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April 8, 2005
|Japan Tobacco Inc. |
|Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. |
|JT and Torii Pharmaceutical to Launch |
New HIV Treatment Drugs in Japan
|Tokyo, April 8, 2005 --- Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) (TSE: 2914) and Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (TSE: 4551), JT's pharmaceutical business subsidiary, announced today that the companies would launch two anti-HIV drugs "Emtriva® Capsules 200mg" (emtricitabine) and "Truvada® Tablets" (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), both of which are licensed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Gilead) (Nasdaq: GILD), starting April 19 in Japan. |
In July 2003, JT signed a licensing agreement with Gilead for the commercialization of three anti-HIV drugs including Emtriva® and Truvada® in Japan. Viread®, another drug covered in the agreement, was already launched in April last year. The importing approval for Emtriva® and Truvada® was obtained from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on March 23, 20051. Marketing of these drugs will be handled by Torii following National Health Insurance price listing of the drug on April 6.
"Emtriva® Capsules 200mg" is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor that works by blocking reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that is involved in the replication of HIV. The drug is prescribed as one capsule once daily and simpler regimens are expected to reduce the pill burden on patients while improving overall adherence.
"Truvada® Tablets" is a co-formulation of emtricitabine, the active ingredient in "Emtriva® Capsules 200mg" and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, the active ingredient "Viread® Tab. 300mg." Similar to "Viread® Tab. 300mg" and "Emtriva® Capsules 200mg," this drug is prescribed as one tablet once daily.
Along with Viracept® and Viread®, two other anti-HIV drugs the JT group already markets in Japan, the two newly-launched drugs are expected to enhance the JT group companies' contribution to the treatment of HIV patients in Japan.
1 The application for Ministry's approval was filed on January 25, 2005.
Supplement 1. About "Emtriva® Capsules 200mg"
Supplement 2. About "Truvada® Tablets"
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Japan Tobacco Inc. is the world's third largest international manufacturer of tobacco products. Since its privatization in 1985, JT has actively diversified its operations into pharmaceuticals and foods. JT entered into the pharmaceutical business in 1987 and established the Central Pharmaceutical Research Institute in 1993. JT is currently engaged in the research and development of new drugs in various areas such as glucose and lipid metabolism, anti-virus, immune disorders and inflammation, and bone metabolism. The company's net sales were ¥4.625 trillion in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2004.
Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., established in 1921, has manufactured and distributed ethical pharmaceutical products. In 1998, Torii became a member of the JT Group. To maximally leverage the synergy of the Group, R&D functions were transferred to JT and sales and marketing functions were transferred to Torii. Torii and JT continue to operate in close collaboration. Torii's net sales were ¥42 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004.