5 April 2017
Independent pharmaceutical company Specialised Therapeutics Asia has relaunched a product used to relieve the pain of oral mucositis, a condition that can affect cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
CEO Carlo Montagner said GELCLAIR was a welcome inclusion to the company’s expanding oncology and supportive care portfolio.
“This product has been available in Australia before, but has been in hiatus since 2015,” he said.
“We know there is continued demand for this important supportive care product and we are delighted to make GELCLAIR available once more to patients suffering from oral mucositis in Australia.”
GELCLAIR is a bio-adherent oral gel that works by creating a protective film in the mouth, said the company, adding it provides relief for the painful mouth ulcers that characterise the condition, as well as improving a patient’s ability to eat, drink, swallow and speak.
ST Asia will market and distribute the product under license from partner, Helsinn Healthcare SA, Switzerland. Internationally regarded oral mucositis expert Professor Dorothy Keefe said the condition could be extremely debilitating, even leading to malnutrition in some cases, with 20-40 per cent of patients receiving conventional chemotherapy affected, as well as up to 100 per cent of patients receiving radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.
“Pain in your mouth, or ulceration in your mouth, makes it hard to eat and to swallow,” said Professor Keefe.
“Both of these factors have an impact on quality of life and people can lose 5-10% of their body weight if they are badly affected. GELCLAIR provides a protective barrier that reduces the pain experienced by patients, which is an important part of oral mucositis management.”
Australian journalist and broadcaster Julie McCrossin suffered the debilitating effects of oral mucositis while undergoing treatment for oropharangeal cancer. She described the damage inside her mouth as “catastrophic”. “I would highly recommend GELCLAIR as a soothing, nurturing mouth treatment that helped me both physically and psychologically in my recovery, when I was suffering the pain and discomfort of treatment for throat cancer,” she said.
“With GELCLAIR, I actually felt it was helping me to start the road to recovery because I felt better. When you are going through weeks and weeks of trauma to your soft tissue, that is worth a million bucks.”