Netherlands-based pharma company Norgine has expanded its agreement with Apharm over the distribution of Ziverel, a class-III medical device, in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Ziverel is used to maintain the integrity of the oesophageal mucosa to deter the irritation of the oesophagus caused by stomach acid among other causes.

Gastrooesophageal reflux is a commonly occurred disease across the world and disease burden is said to be increasing. It affects up to 20% of the Western population and is associated with a range of risk factors.

Ziverel is a combination of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, which shields the oesophageal mucosa by an original mechanism.

"Patients who suffer from gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms will have access to a new treatment option for a condition that is on the rise."

The high bioadhesive capacity component (poloxamer 407) present in the formulation enhances the stability of contact between the chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid in the surface of the wall of the oesophagus and contributes to the protective effect against the action of hydrochloric acid and pepsin produced by the stomach.

Chondroitin sulfate also performs an action that promotes the repair process of the oesophageal mucosa.

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Norgine COO Peter Martin said: "By ensuring Ziverel is widely available in the EU, patients who suffer from gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms will have access to a new treatment option for a condition that is on the rise and can have a significant impact on health-related quality of life and reduction in personal and work-related productivity."

Last year, Norgine entered into an agreement with Apharm to market Ziverel in Spain, Australia and New Zealand.