AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) Signs Up Kyowa Hakko Kirin For Benralizumab Commercialization Under ‘Exclusive-Option’


AstraZeneca plc (ADR)(NYSE:AZN) the makers of commercial-grade asthma and COPD (or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) has co-opted long time licentiate in Japan, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, to commercialize its Benralizumab therapeutic solution.

Under the terms and conditions of the ‘exclusive option’ that Astrazeneca offers Kyowa Hakko Kirin will have ‘$45 million upfront option fee.’ Kyowa Hakko Kirin will continue with its development and commercialization activities in Japan for benralizumab.

When the ‘exclusive option’ is exercised AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) will gain rights to marketing and sales in Japan as well. Thus far, AstraZeneca held exclusive rights outside of Japan and some of the Asian countries. Kyowa Hakko Kirin held exclusive development as well as commercialization rights for the drug in Japan and neighboring Asian territories.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) new agreement will change the terms to a large extent. Kyowa Hakko Kirin will remain in charge of research and development of benralizumab in Japan. While Astra Zeneca will conduct sales and marketing in Japan, Kyoa Hakko Kirin will be able to participate in selected commercialization activities along with AZN.

Chief Financial Officer of AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN),  Marc Dunoyer shared that, the agreement will allow the company to continue to grow the platform in the second largest market for drugs in the world. Besides, the agreement with the Japanese firm will allow AstraZeneca to have a sharper ‘focus’ into its core area of therapy namely respiratory diseases, Dunoyer noted. The opportunity to offer new treatment options for Japan-based patients is the added advantage of the new agreement, he shared. Concurring with the CFO, Kyowa Hakko Kirin Executive Officer and Director of Strategic Product Portfolio Department, Masashi Miyamoto, said that, the new agreement would be another step forward to bring optimized medical benefits to patients in the country. Benralizumab is an antibody which works on interleukin-5 receptor or IL-5R alpha to break down eosinophils, the causative in inflammatory respiratory disease.

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