LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 14, 2004--Britannia Pharmaceuticals Limited and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals (UK) Limited, a subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company Limited, announced today that they have signed an agreement for Britannia to manage the distribution of Otsuka's novel treatment for autoimmune diseases, Adacolumn(R), in the United Kingdom.
Under the terms of the agreement, Britannia will provide Otsuka with sales professionals, sales management, medical information, financing functions and product distribution in the UK. Otsuka will continue to provide marketing, clinical trial, and strategic planning resources for the product in the UK.
"We are pleased to be working with Britannia to raise the profile of Adacolumn among medical professionals and patients in the UK," said Grant Geddes, Managing Director of Otsuka Pharmaceuticals (UK) Limited. "Britannia's technical and commercial expertise with novel treatments makes it an ideal partner for this initiative."
The Adacolumn is an innovative apheresis device that works by selectively removing leukocytes from the blood whilst leaving red blood cells and other blood components largely unaffected (apheresis refers to the medical technique where blood is taken from the body and specific constituents are removed before the blood is returned). During inflammation, leukocytes cause damage by releasing inflammatory substances that damage the affected inflamed area. Therefore, by reducing the number of activated leukocytes in blood, Adacolumn protects against further tissue inflammation and associated symptoms.
Adacolumn is an established apheresis system that has been used in thousands of people in Europe and Japan for several years. The Adacolumn is CE marked for use in the UK for the indications of Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Behcet's disease, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Currently, Adacolumn is used in Japan for ulcerative colitis, and across Europe for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Behcet's disease.
"All of us at Britannia are delighted to be working with Otsuka to bring Adacolumn to patients in the UK," said Max Noble, Managing Director of Britannia Pharmaceuticals Limited. "This treatment has the potential to help change the lives of the millions of patients who suffer from debilitating autoimmune conditions."
Treatments for severe autoimmune conditions (such as anti-TNF drugs) represent a large and growing global market, estimated to reach $10 billion by 2008.
About Britannia Pharmaceuticals
Founded in 1981, Britannia Pharmaceuticals Limited is a United Kingdom-based pharmaceutical firm whose mission is to become a leading supplier of innovative products for niche medical conditions. The company has pioneered new treatments for some of the world's most debilitating conditions including asthma, Parkinson's disease, drug addiction, erectile dysfunction, migraine, and surgical adhesions. In addition to these treatments, Britannia has also developed nasal and respiratory drug delivery technologies that are applicable to a wide range of treatments. Britannia is a Forum Bioscience Company. The website address is www.britannia-pharm.co.uk.
Founded in 1964, Otsuka is a diversified health care company guided by its philosophy: "Otsuka - people creating new products for better health worldwide" and dedicated to the research and development of innovative medical, pharmaceutical, and nutritional consumer products to improve the quality of human life. Otsuka has a diverse portfolio including central nervous system, cardiovascular, circulatory, gastro-intestinal, respiratory, dermatological, ophthalmologic, and is pursuing research in genomics and protein function. The Otsuka Pharmaceutical Group is comprised of 51 businesses around the world, earning total revenues of $4.3 billion annually.
The website addresses are: www.otsuka-europe.com www.adacolumn.com
For Britannia Pharmaceuticals Nicole Cottrill, 617-443-9933 x329 firstname.lastname@example.org or
Melissa Monahan, 617-443-9933 x352 email@example.com