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AstraZeneca/J&J form Japanese cancer partnership

Two companies will co-promote Zytiga in prostate cancer
Janssen Zytiga

Pharma giants AstraZeneca (AZ) and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) have agreed a deal to co-promote J&J's Zytiga for use in the treatment of prostate cancer in Japan.

AZ will work with J&J's Janssen Pharmaceuticals KK subsidiary to promote the drug, which is currently under review by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare after a marketing application was submitted in July 2013.

Expectations are that Zytiga will be approved shortly, considering it has already won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Although marketed as Zytiga in the Europe and US, neither company specified what name the drug would be sold under in Japan, choosing instead to refer to it by its active ingredient, abiraterone acetate.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but AZ's Marc Dunoyer, who leads the company's global products and portfolio strategy, commented on the company's growing ambitions in Japan and use of collaborations.

“Japan is one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets, where AstraZeneca has a proven track record of successfully developing and marketing innovative medicines,” he said.

“This deal is a strong strategic fit for AstraZeneca, reinforcing both our focus on oncology as a core therapy area and Japan as one of our key growth drivers.”

AZ has made similar deals in the past, signing an agreement with Amgen and Daiichi Sankyo to co-promote Amgen's denosumab (known as Xgeva and Prolia) in Japan as a treatment for bone cancer disorders.

The company has plans to expand its presence in country, having already highlighted Japan as a market with further potential for its established brands that could help compensate for declining sales in Europe and the US.

Article by
Thomas Meek

11th October 2013

From: Sales, Marketing

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