Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 345, June 1998

Issue Index

American Companies in Japan


In its first deal covering a new drug for a connective tissue disease, CONNECTICS CORP. signed a development, commercialization and supply agreement with SUNTORY LTD.'s pharmaceutical division for ConXn (recombinant human relaxin-H2) for the treatment of scleroderma. The Japanese company will pay the Palo Alto, California developer approximately $14 million in license fees and milestone payments. It will be responsible for all development and commercialization expenses in Japan. Royalties on sales of ConXn in Japan for the treatment of scleroderma, which results from the excessive production of collagen, also will be owed. In addition, Suntory will buy relaxin materials from Connectics. Relaxin is a natural protein that inhibits excessive connective tissue buildup by decreasing collagen production and enhancing collagen breakdown.

Phase III clinical trials are underway on a treatment for chronic hepatitis B developed by SCICLONE PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. Under a five-year-old agreement revised in late 1996, SCHERING PLOUGH CORP.'s subsidiary is the San Mateo, California firm's exclusive Japan development and marketing partner for ZADAXIN thymosin alpha 1. The hepatitis B virus is quite prevalent in Japan. ZADAXIN works by stimulating the immune system.

IMMULOGIC PHARMACEUTICAL CORP. gave SANKYO CO., LTD. a license to certain patents for recombinant proteins and peptides for the treatment of allergic reactions to Japanese cedar pollen. In return, the Waltham, Massachusetts biopharmaceutical company will receive a licensing fee, milestone payments and royalties on sales.

An exchange rate of ¥135=$1.00 was used in this report.

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