Ireland’s Elan Corporation has received some good news from the European Commission, which has granted marketing approval for Prialt (ziconotide) for the treatment of severe, chronic pain in patients who require intrathecal analgesia (injection into the spinal cord).

Lars Ekman, Elan’s president of research and development, claimed: “Prialt can offer new hope for patients in Europe as the first new IT analgesic approved in more than two decades.” He noted that the drug has also recently received approval in the US [[04/01/05d]], although admittedly this came after a number of delays.

The news of the European go-ahead comes just after Elan and partner Biogen Idec revealed that a two-year clinical trial of their new multiple sclerosis product, Tysabri (natalizumab), achieved its endpoint of slowing the progression of disability amongst MS sufferers [[17/02/05a]].

Although the Prialt approval is obviously good news, the treatment has a fairly limited market and it is Tsyabri that the Irish firm hopes will drive future growth. As such, the Prialt announcement made little difference to Elan’s shares, which are quoted in Dublin, London and New York.