Health Canada has approved Anika Therapeutics’ Monovisc, a single injection viscosupplement for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Anika expects to launch Monovisc in August through Rivex Pharma, its long-term Orthovisc distribution partner in Canada and speciality drug distribution division of Aurora, and Helix BioPharma.

Helix BioPharma vice-president of product distribution Bill Chick said that the company is pleased to be the exclusive distributor of Monovisc in the Canadian market and will begin aggressively marketing it immediately.

“We believe that patients and physicians stand to benefit from Monovisc’s unique features: patients will welcome fewer office visits and lower treatment costs, while physicians will appreciate the simplicity of the single-injection regimen,” Chick said.

Anika has submitted initial PMA modules for approval in the US and expects to submit the final module containing clinical study data before the end of 2009.