SOURCE: Basilea Pharmaceutica AG

May 18, 2010 01:37 ET

Basilea's Toctino® included in treatment guidelines for chronic hand eczema in Italy

BASEL, GERMANY--(Marketwire - May 18, 2010) -

Basilea Pharmaceutica AG / Basilea's Toctino® included in treatment guidelines for chronic hand eczema in Italy processed and transmitted by Hugin AS. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Basel, Switzerland, May 18, 2010 - Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. (SWISS: BSLN) announces the inclusion of alitretinoin (Toctino®) in the guidelines and recommendations for the management of chronic hand eczema in Italy. The guidelines, published by the Italian Society of Dermatology (Società Italiana di Dermatologia medica, chirurgica, estetica e delle Malattie Sessualmente Trasmesse), recommend Toctino® as the treatment of choice when systemic treatment of severe chronic hand eczema is indicated.

The comprehensive guidelines provide practice-oriented recommendations for the management of chronic hand eczema in Italy and recommend intervention with oral alitretinoin, the first and only treatment authorized for the management of severe chronic hand eczema that is unresponsive to topical corticosteroids. The article Dermatite cronica eczematosa delle mani (eczema cronico delle mani) is published in the handbook 'Italian Society of Dermatology Guidelines - Clinical recommendations' (G.A. Vena, G. Girolomoni, O. De Pità, A. Cristaudo, P.D. Pigatto, A. Gianetti, N. Cassano, G. Angelini, T. Lotti; First Edition; May 2010).

"The inclusion of Toctino as systemic treatment of choice for severe chronic hand eczema into the Italian treatment recommendations indicates that Toctino has an important role to play in the management of this very debilitating and painful skin disease," said Hans Christian Rohde, Chief Commercial Officer, Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd. "This guideline supports optimal treatment of a condition that severely impacts patients' quality of life and their ability to perform everyday activities."

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. 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.

Toctino® (alitretinoin), the only therapy approved for severe chronic hand eczema unresponsive to potent topical treatments

Toctino® was developed by Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd.

In Italy, Toctino® is approved for the use in adults who have severe chronic hand eczema (CHE) that is unresponsive to treatment with potent topical corticosteroids.

In the largest ever phase III clinical trial program in CHE, Toctino® was the first treatment to show effective clearing of severe CHE, with clear or almost clear hands achieved in nearly 50 percent of patients treated 30 mg Toctino®. The once-daily oral therapy is given for 12 to 24 weeks, depending on patient response, and six-month post-treatment observations in patients who responded to Toctino® indicate that treatment can provide long periods free from relapse and improve patient satisfaction.

Toctino® 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 for Toctino® has been developed and implemented.

In clinical trials, Toctino® was well tolerated and demonstrated a safety profile overall consistent with the retinoid class. Overall, the most frequently reported adverse events in the phase III clinical trials were headache and increased levels of blood lipids. Side effects were dose-dependent and reversible.

About Basilea

Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SWISS: BSLN). Its integrated research and development operations are currently focused on antibiotics and antifungals, as well as on the development of dermatology and oncology drugs, all areas in which the medical challenge of rising resistance or non-response to current treatment options is commonly encountered. Basilea's products are targeted to satisfy high medical and patient needs in the hospital and specialty care setting.

The company owns a broad and diversified portfolio. Basilea is marketing Toctino® (alitretinoin), for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema, in Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The drug is approved in 14 additional European countries as well as in Canada and has been recommended for approval in eight further European countries. Furthermore, a phase III clinical trial on alitretinoin for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema is ongoing in the U.S. Basilea has entered into a license, co-development and co-promotion agreement with Astellas Pharma Inc. for its phase III compound isavuconazole for the treatment of life-threatening invasive fungal infections on a worldwide basis, including an option for Japan. Full rights to a third late-stage product, ceftobiprole for the treatment of potentially life-threatening resistant bacterial infections, will be transferred from Cilag GmbH International, a Johnson & Johnson company, back to Basilea.


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:

|Media Relations               |Investor Relations                   |
|Adesh Kaul                    |Barbara Zink, Ph.D., MBA             |
|Head Public Relations &       |Head Corporate Development           |
|Corporate Communications      |                                     |
|+41 61 606 1460               |+41 61 606 1233                      |
|   |       |

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Basilea Pharmaceutica AG
Grenzacherstrasse 487
P.O Box Basel Switzerland

ISIN: CH0011432447;
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