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GEN News Highlights : Nov 12, 2013

Helsinn, Chugai Enter Licensing Agreement for Anorexia-Cachexia Related to NSCLC Treatment

Chugai Pharma Marketing, a subsidiary of Chugai Pharmaceutical, received exclusive rights to commercialize Helsinn’s ghrelin receptor agonist, anamorelin, in Germany, France, Benelux, U.K., and Ireland.

Anamorelin is currently in Phase III for the treatment of anorexia-cachexia in non-small cell lung cancer. According to Helsinn, Phase II trials have highlighted how the oral, once daily drug can improve appetite, increase lean body mass, and have a positive impact on the quality of life of patients. A Phase III trial is currently underway.

As part of the agreement, Helsinn will retain all development activities (CMC, preclinical and clinical) and supply of anamorelin for commercial use. In addition, Helsinn will be responsible for the regulatory and clinical development while Chugai Pharma Marketing will undertake all commercial actions within the specified European markets.

Anamorelin is not the first NSCLC candidate Chugai Pharmaceutical has stake in. Last month, the company filed a new drug application to the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor alectinib hydrochloride for the treatment of ALK fusion gene positive NSCLC.