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The Austrian pharmaceutical company AOP Orphan, which specialises in rare diseases and innovative therapies, will in future market the two special preparations by the highly innovative, publicly listed company Cardiome Pharma Corp., Canada, in Europe.

Anti-arrhythmia drug BRINAVESS® 
BRINAVESS® is a highly efficient, fast acting and well tolerated drug designed to treat recent onset atrial fibrillation. Around 4.5 million people in Europe have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Without proper treatment, there is a serious risk of the patient suffering heart failure or a stroke.

With BRINAVESS®, it is usually possible to restore the normal heart rhythm with a ten-minute intravenous infusion. BRINAVESS® is different from previous antiarrhythmic drugs with its unique mechanism of action. It acts primarily in the atrium by blocking specific sodium and potassium channels. In this way it blocks electrical currents, extends the atrial refractory period and delays the transmission speed depending on the frequency. This is why this class of substance is also known as ARDAs (atrial repolarization-delaying agents).

BRINAVESS® acts more quickly than other substances commonly used for medical cardioversion and means that, in contrast to electrical shock, there is no need for sedation and anaesthesia.

A recently published observational study (Juul_Möller S et al; European Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine), which was conducted at Skane University Hospital in Malmö (Sweden), revealed that it was possible to restore a normal heart rhythm in 70 % of study patients within eleven minutes using BRINAVESS®. 251 patients who had recently started experiencing atrial fibrillation took part in the study. 75 % of the successfully treated patie¬nts still had a normal cardiac rhythm one year later.

The special preparation will be marketed by AOP Orphan in Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, the Baltic States, Romania and Switzerland.

Aggrastat® serves to prevent an impending myocardium infarction in adult patients suffering from acute coronary syndrome with non-ST segment elevation (a main type of heart attack), in which the latest episode of chest pains occurred within the previous twelve hours and ECG changes and / or elevated cardiac enzymes have been observed. However, it is also indicated to reduce serious cardiovascular events in patients with an acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) for whom primary PCI is intended. This means that patients who benefit in particular are those with a high risk of developing a myocardial infarction or who will probably need to have surgery to widen or open up a coronary artery.

The active ingredient tirofiban inhibits thrombocyte receptors that act as the decisive binding site in the process of platelet aggregation, which is the first step in the development of any clot.

Important partnership for both companies
“Execution of the commercial agreement with AOP Orphan fulfills a key objective in Cardiome’s European commercialization strategy,” said William Hunter, M.D., CEO of Cardiome. “Through the agreement, additional physicians and patients beyond the reach of our current sales force will have access to Brinavess and Aggrastat. We are very pleased to have partnered with such a well-known, highly experienced and respected company.”

Dr. Rudolf Widmann, CEO of AOP Orphan: “The cooperation with Cardiome represents an important step in our ongoing expansion and underpins our expertise in the area of cardiovascular diseases.”

About AOP Orphan
AOP Orphan researches, develops, produces and distributes innovative drugs and administration methods to treat rare diseases – and has become a European pioneer in the field of orphan diseases. The company’s focus is on the areas hematology and oncology, cardiology and pulmonology, neurology and psychiatry, and metabolic diseases. AOP Orphan is one of the foremost providers in the sector, generating a turnover of more than EUR 60 million as an Austrian company with transnational operations. It has an export ratio of around 70% and employs over 140 people. The rare disease specialist has branch offices situated in its core markets within the EU, Switzerland and the Middle East. The international markets are handled and operated by long-term, close partners of the company. AOP Orphan has a total of twelve locations.

Further inquiries

AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG
Public Affairs
Wilhelminenstraße 91/IIf
1160 Wien
T +43 1 503 72 44-24
F +43 1 503 72 44-61
M publicaffairs@aoporphan.com