Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

Daiichi Sankyo to shut down German antibody unit U3

Will transfer its operations to a research unit in Japan

Daiichi Sankyo 

Daiichi Sankyo has said it will close down its German antibody subsidiary U3 Pharma and transfer its operations to a research unit in Japan.

The company said the move is part of an initiative to "strengthen its global R&D capabilities by increasing efficiency and streamlining processes".  

Martinsried-based U3 Pharma - which was acquired by Daiichi Sankyo in a €150m deal in 2008 - employs around 40 members of staff and specialises in the development of antibody treatments for cancer. 

U3 Pharma's lead candidate patritumab (U3-1287), an anti-HER3 antibody in clinical trials for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), breast cancer and head and neck cancer, was highlighted by Daiichi Sankyo as a key driver for U3's acquisition. 

Seven years on, it remains the only candidate from U3 in clinical development, with all other projects listed in the German company's latest update still in early-stage or preclinical testing. 

The announcement comes shortly after Daiichi Sankyo announced major job cuts in the US - mainly in its salesforce - along with a revamp of its R&D operations with the creation of a research alliance with fellow Japanese drugmaker Astellas and the launch of its TaNeDS open innovation drive in Europe. 

The restricting comes as Daiichi Sankyo faces the loss of patent protection in the US for Benicar (olmesartan), a $2.4bn-a-year product used to treat high blood pressure.  

US sales of the drug are around $900m a year and the Japanese company is already coping with generic competition to the cholesterol drug Welchol (colesevelam), which at its peak had US sales of around $300m a year. 

Daiichi Sankyo is looking to new products such as novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) Lixiana (edoxaban) - as well as pipeline candidates like tivantinib for liver cancer, quizartinib for leukaemia and mirogabalin for fibromyalgia - to help it cope with the anticipated loss of revenues resulting from the patent losses.

Article by
Phil Taylor

8th December 2015

From: Research

Share

Tags

COVID-19 Updates and Daily News

Featured jobs

PMHub

Add my company
BOLDSCIENCE

We know what it takes to create brands, to start new conversations, to simply communicate complex science, to change lives…...

Latest intelligence

The other side of … blood cancer
To stay motivated for the fight, some patients need to feel like active players in the treatment journey, not passengers to every decision....
COVID clinical trial
COVID-19 – a catalyst for technology adoption in clinical trials
As the COVID-19 crisis disrupts clinical trials around the globe, it is also proving to be a catalyst that may transform its approach to trials for good...
Clinical trial recruitment on podcasts: is it a good idea?
The pharmaceutical industry is already using social media and search engine advertising for clinical trials, so why not consider podcast platforms too?...

Infographics