Chugai promises no supply interruption in transfer of cancer drug manufacturing


Japan’s Chugai Pharmaceutical  is promising that supply of an orphan drug used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) will not be interrupted in Japan as it transfers manufacturing and distribution of it to another company.

Chugai says that as of Nov. 1, the rights to Vesanoid will be transferred from it to Fuji Pharmaceutical. It says that “in order to ensure the constant supply of Vesanoid,” Chugai will continue to distribute the product until all Chugai-labeled products have been sold, and then distribution of Fuji Pharma-labeled products will be implemented.

“Chugai and Fuji Pharma will cooperate to accomplish a smooth transition of manufacturing and marketing of Vesanoid,” the company said in a statement today.


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Vesanoid is a vitamin A derivative for the treatment of APL developed by Roche, which owns a majority stake in Chugai. The product has been on the market since 1995. Chugai had the rights to the drug in Japan, but in April, an agreement among it, Roche and Cheplapharm Arzneimittel was struck for the German drugmaker to take over rights to Vesanoid in Japan. It, in turn, licensed those rights to Fuji Pharma.

The company said that Fuji, which specializes in women’s healthcare, also has a contract manufacturing arm through OLIC, a Thailand-based company it acquired in 2012 and which has plants in Tokyo and Thailand.

- here’s the release

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