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Teijin and Chugai to co-develop Ipsen's diabetes drug in Japan

Teijin Pharma and Swiss-based Roche's Japanese subsidiary, Chugai Pharmaceutical, have announced a collaboration agreement to develop France-headquartered Ipsen's type 2 diabetes drug ITM-077 in Japan

Teijin Pharma and Swiss-based Roche's Japanese subsidiary, Chugai Pharmaceutical, have announced a collaboration agreement to develop France-headquartered Ipsen's type 2 diabetes drug ITM-077 in Japan.

Under a 2003 agreement, Ipsen granted Japan-headquartered Teijin the rights to co-develop, sell, market and promote ITM-077 in the region with Ipsen's global partner, Roche.

Teijin had been developing ITM-077 alone and now expects to speed up the development and gain early regulatory approval with Chugai's help.

Roche and Ipsen entered into an agreement for ITM-077 in October 2003, under which Roche obtained an option right to exclusively develop and sell ITM-077 worldwide, with co-exclusive rights secured for Japan and France.

Roche exercised its option in July 2006, and licensed its rights in Japan to Chugai in an agreement finalised in December 2006. Chugai will now initiate the development of ITM-077 (Roche code: R1583) in Japan, which is the world's second-largest pharmaceutical market in terms of revenue.

ITM-077 is a long-acting analogue of the peptide hormone, GLP-1 (glucagon like peptide) and increases the level of insulin in response to elevated glucose levels and reduces hypoglycaemia in type 2 diabetes.

Ipsenís drug delivery formulation technology will confer on ITM-077 a longer duration of action. This will allow the treatment to be administered subcutaneously once or twice weekly. Currently available anti-diabetic drugs have to be administered daily.

Per the agreement, Teijin and Chugai will jointly develop ITM-077, by sharing the information and data, as well as the development cost and will independently market and promote it under different trademarks after approval.

ITM-077 is now in phase I in Japan, while Roche is conducting phase II outside that region. Teijin and Chugai are now working together to establish a co-development plan.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 30m people worldwide had some form of diabetes in 1985; by 2000, the number had increased to 177m. WHO projections suggest that the number of people suffering from the disease will increase to some 370m by 2030.

24th August 2007

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