Recordati has announced the first European launch of its cholesterol-lowerer pitavastatin, in Spain.

This new statin will be sold by the Italian firm's Spanish subsidiary as Livazo and by its co-marketing partner Esteve as Alipza. The drug is indicated for the reduction of elevated total cholesterol and LDL-C, in adults with primary hypercholesterolaemia and mixed dyslipidaemia when response to diet and other "non-pharmacological measures" is inadequate.

Recordati acquired the rights for majority of European markets for the drug from Japan's Kowa Co in 2008 and it has been available in Japan since 2003 and in the USA since June 2010 where it is sold by Kowa and Eli Lilly. Despite intense competition, the Milan-based group believes pitavastatin has a place in the market, given that it is minimally metabolised by the enzymes of the cytochrome P-450 family.

These enzymes play a key role in the metabolism of many drugs, thus minimising the potential risk for unpredictable responses to treatment or for interaction with treatments metabolised by this pathway. The company added that pitavastatin has an excellent safety profile and chief executive Giovanni Recordati said it is "a new and interesting therapeutic option for a condition which constitutes one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease”.