Eisai to work with Russia's PharmStandard on oncology manufacture

Tokyo-based Eisai has forged a new pact with Russian pharma firm PharmStandard to get medicines made and sold in Russia for its oncology therapies Halaven (eribulin) and Lenvima (lenvatinib), as well as for the epilepsy treatment Fycompa (perampanel).

Eisai CEO Haruo Naito

The move to work with Moscow-based PharmStandard follows an arrangement with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories in India over development rights for a Phase II Eisai oncology candidate E7777.

The deals signal that Eisai is increasingly comfortable looking to emerging market drug firms as it seeks to aim resources at promising cancer candidates while scaling down other efforts--such as on weight-loss drug Belviq (lorcaserin HCl)--and scales up production at its India API plant in Andhra Pradesh.

According to a press release, final stages in the manufacture of Halaven and Lenvima will be handled at the PharmStandard plant in Ufa, while a plant in Kursk will handle Fycompa.

All of the drugs are approved for sale in Russia.

"This is an important step forward for the establishment of Eisai in Russia. Through this arrangement with PharmStandard, we can ensure that Russian patients will have access to our innovative drugs, eribulin, lenvatinib and perampanel," Olga Konopleva, general manager for Eisai in Russia, said in a press release.

In May of last year, PharmStandard snapped up a St. Petersburg-based Biocad, a firm with biosimilars in the works for Roche's ($RHHBY) cancer and autoimmune meds Rituxan (rituximab), Avastin (bevacizumab) and Herceptin (trastuzumab).

- here's the release