Sanofi and Asahi Kasei Pharma enter license agreement for marketing of Kevzara Subcutaneous Injection, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, in Japan

Sanofi K.K. and Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation have entered into a license agreement for the marketing of Kevzara® Subcutaneous Injection [generic name: sarilumab (rDNA origin)] in Japan.

Developed jointly by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Kevzara® is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptors and thereby blocks the action of IL-6, which is known to play an important role in inflammation of the synovial membrane of joints. Kevzara® was approved and launched in the United States, Canada, and Europe in 2017. Sanofi and Regeneron obtained manufacturing and marketing approval for Kevzara® in Japan as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis not responding well to conventional treatments on September 27, 2017. Under the license agreement announced today, Asahi Kasei Pharma will perform marketing, promotion, and distribution, Sanofi and Regeneron will perform manufacturing, and Sanofi will perform co-promotion of Kevzara®.

Associated with swollen and painful joints, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease caused by abnormal autoimmune responses that attack the body's own tissues. More than 700,000 patients suffer from rheumatoid arthritis in Japan.* Currently, methotrexate and biologic therapies are used to induce remission of rheumatoid arthritis at an early stage, but some patients do not respond well to conventional treatments and need additional treatment options. Sanofi and Asahi Kasei Pharma will work together to further contribute to patients and healthcare professionals in Japan by providing a new treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis via this agreement.

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