UPDATE 1-Paladin Labs' grass allergy drug gets Canadian nod

March 21 Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:12am EDT

March 21 (Reuters) - Paladin Labs Inc said the Canadian health regulator approved its oral drug to treat seasonal grass allergies.

The Canadian specialty pharmaceutical company expects to launch the drug, Oralair, in 2013.

Paladin, which bowed out of bidding for Afexa -- maker of Canada's No. 1 selling cold and flu medicine Cold-FX -- said about 20 percent to 25 percent of adults in Canada have respiratory allergies and half of those would be grass pollen allergies.

Oralair, which can be taken at home, has been marketed in Europe since 2008.

Paladin obtained the Canadian development and marketing rights for Oralair from Stallergenes SA in January 2007.

Paladin shares closed at C$39.50 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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