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Kyowa Hakko expands portfolio with rapid bladder cancer test

Kyowa Hakkoís UK subsidiary has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with German company, Matritech to distribute and market its rapid test for bladder cancer, NMP22 BladderChek, in the UK and Ireland

Japan-headquartered Kyowa Hakkoís UK subsidiary has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with German company, Matritech to distribute and market its rapid test for bladder cancer, NMP22 BladderChek, in the UK and Ireland.

The NMP22 BladderChek test provides results in minutes rather than the usual days to confirm diagnosis of early bladder cancer and allows patients start treatment as quickly as possible, said Kyowa Hakko UK Ltd.

The test works by detecting Nuclear Matrix Protein (NMP) 22, which is expressed by tumour cells. It requires only four drops of urine to work and is unaffected by haematuria, or the presence of blood in the urine, which is a common symptom of bladder cancer.

Kyowa Hakko added that clinical studies have also found that BladderChek is more sensitive at identifying early-stage bladder cancer in combination with existing cytology cystoscopy analysis than cystoscopy alone.

Kyowa already sells a leading chemotherapy agent Mitomycin C for bladder cancer.

Hiroshi Furukawa, president of Kyowa Hakko UK, said: "Our chemotherapy agent Mitomycin C is already an established front line treatment for bladder cancer and so the addition of the new test to our portfolio will allow Kyowa Hakko to further expand its role as a market leader in the management of this disease."

Kyowa Hakkoís Q1 FY07 consolidated net sales were JPY 94.9bn (USD 813m), an increase of 10.8 per cent on Q1 FY06, driven by pharmaceutical sales. Operating income decreased by 7.3 per cent to JPY 7.5bn (USD 64.3m), due to a significant rise in R&D spend, including a one-time payment for the in-licensing of anti-cancer drug ARQ197 and despite an increase of JPY 4.3bn (USD 36.9m) in gross profit. Net income was JPY 5.3bn (USD 45.4m) up 159 per cent compared with Q1 FY06.

15th August 2007

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