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AstraZeneca co-promotes bone cancer drug

AstraZeneca is to co-promote Amgen's drug denosumab in Japan as a treatment for bone cancer disorders alongside Daiichi Sankyo

AstraZeneca is to co-promote Amgen's drug denosumab in Japan as a treatment for bone cancer disorders alongside Daiichi Sankyo.

Daiichi acquired rights to denosumab from Amgen in 2007 and filed an application for marketing authorisation in 2010. The injectable drug is currently awaiting approval from Japanese authorities.

Denosumab is the first in a new class of medicines that work by blocking a protein that activates bone-destroying cells called osteoclasts.

Amgen has decided to strike regional development and marketing deals with other big drug companies to maximise sales, and has a deal with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) covering Europe and several big emerging markets.

Denosumab is approved in the US and Europe, under the trade name Xgeva, as a treatment for reducing fractures and other bone problems in certain cancer patients. It is also sold under the brand name Prolia for osteoporosis.

The deal does not include the osteoporosis indication, for which Daiichi also has marketing rights in Japan.

The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

24th May 2011

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