Eisai Enters into Japan Co-promotion Agreement with Novartis Pharma for COPD Therapies

Eisai Enters into Japan Co-promotion Agreement with Novartis Pharma for COPD Therapies

Tokyo, Nov 18, 2011 (JCN Newswire via COMTEX) -- Eisai Co. Ltd announced today that it has entered into a Japan co-promotion agreement with Novartis Pharma K.K. for three Novartis Pharma therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These include Onbrez Inhalation Capsules 150 mcg (indacaterol maleate), which were launched in Japan on September 20, 2011, and, if approved, the investigational drugs NVA237 (glycopyrronium bromide) and QVA149 (fixed-dose combination of indacaterol maleate and glycopyrronium bromide), both of which are currently in Phase III development.

Based on this agreement, the two companies will begin co-promoting Onbrez on December 1, 2011. While Novartis Pharma will concentrate its promotional activities on university and flagship hospitals, Eisai will target other healthcare providers including general hospitals and primary care physicians. The manufacture and sale of Onbrez will be handled by Novartis Pharma in the same way as before, with the two companies commencing co-promotion of NVA237 and QVA149 following their launch.

The new co-promotion agreement is a partnership of mutual commitment between Eisai and Novartis Pharma. Novartis Pharma aims to maximize the value of Onbrez, a new long-acting bronchodilator that provides sustained 24-hour efficacy and has a rapid onset of action at first dose, as well as NVA237 and QVA149, which combines indacaterol together with NVA237, while Eisai seeks to further enhance its product portfolio in the area of internal medicine.

COPD is a chronic, progressive lung disease that is commonly caused by the long-term inhalation of cigarette smoke or other harmful substances, which results in symptoms such as coughing, sputum production and breathlessness. The disease significantly reduces the quality of life of patients, and can be potentially life-threatening due to the gradual progression of symptoms that eventually lead to respiratory failure. Although the latest figures show only 173,000 people have been diagnosed with COPD in Japan, epidemiological data shows that the total number of patients could be as high as 5.3 million, which suggests that there are many patients with untreated COPD.

With the conclusion of the co-promotion agreement, Eisai and Novartis seek to establish a greater presence in the field of COPD and achieve a synergistic effect, thereby making further contributions to address the unmet needs of, and increase the benefits provided to, COPD patients.

About Eisai

Eisai Co., Ltd. (adr:ESALY) is a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: integrative neuroscience, including neurology and psychiatric medicines; integrative oncology, which encompasses oncotherapy and supportive-care treatments; and vascular/immunological reaction. Through a global network of research facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively participates in all aspects of the worldwide healthcare system. For more information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit www.eisai.co.jp/index-e.html

About Novartis Pharma K.K.

Novartis Pharma K.K. is a Japanese subsidiary of the pharmaceutical division of Novartis AG, a world leader in healthcare. In 2006, the Group's businesses achieved net sales of USD 37.0 billion(approximately JPY 4294.3 billion). and net income of USD 7.2 billion (approximately JPY 835.4 billion). Approximately USD5.4 billion (approximately JPY 620.5 billion) was invested in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 101,000 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.co.jp/