UK-based specialty pharmaceutical firm Alliance Pharma has launched its new prescription medicine Xonvea for the treatment of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP) in the UK.

Said to be the first licensed drug for NVP in the UK, Xonvea is indicated for women who do not respond to traditional management approaches.

Xonvea is made up of a combination of doxylamine and pyridoxine and Alliance Pharma licensed it from Canadian firm Duchesnay for the UK in 2015.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the marketing authorisation application for the drug in July this year.

Office of National Statistics and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists report indicated NVP affects nearly 751,923 women in the UK each year.

In 2016, Alliance Pharma obtained a licence for Xonvea in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and Switzerland.

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"There is no other licensed treatment for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy in the UK so this fulfils a significant unmet medical need."

Alliance Pharma CEO Peter Butterfield said: “The launch of Xonvea is a significant milestone for Alliance and I’m delighted that we have today made the product available in the UK.

“There is no other licensed treatment for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy in the UK so this is excellent news for patients and clinicians as it fulfils a significant unmet medical need.”

Alliance Pharma estimates it will gain approximately £10m in peak sales for Xonvea in the UK, as well as £30m across the other European countries where the company has a licence.

The company plans to incur upfront costs prior to the Xonvea launch, in addition to other incremental costs required to support its in-market growth.

Recommended as a first-line pharmacotherapy in the US and Canada, the drug has been prescribed to more than 33 million women over more than 40 years.