4 Amgen Pipeline mAbs Included in Japanese Amgen-Astellas Alliance

japan astellas amgen (Pavel Ahmed)

Amgen and Astellas Pharma Inc have announced that they have entered into an alliance to help address the unmet needs of Japanese patients. The two companies say the alliance combines Amgen's pipeline candidates with Astellas' knowledge of the Japanese market. The first element of the alliance will focus on the co-development and co-commercialization in Japan of these five Amgen pipeline medicines:

Molecule Mode of Action Indication Development stage (Global) Development stage (Japan)
AMG 145 Anti-PCSK-9 mAb Hyperlipidaemia Phase III Phase II
Romosozumab (AMG 785) Anti-Sclerostin mAb Osteoporosis Phase III Phase II/III
Rilotumumab (AMG 102) Anti-HGF mAb Gastric cancer Phase III Phase I
AMG 337 MET inhibitor Gastric cancer Phase I
Blinatumomab (AMG 103) Anti-CD19 BiTE Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) Phase II

The first potential commercial launch is expected as early as 2016. The second element of the alliance is the establishment of a joint venture between Amgen and Astellas, which will operate under the name Amgen Astellas BioPharma KK.

The list of pipeline medications includes several monoclonal antibodies. AMG 145 is a human monoclonal antibody that inhibits Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9. Romosozumab is a humanized monoclonal that inhibits the action of sclerostin and is being developed for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, while rilotumumab is a human monoclonal that inhibits the action of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor. A fourth antibody included in the list is blinatumomab, an anti-CD19 x anti-CD3 (BiTE®) bispecific antibody. Just a few weeks ago, Amgen formed another joint venture with Zhejiang Beta Pharma in Asia to move their metastatic colorectal cancer monoclonal antibody Vectibix (panitumumab) into China.

Read the press release.

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