parkinson's disease

STADA Arzneimittel, the parent company of Thornton & Ross (T&R) and Reading-based Britannia Pharmaceuticals, has strengthened its footprint in specialty pharmaceuticals by acquiring an innovative therapy used for treating late-stage Parkinson’s disease.

The infusion of levodopa, carbidopa and entacapone is already approved in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, and STADA is currently submitting approval applications to launch the therapy in a number of major European markets.

German-headquartered STADA is increasingly adding differentiated specialty pharmaceuticals to its existing strengths in generics and non-prescription consumer health products. This vision has been further realised through the acquisition of global commercial rights, outside the Americas, Japan and Taiwan, in return for undisclosed payments to Lobsor’s owners. STADA is committed to its vision of bringing advanced Parkinson’s disease treatments to a therapeutic category in which it already has extensive experience.

STADA’s Britannia, which is headquartered in Reading, focuses on neurology and central nervous system indications, already offers apomorphine hydrochloride injection and infusion treatments. The deal also reflects STADA’s ongoing commitment to supplying patient-focused value-added medicines, including in central nervous system indications.

“This acquisition of Lobsor significantly expands STADA’s specialty footprint and serves as further evidence that STADA is a leading go-to-partner for specialty pharmaceuticals, generics and consumer health products,” commented STADA CEO Peter Goldschmidt.

“It also complements our portfolio and expertise in the treatment of late-stage Parkinson’s disease, where we have strong expertise via our company Britannia Pharmaceuticals.”

Sweden-based Lobsor Pharmaceuticals already holds marketing authorisations for the levodopa, carbidopa and entacapone patented gel formulation, enabling it to supply patients in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. STADA has already sought regulatory approval via Europe’s mutual recognition process in several key European countries and anticipates making further filings in the near future.

Lobsor Pharmaceuticals CEO Ulf Rosén stated: “With limited resources, we have managed to take the treatment system through proof of concept and early proof of business. Now it is time to scale up, and Britannia has the relevant experience, organisation, resources and out-reach to make the therapy available internationally.” He continued: “Lobsor’s management is happy to stay on to support a smooth and effective transition and is looking forward with anticipation to handing over the treatment system to Britannia.”

The levodopa, carbidopa and entacapone infusion therapy is inserted into the small intestine through a discreet, lightweight and wearable pump. The pump is currently prescribed for patients with late-stage Parkinson’s disease who are experiencing debilitating motor symptoms that can no longer be controlled by oral medication.  Dominic Graham, Operations Director at the European Parkinson’s Disease Association, the leading voice for PD associations around Europe, commented: “Very often people with Parkinson’s experience significant uncertainty because their condition can rapidly switch between being able to move and being immobile. Infusion pump treatments provide invaluable flexibility for individuals, as well as an opportunity to help plan and have better control over their daily lives.”

“Parkinson’s disease patients and their clinical teams have an urgent need for next generation therapies that can improve lives, such as by increasing therapy adherence or reducing side effects,” stated Dag Nyholm, Associate Professor of Neurology at Uppsala University, Sweden.

“Continuous improvement of the management of Parkinson’s disease, including through infusion pump therapies and deep-brain stimulation, is important. The field is moving forward in several areas; with exciting new approaches which try to modify the course of the disease. However, we have to keep improving the symptomatic treatments which our patients the best possible quality of life, in spite of the degenerative nature of the disease,” he added.

Robert Wood, Managing Director of Britannia, commented: “We believe this infusion formulation will have positive clinical benefits for patients who need a device-aided, continuous form of therapy which can resolve intractable motor fluctuations and improve their quality of life. We aim to broaden patient access to a device that is light, user-friendly, and discreet, enabling them to get on with their everyday lives with the full support of Britannia’s existing 24-hour Parkinson’s disease nurse service.”