Eisai Co., Ltd. announced today that the Company has in-licensed an anti-hepatitis B agent (generic name: clevudine) from Bukwang Pharm (Headquarters, Seoul, South Korea, President: Sung-Koo Lee).
Under the agreement, Eisai will obtain the exclusive right to develop, manufacture and market clevudine in ten Asian countries excluding South Korea. Eisai will develop the compound in those Asian countries, principally in China, aiming at filing of new drug applications for approval.
Clevudine is an antiviral agent for treatment of hepatitis caused by the hepatitis B virus based on DNA polymerase inhibition. In South Korea, Bukwang is currently conducting Phase III clinical trials. For the treatment of hepatitis B, antiviral agent, interferon, or liver protective agent are used. When plasma virus concentration is high, antiviral agent or interferon are used to control the level of virus. In this case, treatment may take a long time. Clevudine is expected to be a new option for hepatitis B treatment by its powerful antiviral effect.
Hepatitis B is a serious disease with numerous patients particularly in China. Eisai will work to develop this new Hepatitis B, especially in China, to contribute to improving the health care of patients in Asia.