EUSA Pharma, a transatlantic specialty pharmaceutical company focused on oncology, pain control and critical care, today announced that it has granted the Japanese development and commercialization rights to its oncology therapy Erwinase(R) to Ohara Pharmaceutical Company Limited. The agreement represents the first product partnership EUSA has established in Japan. Under the terms of the companies’ agreement, Ohara will be responsible for any late-stage development required by the Japanese authorities, and will pay EUSA an upfront fee and royalties on future sales.
Erwinase is an L-asparaginase derived from Erwinia chrysanthemi, which is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia in combination with other anti-neoplastic agents. It is currently approved for use in Canada and in a number of countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and is undergoing registration procedures in several other territories.
“This agreement represents an important strategic milestone for EUSA as it extends the reach of our partnership network to the Japanese market for the first time,” said Bryan Morton, EUSA Pharma’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “In the past four years EUSA has made great progress building a broad portfolio of marketed products and a specialty commercial infrastructure in Europe and North America. At the same time we have put in place a wider distribution network to bring our products to patients in over 80 countries around the world. Our new partnership with Ohara extends the reach of our commercialization capabilities, which now cover all of the world’s major pharmaceutical markets.”
Commenting on the agreement, Dr Seiji Ohara, Ohara Pharmaceutical’s CEO and President, said, “Erwinase is an ideal fit with Ohara’s growing portfolio of oncology and orphan drugs, and continues the transition of our business towards innovative new therapeutics. We look forward to working with the Japanese health authorities and leading opinion leaders to make this therapy available to patients throughout Japan.”