatment of opioid dependence.

Abstral® in the United States sold to Galena Biopharma, Inc.

In March 2013, Orexo sold Abstral (fentanyl) Sublingual Tablets in the United States to Galena Biopharma, Inc.

Abstral® approved in Japan

Abstral was approved for sales in Japan in September 2013 and was launched in December by Kyowa Hakko Kirin.

Edluar® launched in a number of EU countries

During 2013 Edluar was launched by Orexo's global partner MEDA in a number of European countries.

US approval of Zubsolv®

On July 3, 2013, FDA approved Zubsolv for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence.

Application for expanded label of Zubsolv® to include initiation of treatment

On October 10, 2014 Orexo submitted an application to the FDA for an expanded label for Zubsolv to include initiation of treatment for opioid dependence.

Two new strengths of Zubsolv® approved in the US

The FDA announced on December 11, 2014 the approval of two new tablet strengths of Zubsolv sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone: 8.6 mg/2.1 mg and 11.4 mg/2.9 mg. Orexo has thus the broadest dosage range in the disease area.

Orexo divests the subsidiary Kibion

On April 30, 2015, Orexo divested the subsidiary Kibion. The acquirer is a team of Swedish investors and business developers with a solid background in the fields of diagnostics and treatment of gastroenterological diseases.

US FDA approves Zubsolv® for induction of opiod dependence treatment

On August 10, 2015, FDA approved Zubsolv for induction of maintenance therapy in patients with opioid dependence.

New Abstral® partner in the U.S.

As of November 19, 2015, Sentynl Therapeutics Inc. is the Abstral partner in the US.

Orexo's OX-CLI project is divested to AstraZeneca

In March 2016 AstraZeneca acquired all rights to the OX-CLI project which is directed to develop a novel treatment of respiratory disorders such as asthma and COPD.

Nikolaj Sørensen

Chief Executive Officer