Daiichi Sankyo’s U.S. subsidiary said today it will merge with its U.S.-based sister company Asubio Pharmaceuticals, whose parent is also a subsidiary of the Japanese pharma giant.

Asubio’s drug development projects will be integrated into the broader Daiichi Sankyo global development organization, led by Mahmoud Ghazzi, M.D., Ph.D., Daiichi Sankyo said.

Daiichi Sankyo will manage analysis and dissemination of data from Asubio’s ongoing clinical trial of the Phase II compound SUN13837 in patients with acute spinal cord injury. The ASBI 603ASCENT Study has completed enrollment, the company said.

SUN13837 is a small molecule similar in activity to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) through modulation of the signal transduction pathway of the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR). SUN13837 has shown neuroprotective and axonal outgrowth activity that could reduce neuronal damage and improve recovery following acute spinal cord injury, Asubio states on its website. SUN13837 has also shown high aqueous and lipid solubility, making it more likely to cross biological membranes than a peptide such as bFGF, the company also said.

“Significant and remarkable functional recovery has been observed,” after treatment with SUN13837, Asubio added.

Glenn Gormley, M.D., Ph.D., executive chairman and president of U.S. subsidiary Daiichi Sankyo and senior executive officer and global head of R&D for parent Daiichi Sankyo Company said in a statement that the move was in line with the company’s five-year business plan to optimize its business.

In 2013, Daiichi Sankyo rolled out a “5-Year Business Plan for the 2013 through 2017 fiscal years that committed the company by FY2017 to “strengthen business” in the U.S. and other key markets.

The five-year plan also called for delivering results that include revenue growth of greater than 5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR); an operating profit margin of greater than 15%; and a more than doubling of after-tax profit to ¥110 billion ($917.6 million) from ¥50 billion ($417 million) in FY2013.

For the U.S., the plan set a FY2017 sales target of ¥290 billion ($2.42 billion), to be achieved through CAGR of 2%. The U.S. target accounts for 22% of Daiichi Sankyo’s companywide net sales goal of ¥1.3 trillion ($10.85 billion).

“Consolidating the current Asubio US projects under the company's overall R&D organization helps us streamline our operations,” Dr. Gormley said.

Previous articleFGF 21 Protein May Play Key Role in Human Liver Regeneration
Next articlePowerful Antimicrobial Mechanism Revealed for Natural Compound