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Apr 24, 2009

Sucampo Acquires Rights to RTU’s Ophthalmic Drug in U.S. and Canada

  • Sucampo Pharmaceuticals will pay R-Tech Ueno (RTU) $3 million for a license to its ocular disease drug, Rescula. The agreement gives Sucampo the right to market the product in U.S. and Canada in open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. The company will also develop the compound in other diseases of the eye.

    Sucampo also will have the right of first refusal to commercialize in the U.S. and Canada any additional indications for which Rescula is developed by RTU. The company will pay RTU milestones related to its own development and commercialization goals. RTU will remain as the exclusive supplier of finished product.

    Rescula was approved by the FDA for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension in 2000. The drug will be marketed alongside Sucampo’s other approved product, Amitiza. It was sanctioned in the January 2006 as a treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults.

    “Both Rescula and Amitiza are created from the prostone technology whose therapeutic potential I discovered in the 1980s and is also the basis for Sucampo’s clinical and preclinical pipeline compounds,” notes Ryuji Ueno, M.D., Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Sucampo. “Rescula targets disorders caused by the aging process, which is consistent with the commercial focus of Sucampo and one of my abiding passions.”

    In addition to the approved indications, Sucampo believes that Rescula has the potential to be a treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration. The company plans to initiate a Phase II trial in this indication next year.

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