Friday, November 27, 2015, 12:00 Hrs [IST]
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a research-based global company, announced that the multiple sclerosis treatment drug, 'Copaxone subcutaneous injection 20 mg syringe' (glatiramer acetate) has become available in Japan.
This drug has been developed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. as a subcutaneous injection administered once daily, to prevent the relapse of multiple sclerosis. Copaxone was designated as an orphan drug by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in March 2009, and a request was received from the MHLW in May 2010 for its development as an "unapproved drug highly needed in medical care". In March 2013, Takeda and Teva entered into a licensing agreement for commercialisation of this drug in Japan, and on September 28, 2015 Takeda obtained NDA approval. It was listed in the NHI (National Health Insurance) Price List today.
Multiple sclerosis is assumed to be an autoimmune disease, the hallmark sign of which is inflammatory demyelination of the central nervous system characterized by demyelinating plaques in the brain and the spinal cord. Common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include visual problems, ocular motor abnormality, paresthesia, muscle weakness, spasticity, urinary dysfunction, and cognitive impairment. This disease may present as a primary progressive type, which takes a chronic progressive course from its early onset; a relapsing-remitting type, which repeats a pattern of relapse and remission; or a secondary progressive type that shifts to a progressive course later. More than 80 per cent of patients are categorized as having the relapsing-remitting type. Multiple sclerosis is estimated to affect approximately 18,000 individuals in Japan, with its prevalence tending to increase.
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