Biovail and marketing partner Cambridge Laboratories Group are celebrating the launch in the USA of Xenazine, the first product approved for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington's disease.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Xenazine (tetrabenazine) in August and the product will be sold in the USA by Ovation Pharmaceuticals, through its 48-person sales force via a specialty pharmacy network. The launch follows the acquisition of Cambridge's original marketing partner, Prestwick Pharmaceuticals, by Biovail in September.

Under the agreement, Biovail will commercialise tetrabenazine in Canada under the Nitoman brand name and supply Xenazine to Ovation for a variable percentage of the product's annual net sales. In turn, Biovail will pay a supply price of 50% of net sales to Cambridge.

Mark Evans, chief executive of Cambridge, a privately-owned Anglo-Irish group, said the launch is a significant milestone in the firm's history. He added that Ovation "will be able to maximise Xenazine's potential in this important market".