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Basilea Reports Positive Re-treatment Results from a Second Phase,III Trial of Alitretinoin for Patients with Severe Chronic Hand,Eczema

in an open-label fashion for another 12 to 24 weeks. Forty-seven percent (47%) achieved a response as defined by clear or almost clear hands. These results further confirm the efficacy of alitretinoin in patients with CHE refractory to topical therapy.

Alitretinoin was generally well tolerated with a safety profile similar to that reported in previous phase II and phase III clinical studies. The most frequent adverse events were headache and blood lipid elevations.

Dr. Anthony Man, CEO of Basilea said, "Because of the relapsing nature of Chronic Hand Eczema it was important for patients and treating physicians that we further characterize the safety and efficacy of more than one treatment course of alitretinoin. These trial results confirm that alitretinoin is an effective treatment for severe refractory Chronic Hand Eczema. Alitretinoin has the potential to be integrated into pragmatic re-treatment algorithms for these chronically affected patients who have limited treatment options."

About Chronic Hand Eczema (CHE) Hand eczema is a common skin disease and is often chronic and relapsing. It is estimated to affect up to 10% of the general population. The more severe, chronic form of the condition is thought to affect up to 7% of these patients, many of whom do not respond, or no longer respond to topical corticosteroids. Basilea estimates there are at least one million patients in Europe and North America with refractory severe CHE for which currently no approved, effective pharmaceutical treatment is available.

For the patient, severe CHE can be a frustrating and debilitating disease. Patients often suffer for years from erythema, blisters, vesicles, scaling and fissures which can cause chronic pain and functional impairment of the hands. Studies suggest these patients have a significantly reduced quality of life and the majority experience social or emotional distress and sleep disorders. It is reported that up to 20% of sufferers have
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