UCB and Otsuka to promote drugs in Japan

Belgium-based healthcare company UCB has agreed to co-promote two of its drugs in Japan with biopharmaceutical business Otsuka.

Belgium-based healthcare company UCB has agreed to co-promote two of its drugs in Japan with biopharmaceutical business Otsuka.

The arrangement covers UCB's anti-epileptic drug Keppra (levetiracetam) for the adjunctive treatment of partial onset seizures and its anti-TNF alpha drug Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for the treatment of Crohn's Disease in Japan.

UCB will join Japanese company Otsuka in co-promoting the anti-platelet agent Pletaal (cilostazol) to selected accounts for a limited period. Otsuka will also co-develop new indications.

UCB ceo Roch Doliveux, said: "This relationship will ensure that together we can successfully launch and maximise the potential of Keppra and Cimzia in Japan and accelerate market access for the benefit of patients in Japan.

Tatsuo Higuchi, president and representative director of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., said: "We are delighted to have this opportunity to collaborate with UCB to address the unmet medical needs of patients suffering from these diseases and to develop these innovative products and expand our businesses together."

UCB and Otsuka have agreed on economic terms for Japan under which UCB receives up to Euro 113m upfront and milestone payments as well as funding for the clinical development of Keppra and Cimzia.

The companies plan to submit filing dossiers for Keppra in epilepsy and Cimzia in Crohn's disease to the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) by early 2009.

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