Apricus impotence drug approved in 10 countries

NEW YORK (AP) -- Apricus Biosciences Inc. said Monday that its impotence drug Vitaros has been approved in 10 European countries.

The company said Vitaros is now approved in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, and the U.K., among other countries, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Apricus sought marketing approval for Vitaros in specific countries, and says the decentralized process was faster than seeking approval by the entire European Union.

The active ingredient in Vitaros, alprostadil, is an ingredient in other approved impotence treatments and Apricus is also studying it as a treatment for female sexual arousal disorder.

Vitaros is Apricus' only approved product, but it is not on the market in any country. It has been approved in Canada and is being review by regulators in Switzerland. The company said it is working with several partners to prepare for the next step to launch the drug.

Shares of the San Diego company rose 24 cents, or 9.4 percent, to $2.80 in midday trading, after earlier spiking as high as $2.96. The stock has traded between $1.89 and $3.63 in the past 52 weeks.