SOURCE: Basilea Pharmaceutica AG

November 18, 2009 01:21 ET

Basilea's Toctino® receives marketing authorization in Canada

BASEL, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwire - November 18, 2009) - Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. announces that Toctino® (alitretinoin), a new once-daily oral treatment for adults with severe chronic hand eczema (CHE) unresponsive to potent topical corticosteroids, has obtained regulatory approval from Health Canada.

"We are delighted that Health Canada has approved the use of Toctino for patients with severe chronic hand eczema unresponsive to potent topical steroids. These patients have often suffered with this chronic debilitating condition for many years. Our rigorous, well designed clinical studies have clearly shown that Toctino has the potential to benefit a significant number of patients suffering from chronic hand eczema," said Dr. Anthony Man, CEO Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd.

Toctino® has recently been launched in France and is already being marketed in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom for the treatment of adults with severe chronic hand eczema unresponsive to potent topical corticosteroids. Toctino® has also received marketing authorization in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Further, Toctino® has been recommended for approval in Italy. Alitretinoin is under regulatory review in 15 additional European countries.

Chronic hand eczema - a debilitating skin disease

Hand eczema is a common inflammatory skin disease and is often chronic and relapsing. Hand eczema is reported to affect up to ten percent of the general population. It is characterized by thick, scaly skin that commonly gives rise to blisters, redness, swelling and painful cracks in the skin. The more severe, chronic form of the condition is thought to affect five to seven percent of these patients, causing impaired use of their hands and a considerable impact on their ability to perform everyday activities.

About Toctino® (alitretinoin)

Toctino® was developed by Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd. Health Canada approved Toctino® for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema refractory to high potency topical corticosteroids in adults.

Toctino® is a once-daily capsule to be taken with food. The recommended starting dose is 30 mg in most patients and a treatment course lasts up to 24 weeks depending on response. Alitretinoin is a naturally occurring, physiologic retinoid that is thought to work in CHE through anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.

Alitretinoin is a known teratogen (a substance that can cause birth defects when women are exposed during pregnancy). Strict pregnancy prevention one month before, during, and one month after cessation of treatment as well as monthly pregnancy testing are required for women of childbearing age. A comprehensive pregnancy prevention program has been developed and implemented. In clinical trials alitretinoin was well tolerated and has a safety profile overall consistent with the retinoid class. Side effects were generally dose-dependent.

About Basilea

Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SWISS: BSLN). Basilea's integrated research and development operations are currently focused on new antibacterial, antifungal and oncology agents to fight drug resistance and on the development of dermatology drugs. Basilea's products are targeted to satisfy high medical and patient needs in the hospital and specialty care setting.

The company owns a diversified portfolio including two commercialized drugs (Toctino®, ZEFTERA™/ Zevtera™) and one investigational drug in phase III (isavuconazole). Toctino® (alitretinoin) is marketed in the Denmark, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It is approved in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Alitretinoin has been recommended for approval in Italy and is under regulatory review in 15 additional European countries. Furthermore a phase III clinical trial on alitretinoin for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema is ongoing in the U.S.

Ceftobiprole is marketed in Canada under the brand name ZEFTERA™ and in Switzerland under Zevtera™. Ceftobiprole is under regulatory review in the U.S., in the EU and several other countries. The company has set up commercial organizations in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany and UK, while it is building sales and marketing organizations in other countries to commercialize alitretinoin and to co-promote ceftobiprole, subject to approval.


This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. and its business. Such statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For further information, please contact:

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| Adesh Kaul                     | Barbara Zink, Ph.D.              |
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