Lundbeck has launched its alcoholism treatment Selincro in its first markets - Norway, Finland, Poland and the Baltic countries.

Selincro (nalmefene) was approved at the end of February and is the first new treatment for alcohol dependence in Europe for more than a decade. Lundbeck noted that the drug, a dual-acting opioid system modulator that acts on the brain’s motivational system, will be launched in other countries later this year and in 2014.

In clinical trials, Selincro reduced alcohol consumption by 60% after six months' treatment. Lundbeck will provide the drug as part of "a novel treatment concept" which includes "continuous psychosocial support focused on the reduction of alcohol consumption and treatment adherence". It has been developed for use on an as-needed basis, taken on days when the patient feels a risk of drinking.

Selincro has been co-developed with Biotie Therapies Corp and the Finnish biotech will be eligible for milestone payments upon launches in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.