12 Dec 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Sucampo Pharmaceuticals' subsidiary SPL has received a $15 million milestone payment from Abbott's subsidiary, Abbott Japan, pursuant to the existing license, commercialization and supply agreement between the two firms.
The milestone payment was triggered by the first sale of Amitiza (lubiprostone) capsule 24 μg (micro grams) in Japan. Amitiza is available through Abbott in Japan as a prescription medication for chronic constipation not caused by organic diseases, and was launched to primary care and specialist physicians on November 21, 2012.
"For years, millions of patients in Japan have been suffering from chronic constipation," said Sucampo's chairman, chief executive officer, and chief scientific officer, Dr Ryuji Ueno. "Until the approval of Amitiza, there had been no new chemical entity developed for chronic constipation in Japan in 32 years. Sucampo and Abbott are honored to bring Amitiza to the Japanese market, and we look forward to the positive impact we hope this medicine will have for patients who need it."
Dr Ueno also said the availability and first sale of Amitiza in Japan is another step forward in the company's objective of bringing medicines with novel mechanisms of action to patients globally with unmet medical needs.
Amitiza is the world's first chloride channel activator approved for therapeutic use, and has a unique mechanism of action to restore mucosal barrier function. With more than six million prescriptions worldwide, it is the first and currently the only prescription medicine available in Japan for chronic constipation.