Swedish firm Dilafor has given Hong Kong-based company Lee’s Pharmaceutical Holdings the right to manufacture, develop, and commercialize tafoxiparin for obstetrics and gynecological indications in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. The two firms are planning to develop tafoxiparin for these indications jointly, and the clinical development program, the companies say, will initially be focused on reducing labor times for patients who do not start labor spontaneously and have to be induced into labor. The companies also say that, in addition to labor induction, tafoxiparin can also be used to treat labor arrest.

Per the agreement, Dilafor will receive an upfront payment, development and sales milestones, and royalties on product sales. Lee’s Pharmaceutical will manufacture and sell the drug in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan and will also conduct and pay for Phase II and Phase III trials in China. Lee’s Pharmaceutical says it picked China as a location for conducting the trials so that the results could be used toward additional development of the drug outside the countries where the firm has its license. 

The firms say reducing the amount of time patients spend in labor is a major medical need, especially in China. “With nearly 20 million babies born each year, China has significant unmet medical needs in maternal health,” said Lee’s Pharmaceutical CEO and founder Benjamin Li, M.D., in a statement. “It is our intention to leverage our available resources to accelerate the development of tafoxiparin in China.”

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