Will focus on co-development of five Amgen medicines in Japan
US biotechnology firm Amgen has agreed to work with Astellas Pharma, a Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company, to provide new medicines for the Japanese market.
Amgen will combine its pipeline candidates with Astellas’ knowledge of the needs of the Japanese market, its long-term commercial and regulatory experience, and strong presence in Japan.
The two companies will focus on the co-development and co-commercialisation in Japan of five Amgen pipeline medicines, including four biologics and one small molecule, which are focused on the treatment of cardiovascular and bone diseases and cancer. The drugs are in early to late stages of development in Japan, with the first potential commercial launch expected in 2016.
This alliance reflects our long-term commitment to the Japan market and is an important step in our global expansion
They will also establish a Tokyo-based joint venture company, which will operate under the name Amgen Astellas BioPharma and will be led by General Manager Eiichi Takahashi. Additional management roles will be appointed by Amgen and Astellas. The joint venture will be staffed by a combination of Astellas employees, transferred employees from Amgen and newly hired employees. It is expected that the joint venture will start operations on 1 October, and will become a wholly owned Amgen affiliate by 2020 with the long-term collaboration continuing.
Robert Bradway, Chairman and Chief Executive of Amgen, said: ‘Through this alliance, Amgen will work closely with Astellas to leverage its extensive knowledge of the local market. This alliance reflects our long-term commitment to the Japan market and is an important step in our global expansion efforts.’
Yoshihiko Hatanaka, President and CEO of Astellas, said the alliance would strengthen the firm’s pipeline to address unmet medical needs, as well as enable it expand.