ProStrakan and Orexo have announced their cancer pain drug Abstral has been approved in Germany.

Abstral, formerly branded as Rapinyl, is a fast-dissolving under the tongue tablet of fentanyl for the management of breakthrough cancer pain in patients who are already receiving opiod analgesics.

The approval by the German regulatory authority, BfArM, will see Orexo, which has exclusive rights to the drug in Europe and North America, receiving a milestone payment of €650,000.

Earlier this year the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use issued a positive opinion recommending approval of Abstral in Europe. Since then, the drug has been launched in Sweden and has been approved for marketing in the UK.

ProStrakan plans to launch Abstral in Germany and the UK in the first few weeks of 2009.