NITEC ANNOUNCES FIRST LAUNCH
OF LODOTRA® IN GERMANY
Basel/Reinach, Switzerland, 14 April 2009
– Nitec Pharma AG (“Nitec” or “Nitec Pharma”),
a Switzerland-based specialty pharma company focused on the development
and commercialization of medicines to treat chronic inflammation
and pain-related diseases, today announced that Lodotra® is
being launched in Germany, the first market for this drug, by
Merck KGaA who holds the exclusive distribution rights for Germany
Lodotra®, Nitec’s single-pulse delayed-release tablet
available on prescription, will be available in Germany as of
15 April 2009 for the treatment of RA and associated morning stiffness.
As a result of innovative galenics the so-called night corticoid,
taken at bed-time, releases the active ingredient, prednisone,
in the middle of the night, when the morning stiffness is developing.
Thus, the length of the morning stiffness, the core symptom of
RA, can be reduced by half.
Dr. Anders Härfstrand, CEO of Nitec, comments: “We
are very proud to launch Lodotra® in Germany following ten
years of development and look forward to the roll-out across Europe
during 2009. With Merck KGaA, who will market Lodotra® in
Germany and Austria, and Mundipharma, our partner in the rest
of Europe, we benefit from the support of strong partners with
high competence in the treatment of RA.“
A new understanding of the human body’s circadian rhythms
makes this innovation possible. The increased inflammation activity
between 2am and 4am involves a higher level of interleukin-6 (“IL-6”)
which is closely connected to morning stiffness. By lowering this
raised IL-6 level with prednisone the stiffness of joints in the
morning can be reduced significantly.
An estimated number of 800,000 people suffer from RA in Germany.
Effective treatments of morning stiffness have been very limited,
and the activities of daily life as well as working activities
in the morning were limited. Reducing the morning stiffness by
half significantly improves the quality of life of patients, and
has a significant effect on the national economy.
Anders Härfstrand, MD PhD
Nitec Pharma AG
Tel: +41 61 715 20 46
Mobile: +41 79 83493 20
About Nitec Pharma AG
Nitec Pharma is a Switzerland-based specialty pharmaceutical
company focused on the development and commercialisation of innovative
medicines and effective treatment solutions for chronic inflammation
and pain-related diseases. Nitec’s most advanced product
is Lodotra™, a circadian cytokine modulator (CCM) for the
treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which has recently received
a recommendation for European regulatory approval and is now launched
in Germany. Nitec was originally founded in 2004 as a spin-out
of Merck KGaA and is headquartered in Reinach in Switzerland.
Nitec is financed by Atlas Venture, Global Life Science Ventures,
NGN Capital, TVM Capital and a principal investment arm of Deutsche
Bank AG, London. For further information about Nitec Pharma please
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