Emmaus Life Sciences Inc. of Torrance has contracted with a pharmaceutical wholesaler to make its new drug for sickle cell disease available to millions of U.S. service personnel worldwide.

The biopharmaceutical company announced July 30 it had entered into a distribution agreement with DMS Pharmaceutical Group Inc., a global wholesaler based in Illinois, for its sickle cell drug.

The agreement now makes the Endari drug available to patients within the U.S. Department of Defense, including three million military personnel and 9.4 million beneficiaries.

“Our new partnership with DMS Pharmaceutical is an exciting step forward as we strive to make Endari more available to patients who need it,” said Dr. Yutuka Niihara, founding chairman and chief executive of Emmaus Life Sciences, in a statement.

Endari, an L-glutamine oral powder, went on the market in January after a quarter century of development at LA BioMed next to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. It was the first new treatment for sickle cell disease released in 20 years for adults, and the first-ever treatment for children.

The New England Journal of Medicine last week published the results of a phase 3 clinical trial of the firm’s sickle cell drug that showed it reduced acute complications of the painful disease that affects 100,000 adults and children in the U.S., and 25 million worldwide.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.