BioDelivery Sciences International (NASDAQ:BDSI) has made a key hire as it prepares for the expected launch of opioid dependence treatment Bunavail next year.

David Acheson is now Raleigh-based BDSI’s vice president of sales and managed markets. He joins the company with a Food and Drug Administration approval decision on Bunavail expected by June 7, 2014. He will be responsible for overseeing the anticipated launch of Bunavail along with managing existing and future commercial partnerships.

Bunavail delivers a combination of drug abuse treatment drugs using BDSI’s drug delivery technology: a small piece of film that dissolves after being placed on the inside of the cheek. BDSI is targeting a market of nearly 2 million American that are dependent on prescription opioids, according to a 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The “BioErodible MucoAdhesive” or BEMA technology used in Bunavail is also key to BDSI’s FDA-approved product, Onsolis. Onsolis uses the proprietary drug-delivery technology to administer the pain-killer fentanyl to cancer patients experiencing breakthrough cancer pain.

Acheson brings to BDSI more than 18 years of sales experience in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products, most recently at CSL Behring where he was national director of sales, immunology and pulmonary for two specialty teams focused on rare and orphan diseases. Acheson also worked at New Jersey-based specialty pharmaceutical company Pacirar Pharmaceuticals where he helped prepared for last year’s launch of Exparel, a non-opioid local analgesic for post-surgical pain.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with David’s talent and energy join our management team during this exciting and evolutionary phase of our company as we progress from a research and development focused company to a broader commercial entity,” BDSI President and CEO Mark Sirgo said in a statement. “The timing of David’s hiring is significant as we finalize our commercial plans for Bunavail over the next several months.”