DKSH, the leading Market Expansion Services provider with a focus on Asia, has reached an agreement with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. to prepare the introduction and launch of the Japanese company’s atypical antipsychotic drug to Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.
HONG KONG, March 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — DKSH Business Unit Healthcare, a leading partner for healthcare companies seeking to grow their business in Asia, will provide marketing, sales and regulatory services as well as distribution and logistics for lurasidone hydrochloride (generic name, "lurasidone") in Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Lurasidone is a prescription drug in tablet form first approved in the US for the treatment of adult patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. According to the World Health Organization, more than 21 million people suffer from schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking and affecting language, perception and the sense of self. The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rate suggests that the impact of schizophrenia is highest in Asian countries.
"Lurasidone is a product of major importance in Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma’s global business strategy. Following launches in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Norway, the collaboration with DKSH is a major step in preparing to introduce the drug to patients in Asia. Working with DKSH allows us to focus on product development while growing our business in strategic markets," said Makoto Hara, Member, Board of Directors, Executive Vice President, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.
"DKSH is a preferred partner for Japanese clients like Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma that want to expand their Asian footprint. We leverage our 150 years‘ history in Asia, in-depth knowledge of the pharmaceutical markets and regional regulatory, distribution and commercial capabilities to maximize growth for our clients. Working with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will potentially bring further innovative treatments to Asian patients," said Andrew Frye, Head of Business Healthcare, DKSH.
The sales and distribution of lurasidone is pending the drug’s approval by the health authorities of Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. Once approved, the agreement will further strengthen DKSH’s market position in the region.
About Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is a top-ten listed pharmaceutical company in Japan. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma aims to produce innovative pharmaceutical products in the Psychiatry & Neurology area and the Oncology area, which have been designated as the focus therapeutic areas. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is based on the merger in 2005 between Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. Today, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma has about 7,000 employees worldwide. Additional information about Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is available through its corporate website at http://www.ds-pharma.com.
Lurasidone is an atypical antipsychotic developed originally by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, characterized by a unique chemical structure and an affinity for dopamine D2, serotonin 5-HT2A and serotonin 5-HT7 receptors where it has antagonist effects. In addition, lurasidone is a partial agonist at the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and has no appreciable affinity for histamine or muscarinic receptors.
Under the brand name of LATUDA®, lurasidone has been available for the treatment of adults with schizophrenia in the United States since February 2011, in Canada since September 2012, in Switzerland since September 2013, in the U.K. since August 2014 and in Norway since September 2014. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is conducting Phase III clinical trials with a view to acquiring approval of lurasidone for the treatment of schizophrenia in Japan and mainland China. Similar efforts are ongoing in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited for 30 European and other countries, with Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited for four Latin American countries and with Standard Chem. & Pharm. Co., Ltd. for the Taiwan region.
DKSH is the leading Market Expansion Services provider with a focus on Asia. As the term "Market Expansion Services" suggests, DKSH helps other companies and brands to grow their business in new or existing markets.
Publicly listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since March 2012, DKSH is a global company headquartered in Zurich. With 750 business locations in 35 countries – 720 of them in Asia – and 27,600 specialized staff, DKSH generated net sales of CHF 9.8 billion in 2014.
DKSH Business Unit Healthcare is the leading Market Expansion Services provider for healthcare companies seeking to grow their business in Asia. Custom-made offerings comprise registration and market entry studies as well as importation, customs clearance, marketing and sales to physical distribution, invoicing and cash collection. Products available through DKSH Healthcare include ethical pharmaceuticals, consumer health, over-the-counter (OTC), as well as medical devices. With 150 business locations in 14 countries and around 9,200 specialized staff, Business Unit Healthcare serves over 150,000 customers and generated net sales of around CHF 4.1 billion in 2014.