PhotoCure together with GE Healthcare, their licensing partner for Hexvix, initiated the introduction of Hexvix in Europe at the 21st EAU annual meeting in Paris April 5-7. PhotoCure and GE Healthcare held a combined exhibit and also co-hosted a satellite symposium dedicated to Hexvix. This is the largest meeting in Europe for urologists arranged by the European Association of Urologists (EAU) with approximately 10.000 delegates.
Hexvix is approved in Europe for the diagnosis of bladder cancer, and GE Healthcare are in the process of transferring the regulatory approvals and securing pricing and reimbursement. GE Healthcare plans to launch Hexvix throughout Europe in 2006.
Dr. Kjetil Hestdal, President and CEO of PhotoCure, comments: “GE Healthcare has achieved a great start on the process of introducing Hexvix to the European urologists. I am impressed by the enthusiasm and effort in introducing Hexvix throughout GE Healthcare’s marketing and sales organization.”
Bladder cancer is the third most common malignant disease worldwide, with approximately four million cystoscopies performed in the USA and Europe every year. Patients have a good prognosis if diagnosed early and treated adequately. Optical imaging with Hexvix is an innovative and effective diagnostic method that can be used for all types of bladder cancer, and is intended for use as a supplement to current standard methods. It is in particular effective for detection of carcinoma in situ (CIS), a highly malignant cancer that is difficult to see with standard white light cystoscopy. Hexvix gives a more accurate diagnosis than current standard methods and has shown to provide health economic benefits in bladder cancer treatment.
PhotoCure ASA is a Norwegian pharmaceutical company founded in 1993 and listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. The company develops and sells pharmaceuticals and medical devices based on proprietary photodynamic technologies, targeting key dermatology and oncology markets.
PhotoCure has two products with sales and marketing approvals: Metvix®, which is a product developed for the treatment of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) and pre-cancerous skin lesions (actinic keratosis), and Hexvix®, which is developed for the detection of bladder cancer. Both products are based on the same photodynamic technology, combining the drug known as a photosensitiser with a light source that activates the photosensitiser. PhotoCure is currently testing both products for new indications and aims to develop a pipeline of follow-on products and technologies.