) along with Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka Pharmaceutical
Co., Ltd. recently announced that they have decided to focus on the
development of therapeutics for central nervous system (
) disorders, while they would discontinue their collaboration in
As a result of the aforesaid decision, the companies will end
their co-development and co-promotion agreement for Cimzia
(certolizumab pegol) in Japan, after a mutually decided period.
Cimzia is currently marketed in the US and EU for the treatment of
adults with moderately-to-severely active rheumatoid arthritis (
). The drug is also marketed in the US for reducing signs and
symptoms of Crohn's disease (CD).
Following the companies decision to discontinue collaboration
for immunology, UCB plans to file for the approval of certolizumab
pegol in Japan in the first quarter of 2012 for the treatment of
The companies' collaboration with regards to Neupro (rotigotine)
and Keppra (levetiracetam) remains intact. UCB and Otsuka Pharma
have an agreement to co-promote Neupro and Keppra in Japan.
Otsuka Pharma markets Keppra as E Keppra in Japan for the
adjunctive treatment of partial onset seizures in adults with
epilepsy, which offers many patients a new option of treatment.
Further, the company has filed for the approval of Neupro in Japan
for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and restless legs
We note that this is the second time in less than a month that
UCB has changed the terms of its collaboration agreements. Last
month, UCB and
) amended their agreement for the worldwide development, marketing
and sale of epratuzumab for all autoimmune disease indications.
According to the new agreement, UCB returned its buy-in right to
Immunomedics for the cancer indication of the candidate, and in
return got the flexibility to select a partner to sublicense
epratuzumab's rights for certain territories.
Epratuzumab is currently being evaluated in two late-stage
trials, EMBODY1 and EMBODY 2, for the treatment of patients with
moderate-to-severe lupus. Initial results from these trials are
expected in the first half of 2014.
We would prefer to wait and watch how these developments impact
UCB. Thus, we have a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating) on the
): Free Stock Analysis Report
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