GranuPAS: treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis
In 2010 Lucane Pharma and Jacobus Pharmaceutical Company Inc signed an exclusive agreement for Lucane to distribute their product GranuPas® for Multi-Drug Resistant tuberculosis in the European Community and some other territories. MDR TB is a growing and serious problem in the EU and Lucane obtained an Orphan Drug Designation for this product in October 2010. GranuPas has been granted a Marketing Authorisation from EMA in April 2014.
Lucane is already supplying this product to MDR-TB patients in France under the "cohort ATU" procedure since May 2011. This granule formulation is adapted for paediatric use and Lucane has developed a specific graduated dosing spoon to enable accurate dosing by weight in children.
Development and co-development projects
Pheburane has been developed by Lucane Pharma for the treatment of Urea Cycle Disorders. A urea cycle disorder (UCD) is an inherited, inborn error of metabolism present in an estimated 1 in 10,000 births. The onset may occur at any age depending on the severity of the disorder. If clinical symptoms are present just after birth, however, the disorder is usually very severe and may be fatal.
UCDs are caused by a deficiency of one of the enzymes in the urea cycle which is responsible for the removal of ammonia, a potent neurotoxin, from the body. The urea cycle involves a series of biochemical steps in which nitrogen, a waste product of protein metabolism, is removed from the blood and converted to urea which is excreted in the urine. In UCDs, the nitrogen removal is blocked and it accumulates in the form of ammonia. Left untreated, UCDs can cause dangerously increased levels of ammonia in the bloodstream (hyperammonemia) resulting in brain damage, coma and, if untreated, death.
The current treatment of urea cycle disorders consists of dietary management to limit ammonia production (with an emphasis on protein restriction and amino acid supplementation) in conjunction with medications and/or supplements which provide alternative pathways for the removal of ammonia from the bloodstream. Patients suffering from this very serious inborn error of metabolism are at risk of neurological damage due to a metabolic imbalance or decompensation if they fail to take their medication in large doses every day.
Phenylbutyrate is a standard treatment to remove ammonia. However, this active substance has a very strong bitter and salty taste.
Pheburane is a new formulation of phenylbutyrate where the taste is completely masked. Lucane has received the Marketing Authorisation from the EMA in July 2013