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Lundbeck and Takeda's depression drug approved in Japan

Takeda and Lundbeck have announced that Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has chosen to authorise their drug Trintellix (vortioxetine) for the treatment of major depressive disorder, described in the companies’ press release as “depression and depressed state”.

This marks the 84th national approval for the drug, which is already marketed in the US, Europe, China, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, and South Korea to name a few.

Roche secures world first with Japanese Rozlytrek approval in advanced recurrent solid tumours

Roche’s personalised cancer therapy Rozlytrek (entrectinib) has seen its first approval: the drug has been approved in Japan for the treatment of neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) fusion-positive, advanced recurrent solid tumours in both adult and paediatric patients, it has emerged.

As well as representing Rozlytrek’s first approval worldwide, the decision also marks the first authorisation of a tumour-agnostic medicine in Japan that targets NTRK gene fusions, which have implications in the treatment of a range of solid tumour types including pancreatic, breast, lung, c

Takeda scores Japanese Entyvio approval in Crohn's disease

Takeda has announced that Japan’s drug regulator, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), has approved Entyvio (vedolizumab) in the treatment of moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease (CD).

The gut-selective biologic drug was originally launched in the country in November 2018, following approval for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in July.

Novartis' Kymriah to be covered by Japan's national insurance system

Japan’s national medical insurance system will pay for Novartis’ CAR-T therapy Kymriah following approval from the Central Social Insurance Medical Council.

Kymriah, which costs 33.49 million yen ($305,455), will be covered by Japan’s national health insurance from the 22 May. Kymriah will thus become the most expensive treatment covered by Japan’s system.

Coverage will however be limited to leukaemia patients under the age of 25 who have failed to respond to other therapies.

US prescription drugs most expensive in world, analysis shows

Brand name prescription drugs cost on average 4.3 times more in the United States than in the UK, according to research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The findings, published in the journal Health Affairs, reveal that US brand name prescription drugs are the most highly priced in the world.

Meanwhile the research found that the longer drugs had been on the market, the more expensive they were in comparison to when they were sold in other countries.

Takeda opens R&D facility in San Diego, California

Japanese-firm Takeda pharmaceuticals has opened a new research facility in San Diego, California. The 165,000ft2 research centre will employ 250 staff.

The new facility will be focused on drug discovery in the areas of neuroscience and gastroenterology (GI).

The centre houses research platform groups across structural and computational biology, early target discovery and biologics for the advancement of potential molecules.

Takeda hopes the facility will supplement its R&D centres in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Shonan, Japan.

Japan awards AbbVie's Skyrizi with first approval, in 4 psoriasis indications

AbbVie has announced that its interleukin-23 (IL-23) inhibitor Skyrizi (risankizumab) has been awarded approval in Japan from the nation’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), marking its first-ever approval in any region worldwide, in the treatment of plaque psoriasis, generalised pustular psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in adult patients who have an inadequate response to conventional therapies.

Marketing authorisation was given based on Phase 2 and 3 data evaluating the drug’s efficacy in Japanese patients in the approved indications.

Sunovion CMO Dr Antony Loebel made company's new CEO

Published on: 05/03/19

Japanese drugmaker Sunovion Pharmaceuticals has made their current Chief Medical Officer (CMO) the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr Antony Loebel will succeed Nobuhiko Tamura who has headed the company since 2014.

Japanese researchers to trial stem cell therapy in four patients with serious spinal injuries

The Japanese health ministry has approved a study testing the use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to treat four patients with serious spinal cord injuries, according to researchers at Keio University.

The “unprecedented, world-first clinical trial” is scheduled to begin later this year. The study will enrol four adults who have lost all motor and sensory function as a result of sports or traffic incidents.

The initial four patients will have suffered their injuries within 14 and 28 days of enrolment.  

UK-Japan partnership to see collaboration on incurable diseases, green technology and AI

A new partnership between the UK and Japan will see medical researchers and scientists join forces, in advancing research into chronic conditions - such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis - green technology and AI.

The collaboration, announced by British Prime Minister Theresa May, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will see £30 million invested into a new partnership aimed at promoting technology and innovation in both Britain and Japan.

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