The FINANCIAL — Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda,” TSE:4502) and its wholly owned subsidiary Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company (“Millennium”) on May 10 announced that Takeda has entered into a co-promotion agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K. (“Janssen Pharma”) for VELCADE(R) (bortezomib) for Injection, a treatment for patients with multiple myeloma.
Janssen Pharma launched VELCADE in Japan in 2006, where it is approved for relapsed multiple myeloma. VELCADE is currently approved in more than 90 countries and has treated more than 160,000 patients worldwide. In 2009, global sales were in excess of $1 billion.
The co-promotion is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of FY2010. Takeda will receive a percentage of sales (based on certain conditions specified in the contract) as a co-promotion fee. Other financial conditions of the agreement are not disclosed. Takeda’s market-leading oncology sales force will join with Janssen’s sales team to promote VELCADE. This newly combined promotion effort will significantly expand the share-of-voice of VELCADE among practitioners who prescribe VELCADE in Japan, the second largest global pharmaceutical market.
“This collaboration will help maximize the potential of VELCADE in a critically important market,” said Deborah Dunsire, M.D., CEO, Millennium. “Oncology is an area of strategic growth for Takeda, and this co-promotion is one of several recent events that underscores our commitment to this therapeutic area.”
“The co-promotion for VELCADE as well as the approval of Vectibix last month strengthens our oncology franchise in the Japanese market,” said Yasuhiko Yamanaka, a member of the board, senior vice president, Pharmaceutical Marketing Division of Takeda. “This enhanced effort enables our sales force to reach out to a larger group of healthcare providers in order to potentially benefit patients with multiple myeloma.”
In April 2010, Takeda received approval for Vectibix(R) (panitumumab) for treatment of advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer in Japan. In February, MEPACT(R) (mifamurtide), a novel drug for the treatment of high-grade, resectable, non-metastatic osteosarcoma, was introduced in Europe.
Millennium is responsible for commercialization of VELCADE in the U.S. where the drug is the market leader for the treatment of multiple myeloma patients and the only therapy in this indication with demonstrated overall survival benefit in its label. VELCADE is co-developed by Millennium and Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, a unit of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., and approved worldwide. Janssen-Cilag is responsible for commercialization in Europe and the rest of the world. Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K. is responsible for commercialization in Japan.