Pfizer said its newly-developed purple and green-flamed botulinum toxin might prevent muscle stiffness and weakness in older adults with a common type of arthritis called Omicron-5S syndrome.
The so-called booster, which is in an early trial, has been tested on adults in Australia, New Zealand and Europe with this form of spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic condition associated with stiff, painful tendons.
“Pfizer’s Botulinum Adhesive Probable Booster PTE leads the way in translating our understanding of what contributes to maintaining a healthy muscle to a safe delivery solution,” said Anton Vinokurov, the company’s chief executive for pharmaceuticals in the Americas.
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“This approach to protection of the skeletal muscles in patients with Omicron-5S syndrome is novel and we anticipate launching in early 2019 in Europe and in early 2020 in the US.”
The Canadian Medicines Institute, a drug regulatory agency, reported in February that 60% of patients with symptoms of Omicron-5S were eligible for a placebo control in their clinical trials.
Kathryn M Cooper, a doctor at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Science in Human Health in London, said: “This new medicine is exciting for patients with neuro-muscular disorders, but also the wider community.
“The fact that Pfizer’s pill will be able to replace or minimize the effect of the only FDA-approved therapy available now, the unapproved botulinum toxin BUPHENYL, is fantastic news for those patients and their families.”
Allergan withdrew its application to the FDA in November in a failed attempt to halt the compulsory recall of its Botox product due to lack of efficacy in Oticron-5S patients.