Healthcare Industry News:  osteoporosis 

Biopharmaceuticals Licensing

 News Release - September 12, 2006

Chugai Announces Co-Development and Co-Marketing Agreement with Taisho Pharmaceutical for the Antiresorptive Bisphosphonate R484

Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 12, 2006 - (HSMN NewsFeed) - Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. to co-develop and co-market R484 (generic name: ibandronic acid), a bisphosphonate which Chugai is currently developing in Japan for the treatment of osteoporosis. Under the agreement, Chugai will co-develop the compound with Taisho and co-market it with Taisho Toyama Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Taisho. Chugai will receive an upfront fee and milestone payments from Taisho.

R484, a bisphosphonate compound owned by Roche, demonstrates a strong inhibitory effect on bone resorption. A less frequent dosing and administration has been developed (for oral and injection) to improve convenience and compliance by reducing complicated restrictions when administering the medicine and to reduce the adverse reactions often seen in oral bisphosphonate preparations, mainly reactions related to the gastrointestinal track. In Japan, a phase II clinical trial is ongoing for the oral formulation and a phase II clinical trail has been completed for the injectable formulation.

Since there are an estimated 12 million osteoporosis patients in Japan, it is becoming increasingly important to develop a drug which increases bone mass and reduces the risk of bone fractures, while being easy to administer. R484 is expected to become a next generation osteoporosis treatment that improves compliance by decreasing the problems associated with the conventional bisphosphonates, and offers patients more choice of administration routes.

Chugai and Taisho are determined to provide patients with access to this new osteoporosis treatment as early as possible, and believe the joint effort to develop R484 will accelerate the process.

* Overseas, Roche and their co-development partner, GSK, markets the product under the brand name Bonviva (Boniva in US) as a once-monthly oral formulation and a once-every-three-months injection formulation for the treatment of osteoporosis in post menopausal women.

About Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (TSE: 4519) is one of Japan's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies with strengths in biotechnology products and in the therapeutic fields of oncology, renal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, bone/joint diseases and transplantation/infection/immunity. As a most important member of the Roche group, we aim to become a top Japanese pharmaceutical company by providing a continuous flow of innovative new medicines domestically and internationally. For more information, please visit www.chugai-pharm.co.jp.

About Taisho Pharmaceutical Co Ltd.

Taisho Pharmaceutical Co Ltd. (TSE: 4535) is Japan's leading producer of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and the number two OTC drug manufacturer in the world. Taisho is currently endeavoring to strengthen its independent R&D capabilities in the field of prescription pharmaceuticals, and also aggressively pursuing tie-ups with both Japanese and overseas companies.

For more information, please visit www.taisho.co.jp/outline/index-e.htm.


Source: Chugai Pharmaceutical

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