Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has pulled its European Marketing Authorisation for its drug Ellefore/Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) as a treatment of major depressive disorder.

The move follows the termination of another European application in March when Wyeth pulled the same drug, which had been reviewed to treat hot flushes.

In a statement the company said it the withdrawal was based on its decision not to continue with pan-European approval at this time.

No other reason was given to the withdrawal.

“We are considering a number of options to support depressed patients and their families,” said Gary Stiles, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Wyeth.

Wyeth had submitted the application for marketing authorisation to the European Medicines Agency in September last year. The drug was approved in the US under the brand name Pristiq as a treatment for MDD in March and has also been approved for the same indication in Australia and Brazil.

The company pulled the drug as a treatment for hot flushes because of the need to conduct additional clinical studies to address questions from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use regarding the risk-benefit profile of the drug for that indication.

Ellefore/Pristiq is a derivative of the firm’s blockbuster antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine), the patent of which is due to expire in 2010.