July 16, 2009 / 5:52 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Basilea gets UK NHS approval for hand ezcema product

* UK’s NICE recommends use of Toctino on NHS

* Toctino is for severe chronic hand eczema

* Shares up 2.3 pct

(Adds shares, analyst comment, details)

ZURICH, July 16 (Reuters) - Basilea Pharmaceutica AG (BSLN.S) said Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended the use of its Toctino as a treatment for severe chronic hand eczema.

Basilea said NICE had determined that Toctino was a cost-effective use of National Health Service(NHS) resources. The Scottish Medicine’s Consortium already determined in March that Toctino should be made available to patients in Scotland.

NICE has to rule that drugs are good value before they can be reimbursed by the state-run NHS. NICE recommended that Toctino is used for patients who have not responded to potent topical corticosteroids.

“The positive final appraisal determination is an important milestone for Basilea and is confirmation of the value Toctino brings to patients and the healthcare community,” Basilea Chief Executive Anthony Man said in a statement.

Basilea shares were up 2.3 percent at 88.50 Swiss francs at 0725 GMT, compared with a 0.5 percent stronger DJ Stoxx European healthcare index .SXDP.

Mark Belsey, Kepler Capital Markets analyst, welcomed the fact that the NICE recommendation clarified that Toctino could be used after second-line corticosteroids had failed rather than after third-line immunosuppressants.

“Today’s recommendation is positive, particularly with the additional clarifications, and it increases the possibility of further European reimbursement,” he said.

The Swiss drug firm said hand eczema affects up to 10 percent of the general population while the more severe, chronic form is thought to affect about 5-7 percent of these patients, causing impaired use of their hands. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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