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Taiwan approves gout drug febuxostat

17 May 2012 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau

Taiwan approves gout drug febuxostat by Teijin Pharma

Singapore: Taiwan's Department of Health has approved marketing of febuxostat, a novel drug developed for the treatment of hyperuricemia with gout, in the country. Febuxostat has been developed by Teijin Pharma, which is based in Japan. The product is being marketed by Astellas Pharma Taiwan.

Taiwan has approved marketing of the drug in the country for treatment of chronic hyperuricemia in patients with gout. Teijin Pharma had signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Astellas Pharma Taiwan in 2009 for the development and marketing of febuxostat in Taiwan.

Discovered by Teijin Pharma, febuxostat is the world's first non-purine selective inhibitor of xanthine oxidase. It has a novel chemical structure completely different from that of allopurinol, which has been used for over 40 years as the standard treatment for hyperuricemia and gout. Taken once daily, febuxostat effectively reduces the level of uric acid in the blood of patients to the recommended level, and is well tolerated without need for dose adjustment in patients suffering from mild to moderate renal impairment.

Since March 2009, febuxostat has been marketed by licensees in the US, Canada, 15 European countries and Korea. In Japan too, Teijin Pharma launched the drug in May 2011. Approvals have been obtained in Hong Kong, and collaborative arrangements have been formed with licensees in a total of 117 markets such as China, Turkey, Mexico and various counties of the Caribbean, Middle East and North African (MENA) regions, Central and South America, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Oceania, covering all major markets worldwide.

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