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Otsuka and Lundbeck extend CNS collaboration

Follows US approval of depot antipsychotic Abilify Maintena

Lundbeck Otsuka Abilify

Otsuka and Lundbeck have revised and extended their central nervous system (CNS) alliance in the wake of last week's approval of depot antipsychotic Abilify Maintena in the US.

The two pharma companies are planning to launch once-monthly Abilify Maintena (aripiprazole) on March 18 - the first alliance product to reach the market - and will co-promote the new formulation of the drug in the US.

Meanwhile, the collaboration has now been extended, with Lundbeck carrying out co-promotion of the original Abilify formulation in 14 additional European countries, with the Danish drugmaker gaining rights to "all formulations of Abilify that are currently being marketed, sold and distributed by Otsuka in the EU".

Abilify has been a phenomenally successful drug for Otsuka - becoming the top-selling pharmaceutical product in the US in the fourth quarter of 2012 - and the Japanese firm will now be able to tap into Lundbeck's European marketing muscle for tablet, oral solution, orally-disintegrated tablet and the intramuscular rapid injectable versions of the drug.

For Lundbeck, the deal secures short-term revenue as it tries to bring new products through the pipeline to offset declining sales of blockbuster antidepressant Cipralex/Lexapro (escitalopram), which has now lost patent protection in a number of key markets including the US.

Otsuka president Taro Iwamoto said: "[T]he agreement will further strengthen the Abilify brand in Europe and also position Otsuka and Lundbeck to successfully develop and launch up to 5 more new products there." 

In addition to Abilify, Otsuka and Lundbeck are also collaborating on the development of brexpiprazole, which is currently in phase III clinical trials for multiple psychiatric disorders, as well as three other compounds that have yet to be determined.

The two companies have been collaborating on the CNS programme since 2011, although specific financial terms of the alliance have not been disclosed.

7th March 2013

From: Sales

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