Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 355, April 1999

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American Companies in Japan


To speed the clinical development of products for the Japanese marketplace, ELI LILLY AND CO. will form an equally owned company with CHUGAI PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD., one of Japan's top pharmaceutical manufacturers and a company with which Lilly has worked since 1995. Tokyo-based CHUGAI LILLY CLINICAL RESEARCH CO., LTD. will be staffed mainly by Chugai Pharmaceutical personnel, with the Indianapolis partner providing the majority of the development funding. It will focus initially on the development of three compounds: Prozac, the world's most widely prescribed brand-name antidepressant; MDR, which currently is being evaluated for its ability to enhance or sustain the effects of chemotherapy and the reversal of drug resistance; and tomoxetine, a candidate for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. In exchange for its help, Chugai Pharmaceutical will gain certain Japan copromotion and comarketing rights to products developed by the joint venture. Lilly said that it decided to tie up with Chugai Pharmaceutical because it has more new products in its pipeline than the company's Kobe subsidiary can develop in a timely manner. ELI LILLY JAPAN K.K., which employs 820 people and has nearly doubled in size over the past seven years, is strongest in treatments for diabetes, growth hormone deficiency, central nervous system diseases and infectious diseases.

JANSSEN-KYOWA CO., LTD., a Tokyo-based partnership between JOHNSON & JOHNSON and KYOWA HAKKO KOGYO CO., LTD., plans to apply this year to the Ministry of Health and Welfare for marketing approval for several products. One is the fentanyl patch, which uses a synthetic morphine substitute to deliver up to 72 hours of pain relief to cancer patients. An oral contraceptive and an allergy medication also are on the list. In anticipation of these and other products going on the market, Janssen- Kyowa will spend close to $8.3 million on information technology to better support its 350 sales representatives. Each, for example, will receive a notebook PC.

IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS CORP. has awarded Asian and European development and marketing rights to a treatment for asthma and other allergy-related problems to the team of SEIKAGAKU CORP. and TAISHO PHARMACEUTICALS CO., LTD. The San Diego, California company's anti- CD23 suppresses allergy symptoms by bonding with CD23, which regulates the production of symptom-causing IgE immunoglobulin. IDEC, which plans to launch clinical trials of anti-CD23 in the second half of this year, and Seikagaku have had a research and marketing tie-up since 1994.

With Tokyo promising to ease the regulation of nutritional supplements, REXALL SUNDOWN, INC. believes that the time is right to make a major push into the Japanese market. The Boca Raton, Florida manufacturer has contracted with ROHTO PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. to market an exclusive line of products under the Thompson brand name through both drugstores and mail order. The first Rexall Sundown supplement to be introduced is Flex Power, designed to promote cartilage regeneration and healthy joints.

MHW has approved once-a-day Xalatan Sterile Ophthalmic Solution, a PHARMACIA & UPJOHN, INC. product, for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 354, March 1999, p. 13). Japan is the world's second-largest glaucoma market, but only 20 percent of all glaucoma patients receive medical care. In preparation for the launch of Xalatan, P&U's subsidiary more than tripled its ophthalmology sales force to 180 people.

SUMITOMO 3M LTD. is projecting first-year sales of $1.7 million for a fluorochemical coating developed by MINNESOTA MINING & MANUFACTURING CO. Through dipping or other means of application, the 3M Fluorad fluorochemical coating FC-732 produces a clear, even, quick-drying film approximately 0.5 micron to 1 micron thick on copper, aluminum, steel, tin or glass. Solvents and liquids having low surface-tension values bead and drain freely from surfaces coated with the film. Sumitomo 3M has priced FC-732 at roughly $135 per pound.

An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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