Tigenix says lead drug won't be reimbursed in France

BRUSSELS, June 7 Fri Jun 7, 2013 12:39pm EDT

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BRUSSELS, June 7 (Reuters) - Belgian biotech firm Tigenix said on Friday that its lead drug ChondroCelect, which repairs damaged cartilage in the knee, will not be reimbursed to patients in France, following a decision by the local regulator.

"We are disappointed by the decision, but not completely surprised as it is consistent with their position in 2010," Chief Executive Eduardo Bravo said, referring to the decision of the French regulator.

The group said that sales of the product, which is reimbursed in Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands and through private payers in Britain, were 1.9 million euros ($2.51 million) in the first five months of 2013. ($1 = 0.7564 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Robin Emmott)