AstraZeneca, Janssen to co-promote prostate cancer drug in Japan

AstraZeneca and Janssen Pharmaceuticals have entered an agreement in Japan to co-promote prostate cancer drug, abiraterone acetate. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Abiraterone acetate is a CYP17-inhibitor, which inhibits the key enzyme which modulates the production of androgens, hormones which stimulate prostate cancer cells to grow, from all sources in the body. This helps lower the level of androgens available to the prostate cancer cells, which is the goal of treatment in prostate cancer.

At the moment, the only option for patients with prostate cancer in Japan is medical castration; however prostate cancer can still progress in many patients because androgens are produced in other tissues.

“Japan is one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets, where AstraZeneca has a proven track record of successfully developing and marketing innovative medicines. Abiraterone acetate is a great addition to our existing portfolio of leading cancer treatments, with real potential to address an important and growing patient need. 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.”

Marc Dunoyer, Executive Vice President, Global Products and Portfolio Strategy at AstraZeneca.

Janssen submitted a marketing approval application for abiraterone acetate to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in July 2013 for the treatment of prostate cancer. The US FDA approved the drug in April 2011 and the European Commission approved it in September 2011 for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

An estimated 900,000 men worldwide were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, according to Cancer Research UK. Prostate cancer is the fifth most common cancer in both sexes combined and the second most common cancer in men.



Related news:
AstraZeneca to co-promote J&J prostate cancer drug in Japan (Reuters)

Reference links:

AstraZeneca press release

Don't miss your daily pharmaphorum news.
SUBSCRIBE free here.