NOVATO -- BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRN) announced today that Firdapse is now commercially available in Germany and the UK.

For the treatment of the rare autoimmune disease Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome, Firdapse is expected to be in all major European markets by the end of 2010. The drug received marketing approval in the E.U. in December 2009 and is the first approved treatment for this condition, thereby conferring orphan drug protection and providing ten years of market exclusivity in Europe.

"The launch of Firdapse brings the first specifically approved treatment option for LEMS to patients in the E.U. and marks our fourth commercial product on the market,” said Jean-Jacques Bienaime, chief executive officer of BioMarin. “We look forward to meeting with the FDA in the second quarter of 2010 to determine the necessary regulatory path for Firdapse in the U.S."

BioMarin, which develops enzyme therapies for rare diseases, employs 700 in Novato.