Genzyme Corporation has gotten the okay from the Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare can now market Synvisc (hylan G-F 20; 3 x 2 mL), for alleviating osteoarthritis of the knee.

Synvisc, marketed in the U.S. already under the Synvisc-One brand name. The drug offers an injection to relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative nonpharmacologic therapy and simple analgesics, e.g., acetaminophen.

According to a recent Japanese epidemiological study, nearly 30 million people in Japan have osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The existing viscosupplements on the market in Japan require a greater number of injections than Synvisc, and may offer a much shorter duration of pain relief.

Synvisc, the first non-Japanese viscosupplement to be approved in the country, will be the only product to offer six months of OA knee pain relief with three injections. Genzyme plans to launch Synvisc in Japan by the end of this year.

Genzyme has entered into an agreement with Teijin Pharma Limited to commercialize Synvisc in Japan.

(Source: Press Release)