Raleigh-based Salix Pharmaceuticals has received FDA approval for a drug to treat a rare genetic disorder called hereditary angloedema, or HAE.

Salix (Nasdaq: SLXP) licensed North American market rights to the drug known as Ruconest from Netherlands-based Pharming Group.

“We are pleased that RUCONEST® provides the HAE community with another FDA-approved option for treating painful and debilitating HAE attacks,” said Anthony Castaldo, president of the Hereditary Angioedema Association (US HAEA), a non-profit patient services and research organization with a membership of over 5,000 HAE patients in the United States. The statement was released through Salix.

Salix describes HAE this way: “HAE attacks stem from a deficiency of the C1 inhibitor protein in the blood. HAE is a rare inherited genetic condition that is often not properly diagnosed until later in a patient’s life as the symptoms of an attack can mirror someone experiencing an allergic reaction. Severe, painful swelling can occur at any time, which means most people suffering from HAE deal with the constant fear of when their next attack might surface and how that might impair their lives and those around them.”

Patients can administer the drug after receiving training.

Salix plans to launch the drug later this year.