Nycomed has signed up to market Eurand's Zenpep, a treatment for pancreatic insufficiency, in Russia.

The deal, the financial terms for which were not disclosed, also covers the Commonwealth of Independent States, Georgia and Mongolia, as well as Russia, areas where Nycomed is particularly strong. Zenpep (pancrelipase) is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the USA, where Eurand will keep selling the pancreatic enzyme product (PEP) which is indicated for the treatment of pancreatic insufficiency in patients with cystic fibrosis or other conditions, such as chronic pancreatitis, gastrointestinal surgery and pancreatic cancer.

Privately-owned Nycomed noted that Russia-CIS is a significant market for PEPs, which is dominated by digestive disorders such as chronic pancreatitis. According to IMS data, the PEP market in this region was estimated to be 93.5 million euros in 2009.

Jostein Davidson, senior vice president, Nycomed Group, noted that the firm is excited at the prospect of launching Zenpep into the Russia-CIS market, "where we are launching our recently-established gastrointestinal product portfolio". The treatment should take off, given that it has been "specifically formulated to meet the FDA's stringent guidelines for PEPs".

Andrew Thompson, Eurand's head of commercial operations, noted that "Nycomed is one of the fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies in Russia, and we are very confident of their ability to maximise the value of Zenpep in that market". The firms will now pursue regulatory approval in the region.