India-based drugmaker Lupin has introduced its first brand product, Zaxine, in Canada.

Zaxine 550mg (rifaximin) is a long-term antibiotic treatment for adult patients with hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a complication of liver disease (cirrhosis).

HE will result in a wide spectrum of mental and physical symptoms, including confusion, disruption in sleep patterns and personality changes.

Lupin Pharma Canada has launched the product in the country, as part of a strategic licensing agreement with US-based gastrointestinal (GI) specialty firm Salix Pharmaceuticals.

Lupin CEO Vinita Gupta said: "We are very excited with the expansion of Lupin’s business into Canada given the opportunity we have, to create a Brand presence with the launch of Zaxine.

"The launch demonstrates Lupin’s commitment to grow its brand franchise in North America and bring meaningful products to patients in Canada."

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The deal allows Lupin to exclusively promote, distribute and market Zaxine in the Canadian market.

"The deal allows Lupin to exclusively promote, distribute and market Zaxine in the Canadian market."

Health Canada had approved Zaxine 550mg under priority review to reduce risk of overt HE recurrence in patients above or equal to 18 years of age.

Lupin noted that Zaxine is a first-in-class treatment for HE that currently has limited options for long-term treatment.

In October 2009, Lupin and Salix partnered to develop and commercialise an extended-release version of rifaximin using Lupin’s proprietary bioadhesive technology.

Lupin develops and produces a wide range of branded and generic formulations, as well as biotechnology products and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Its products include for applications such as cardiovascular, diabetology, asthma, paediatric, central nervous system (CNS) and anti-infective.

Image: Micrograph showing liver cirrhosis, a condition that often precedes hepatic encephalopathy. Photo: courtesy of Nephron.