Liestal – Swiss Santhera Pharmaceuticals and researchers from Newcastle University have published the results from a pivotal clinical trial demonstrating that the firm’s synthetic coenzyme Q10 derivative idebenone significantly improves the vision of patients with the rare mitochondrial disease Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON). Published in BRAIN, the results are part of a data package submitted to the EU drug authority in July. Market approval in LHON could be expected at the earliest by the end of 2012. Idebenone will be available through a Named Patient Programme until the EMA has come to a decision. The substance has already received market approval in Canada as a treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia, but was rejected by the EMA for the same indication.