Wockhardt in-licenses dermatology drug from LSI of UK

Wockhardt Ltd has announced that signed an in-licensing agreement with LSI, a UK-based company specialising in dermatology, to market Vitix, a patented product for the treatment of vitiligo, a pigmentation disorder.

Vitiligo, popularly called leucoderma, is a skin disorder affecting between 1 per cent and 2 per cent of the global population in which the patient develops white patches caused by localised loss of pigment. These white patches are liable to sun burn.

According to Habil Khorakiwala, chairman, Wockhardt Ltd, "This agreement is part of the Wockhardt''s initiative to bring new advances in medicine to India. We plan to expand our portfolio in cardiology, diabetology and dermatology by introducing new products that have proved their effectiveness in other parts of the world."

Wockhardt will manufacture Vitix, a gel for topical application in India from active pharmaceutical ingredients imported from LSI and the product is expected to be launched in India in the last quarter of 2006.

Vitix offers advantages like fast onset of action and high success rate with established safety. Vitix is now marketed in Europe, North America, South East Asia and Africa.

Introduction of Vitix will strengthens Wockhardt''s dermatology portfolio, which includes the Nadoxin range, India's only quinolone antibiotic for topical use, which has gained wide acceptance among dermatologists.

Although not debilitating, vitiligo is often emotionally stressful to the patient. Usually, the only treatment is skin colouring cosmetics or depigmenting agents. Some limited success has been reported using "PUVA" therapy in which plant extracts called "psoralens" are administered orally and the patient is subsequently exposed to UV-A light.