News Releases News Releases HOME HOME

September 12, 2006

Co-Development and Co-Marketing Agreement for the Antiresorptive Bisphosphonate "ibandronic acid"

Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. [Headquarters: Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President: Akira Uehara] (hereinafter, Taisho) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. [Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President: Osamu Nagayama] (hereinafter, Chugai) to co-develop and co-market ibandronic acid, a bisphosphonate which Chugai is currently developing in Japan for the treatment of osteoporosis. Under the agreement, Chugai and Taisho will co-develop the compound with Taisho, and Chugai and Taisho Toyama Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. [Headquarters: Toshima-ku, Tokyo; President: Akira Ohira] (hereinafter, Taisho Toyama), a subsidiary of Taisho, co-market it. Taisho will pay an upfront fee and milestone payments to Chugai.

Ibandronic acid, a bisphosphonate compound owned by Roche, demonstrates a strong inhibitory effect on bone resorption. A less frequent dosing and administration has been developed (for oral and injection) to improve convenience and compliance by reducing complicated restrictions when administering the medicine and to reduce the adverse reactions often seen in oral bisphosphonate preparations, mainly reactions related to the gastrointestinal track. In Japan, a phase II clinical trial is ongoing for the oral formulation and a phase II clinical trail has been completed for the injectable formulation.

Since there are an estimated 12 million osteoporosis patients in Japan, it is becoming increasingly important to develop a drug which increases bone mass and reduces the risk of bone fractures, while being easy to administer. This compound is expected to become a next generation osteoporosis treatment that improves compliance by decreasing the problems associated with the conventional bisphosphonates, and offers patients more choice of administration routes.

Taisho and Taisho Toyama have been steadily proceeding with strengthening of sales and marketing activities, product lineup, and development pipeline in prescription drug business area, and as part of such strategy, are actively advancing alliance with other pharmaceutical companies. Taisho continues seeking further in-licensing/collaboration opportunities actively, in addition to this Product and an anti-inflammatory analgesic patch of which announcement was made the other day.

Notes to editor
Overseas, Roche and their co-development partner, GSK, markets the product under the brand name Bonviva (Boniva in US) as a once-monthly oral formulation and a once-every-three-months injection formulation for the treatment of osteoporosis in post menopausal women.