Pfizer has been given the green light in Europe for Xiapex, a non-surgical treatment option for Dupuytren’s contracture, licensed from Auxilium Pharmaceuticals.

The European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for Xiapex (collagenase clostridium histolyticum), which is an injected treatment and is already available in the USA (sold as Xiaflex). It treats a condition that affects the connective tissue beneath the skin in the palm. As the disease progresses, collagen deposits form a cord that stretches from the palm to the base of the finger, causing them to contract.

Dupuytren’s disease affects approximately 13% of the European population and the highest prevalence has been seen in northern Scotland, Iceland and Norway. The condition is more common in men and Pfizer quoted Jörg Witthaut, consultant hand surgeon from Schoen Klinik Vogtareuth Handchirurgie in Germany as saying that Dupuytren’s contracture can "significantly impact a patient’s quality of life, as the affected finger often interferes with daily activities such as driving, washing one’s face or shaking hands".

Pfizer added that it is working closely with in-country medicines regulatory bodies across Europe to launch the new treatment and launches are planned for later this year.