Thursday, Jan 8, 1998
South San Francisco, Calif. -- January 8, 1998 --Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., - - the leading distributor of growth hormone products in Japan - - and Genentech, Inc. (NYSE: GNE) of South San Francisco, CA -- the leading supplier of growth hormone in the United States -- announced today that they have signed an agreement for development and distribution of two human growth hormone (hGH) products in Japan for the treatment of certain pediatric and adult growth disorders.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sumitomo obtained exclusive rights to develop, import and distribute in Japan, Genentech's Nutropin AQ® (somatropin [rDNA origin] for injection) -- the only liquid (aqueous) recombinant human growth hormone product marketed in the United States which does not require reconstitution of a freeze-dried powder -- and ProLease® hGH, a sustained release formulation of Genentech's hGH based on Alkermes, Inc.ms ProLease injectable sustained release drug delivery system. ProLease hGH is currently in Phase III clinical trials in the United States for growth hormone deficient children.
Genentech received a large up-front payment and will receive additional payments upon Sumitomoms achievement of development milestones. Genentech and Alkermes will manufacture the products for sale to Sumitomo.
"We have selected Genentech as a business partner because Genentech has unique formulations of human growth hormone such as Nutropin AQ and ProLease hGH which will be remarkably beneficial for the patients who require growth hormone therapy," said Masayasu Takeuchi, president of Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals. "Sumitomo expects that one of its most important areas of business will be maintained and expanded through this collaboration."
"Genentech, who more than 15 years ago pioneered the development of the first recombinant human growth hormone in the United States, is pleased to partner with a leader in Japan in this therapeutic area that has extensive experience in ushering growth hormone products rapidly through the clinical development process and onto the market," said Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., Genentech's president and chief executive officer. "This agreement affirms our strategy of pairing Genentechms existing strengths with our partners' valuable resources in order to bring important products to market, and it also provides us direct access into a large market for growth hormone."
Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals, based in Osaka, Japan, was formed in 1984 through the merger of Sumitomo Chemicals' pharmaceutical division and Inabata & Co. The company has integrated functions in research, development, manufacturing and sales and has occupied a firm position in the Japanese pharmaceuticals market. Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals has contributed to the treatment of hGH deficiency in Japan through the introduction of the first hGH in 1975 and recombinant hGH in 1986.
Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant unmet medical needs. Eleven of the currently marketed biotechnology products stem from Genentech science. Genentech markets or promotes eight biotechnology products in the United States. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, California, and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and Pacific Exchange under the symbol GNE.
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