AstraZeneca signs agreement in Japan with Daiichi Sankyo to co-promote denosumab for cancer

AstraZeneca today announced a co-promotion agreement in Japan with Daiichi Sankyo for denosumab for the treatment of bone disorders stemming from bone metastasis.

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo will co-promote denosumab after it is approved for use in Japan. Bone metastasis is one of the most frequent causes of pain for cancer patients which can cause bone fractures and reduces ability to maintain normal quality of life including day-to-day activities. Denosumab, with its novel mode of action and targeted delivery via a monthly subcutaneous injection, represents a new treatment option in Japan for the management of bone metastasis across a broad range of cancer types.

In Japan, Daiichi Sankyo acquired denosumab rights in 2007 from Amgen Inc. The company filed a Japanese New Drug Application (JNDA) in August 2010.

Tony Zook, Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca’s Global Commercial Organisation said: “Collaborations like this are a key part of our strategy to bring innovative medicines to patients. This partnership leverages our long-standing commitment to oncology in Japan, and we look forward to contributing our expertise in this area to bring this novel cancer treatment to patients upon approval.”

Financial terms of this agreement are not disclosed.

About denosumab and bone metastasis

Denosumab is the first approved therapy that specifically targets RANK Ligand, an essential regulator of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bone). By targeting RANK Ligand regulator, denosumab has shown the ability to prevent the spread of cancer to the bone. Bone metastasis occurs when cancer cells from the primary tumour relocate to the bone.

About AstraZeneca in Japan

As its second largest market globally, Japan is of strategic importance to AstraZeneca. Revenue grew by 4% in 2010 to $2,617 million in 2010 outpacing the estimated market growth. AstraZeneca has steadily built a significant presence in Japan with 3,100 employees, an R&D centre in Osaka and a leadership position in the oncology market.

Crestor and Losec, as well as the launch of Symbicort Turbuhaler in 2010, contributed to continued growth. AstraZeneca expects to launch Nexium in Japan within the next 12 months.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com

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