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UCB take drugs to Japanese market


Belgian firm UCB and Japan-based Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Co Ltd announced today that the companies have signed collaboration agreements related to UCB’s two important products in Japan.

UCB and Otsuka will copromote the anti-epileptic drug (AED), Keppra (levetiracetam) for the adjunctive treatment of partial onset seizures and the anti-TNF alpha drug, Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease. UCB and Otsuka will also codevelop and copromote Keppra and Cimzia in other indications.

UCB will join Otsuka in copromoting the antiplatelet agent Pletaal (cilostazol) to selected accounts for a limited period.

“We are excited to enter into this important strategic relationship with Otsuka, which is one of the top Japanese pharmaceutical companies and which has an excellent reputation in drug development, marketing and sales and an entrepreneurial culture that is consistent with our own,” said Roch Doliveux, CEO UCB.

“This relationship will ensure that together we can successfully launch and maximize the potential of Keppra and Cimzia in Japan and accelerate market access for the benefit of patients in Japan.”

UCB and Otsuka have agreed on economic terms for Japan under which UCB receives up to €113 million upfront and milestone payments as well as funding for the clinical development of Keppra and Cimzia.

The companies plan to submit filing dossiers for Keppra in epilepsy and Cimzia in Crohn’s disease to the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) by early 2009.


Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd

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