Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, a Chesterbrook specialty pharmaceutical firm, has partnered with the Swedish firm Swedish Orphan Biovitrium (Sobi) in marketing the drug Xiapex in 28 European Union countries, Norway and Iceland.
The first-in-class biologic is used to treat patients with Dupuytren’s contracture and adult men with Peyronie’s disease. Sobi holds the exclusive rights to market Xiapex for these rare conditions, subject to regulatory approvals in those countries.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a progressive condition affecting the hand, specifically the layer of tissue just under the skin of the palm and fingers. While this layer of tissue normally contains collagen, in patients with Dupuytren’s there is an increase in the amount of collagen produced. Abnormal collagen build-up results in nodule and cord formation that worsens over time.
Eventually, rope-like collagen cords may form, thicken and shorten, causing the fingers to be drawn in toward the palm. This thickening and shortening of the Dupuytren’s cord can reduce finger range of motion. Once the Dupuytren’s collagen cord can be felt, it is referred to as a “palpable cord.”
Last fall Xiaflex became the first FDA-approved medicine to treat men with Peyronie’s disease, curvature of the penis. The disease is caused by scar tissue that develops under the skin of the penis, causing an abnormal bend during erection. Auxilium reported in a press release work is on-going to file for approval of Xiapex in the EU for the treatment of Peyronie’s disease.
For those who have the rare Dupuytren’s contracture, Xiapex may be an alternative to invasive and often complicated surgery. The drug enzymatically disrupts the contracting cord and reduces the contraction. It is administered by local injection directly into the Dupuytren’s cord – a procedure which can be carried out in an outpatient setting.
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals is a specialty biopharmaceutical company with a focus on developing and commercializing innovative products for specialist audiences. Auxilium is an emerging leader in men’s healthcare and has strategically expanded its product portfolio in orthopedics, dermatology and other therapeutic areas. Auxilium now has a broad portfolio of 12 approved products an also has programs in clinical development for the treatment of Frozen Shoulder syndrome and cellulite.
Auxilium’s mission is to improve the lives of patients throughout the world by successfully identifying, developing and commercializing innovative specialty biopharmaceutical products.