updated 3/1/2011 9:16:05 AM ET 2011-03-01T14:16:05

SAN DIEGO, March 1, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apricus Biosciences, Inc. ("Apricus Bio") (Nasdaq:APRI) announced today that the European Patent Office ("EPO") will grant a patent for the company's MycoVa product for treating onychomycosis (commonly referred to as nail fungus).

The European Patent Office recently issued a "notice of allowance" for the Company's patent entitled "Antifungal Nail Coat and Method of Use." Once issued, this will be the second patent that Apricus has received in Europe for MycoVa and onychomychosis.

The patent will give Apricus Bio patent protection for MycoVa and its use for nail fungus in Europe until 2024. "This expanded patent coverage will enable us to move forward with our plans to seek regulatory approval for MycoVa, and to potentially market the product as a treatment for mild nail fungus in Europe," said Dr. Bassam Damaj, President and Chief Executive Officer of Apricus Bio. "We are also seeking similar patents worldwide."

The Company currently holds 16 patents related to the treatment of nail fungus, with 13 patent applications pending and has patent protection for its underlying NexACT® technology used in the nail fungus treatment in Europe, and well as in a number of other countries.

MycoVacombines an existing, approved drug for nail fungus, terbinafine, with the NexACT® technology that enhances the absorption of the drug through the skin. In January 2011, the Company announced that an additional analysis showed that MycoVa is as effective for the treatment of nail fungus as the current European standard of care for topical therapy, Loceryl® (an ointment made by Galderma). Those results convinced the Company to seek regulatory guidance meetings from certain health agencies in Europe.

The advantage of Apricus Bio's MycoVa is that it is easy to apply, thus improving patient compliance. MycoVa is applied to the infected nails, typically at bedtime, with minimal preparation, such as simply washing with soap and water. The formulation allows significant amounts of the drug to penetrate through the nail plate to the nail bed and surrounding area where fungus is located without significant systemic exposure.

Onychomycosis is a chronic persistent fungal infection of the nail bed that causes thickening and discoloration of the nail. The infection sometimes causes serious pain and disability. According to the Merck Manual, about 10% of people around the world suffer from onychomycosis. Recent studies (such as one by Iorizzo and Piraccini in 2007) show that the incidence is rising due to diabetes, immunosuppression and an aging population. The infection may hit as much as 90% of the elderly (eMedicine.medscape.com). As of 2008, Thomson Reuters Pharma estimated that the worldwide market is approximately $2.8 billion per year, and predicted that the market would grow to approximately $2.9 billion by 2014.

About Apricus Biosciences, Inc.

Apricus Bio, a San Diego based revenue-generating pharmaceutical company, has leveraged the flexibility of its clinically-validated NexACT® drug delivery technology to enable multi-route administration of new and improved compounds across numerous therapeutic classes.

Revenues and growth are driven from out-licensing of this technology for the development and commercialization of such compounds to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide. In addition, the Company is seeking to monetize its existing product pipeline, including its first product, Vitaros®, approved in Canada for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, which is currently expected to be available on the Canadian market in 2011, as well as compounds in development from pre-clinical through Phase III, currently focused on Sexual Dysfunction, Oncology, Dermatology, Autoimmune, Pain, Anti-Infectives, Diabetes and Cosmeceuticals among others.

For further information on Apricus Bio, visit http://www.apricusbio.com and for information on its subsidiaries please visit www.nexmedusa.com or www.bio-quant.com

Apricus Bio's 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 obtain and/or develop products from its patented technology and to successfully enter into partnership, licensing or commercialization agreements for MycoVaand other of its product candidates, its Vitaros® product and its NexACT platform technology. 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, subsequent quarterly reports filed on Form 10-Q 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 Biosciences, Inc.
         Edward Cox, V.P.
         Investor Relations & Corporate Development, Apricus Bio, Inc.
         (858) 848-4249
         ecox@apricusbio.com
         
         Apricus Bio Investor Relations
         Paula Schwartz
         Rx Communications Group, LLC
         (917) 322-2216
         pschwartz@rxir.com

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