US approves heart drug created in Ireland


Amarin, a small Irish drug development business, has won US approval for the new heart drug Vascepa, it was announced last Thursday.

According to the Irish Times, the company's chairman and chief executive Joe Zakrzewski said they anticipated a commercial launch for the drug early next year.

“This is an exciting time for Amarin and its stakeholders and for all those who have worked so hard over the last several years to make this approval a reality,” he said.

“We continue to consider three potential paths for the marketing and sale of the product: an acquisition of Amarin, a strategic collaboraiton or self-commercialisation.”

Vascepa, essentially a highly purified form of Omega 3 fish oil, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with very high levels of triglycerides -- levels above 500 milligrams/decilitre.

Potential suitors for the drug include Astrazeneca, Pfizer and Abbott Labs. Analyst believe Vascepa could boast annual sales of more than $1 billion by 2017.