Dr Falk Pharma has launched Jorveza - the first globally licensed drug approved for eosinophilic oesophagitis - across the UK.

Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) is an immune mediated, chronic and progressive disease of the oesophagus, most likely caused by common food allergies or other environmental triggers.

Often misdiagnosed as GORD (gastro oesophageal reflux disease), adult symptoms include problems with swallowing, bolus obstruction and chest pain related to swallowing, heartburn and regurgitation, while in children they can include reflux-related symptoms, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, refusal to eat or failure to grow.

If left untreated, the condition can lead to oesophageal remodeling, including the formation of strictures, and it is the cause of more than 50% of all emergency presentations for oesophageal food bolus impactions, according to the firm.

To date, management of EoE has centred on three areas; dietary exclusion, drugs and dilation. Jorveza - an orodispersable tablet containing the topical corticosteroid budesonide - offers patients a novel mode of treatment in that it is specifically designed to deliver directly to the inflammation within the oesophageal mucosa.

In clinical trials, Jorveza showed high rates of clinical and histological remission and high patient tolerability, with few side effects, Dr Falk said.

According to the data, complete clinical and histological remission of the disease was achieved in 58% of patients taking the drug at six weeks and 85% at 12 weeks compared to 0% of those taking a placebo.

“The UK launch of Jorveza represents an extremely positive development for those living with EoE,” noted Dr Riadh Jazrawi, the company’s medical director.

“Not only does it provide innovative drug delivery targeted directly to the area of inflammation, Jorveza also has proven patient and disease efficacy outcomes compared to placebo. Further, it is easy to take, with few side effects, providing EoE patients and clinicians with a highly beneficial alternative to current DIY unlicensed treatments.”