Fujifilm in Avigan API license with Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceuticals


Tokyo-based Fujifim has licensed the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for the flu drug Avigan (favipiravir) to Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceuticals, marking a first time the Japanese firm landed such a deal in China.

The therapy is an antiviral drug developed by Fujifilm unit Toyama Chemical and is the subject of study for the potential treatment of Ebola. It has been used clinically against flaviviruses, including avian influenza. The drug was approved for manufacturing and marketing in Japan in March 2014.

Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceuticals formed a JV in China with Pfizer ($PFE) in 2012 under the name Hisun-Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. It was unclear if the joint venture would have any role in the API license.

"China has had reports of humans infected with avian influenza (H5N1, H7N9, etc.) in addition to regular seasonal influenza," Fujifilm said in a release.

"The need to develop new drugs for treating influenza has come amidst mounting concerns--in recent years that avian influenza viruses could mutate into a new type of virus, capable of human-to-human transmission. Such a mutation could potentially trigger a pandemic."

In a release, Fujifilm said the patent license agreement for the API will allow Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceuticals to develop, produce and market an anti-influenza drug in China in return for an unspecified lump-sum payment and potential royalties if a drug is launched in China.

Fujifilm has stepped up collaborations in the pharmaceutical industry of late, including co-marketing a biosimilar version of Sanofi ($SNY) blockbuster Lantus (insulin glargine) developed by India's Biocon as well as expanding work with Merck ($MRK) at a biologics plant in Ireland.

- here's the release
- here's a story from the Japan Times

Related Articles:
Merck to outfit $60M biologics plant for Fujifilm to use
Biocon wins key Japan approval for Lantus biosimilar


Suggested Articles

In previously untreated nonsquamous NSCLC, a Tyvyt-chemo combo beat chemo alone at stalling the time to tumor progression or death.

It’s been a big year for Bristol's Opdivo-Yervoy combo in lung cancer, but with new mesothelioma data in hand, the duo isn’t done making headlines.

A third spinal muscular atrophy treatment option is set to debut with the FDA’s approval for Roche’s Evrysdi, formerly known as risdiplam.