Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

January 13, 2012

Otsuka Pharmaceutical and UCB focus collaboration in the area of Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders

  • Collaboration between Otsuka and UCB in the therapeutic area of immunology to discontinue
  • UCB to further develop its immunology pipeline in Japan, starting with plans to bring certolizumab pegol to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in Japan

Tokyo, Japan and Brussels, Belgium (13th January, 2012) - Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and UCB announced today that the companies have agreed to focus their collaboration on the therapeutic area of Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders and to discontinue their collaboration in immunology.

The companies will end their co-development and co-promotion agreement for certolizumab pegol in Japan followed by an agreed upon transition period.

UCB is preparing to file certolizumab pegol for marketing authorisation with the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in the first quarter of 2012. Positive Japanese Study Results, showing that certolizumab pegol was associated with significant inhibition of structural joint damage progression and significant improvements in physical function compared to placebo, were published at the recent American College of Rheumatology's (ACR) 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting.*1

The decision to discontinue its collaboration in immunology is in line with Otsuka Pharmaceutical's clear priorities to focus in the future on CNS and oncology in its pharmaceutical business.

In December 2011, Otsuka Pharmaceutical filed rotigotine for marketing authorisation in Japan with the MHLW for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome. In 2010, E Keppra® (levetiracetam), was approved and launched in Japan for the adjunctive treatment of partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy which offers many patients a new option of treatment.

"Otsuka will strengthen the partnership with UCB in Japan while focusing on CNS compounds such as E Keppra®, an anti-epileptic drug, and rotigotine, a dopamine agonist patch," said Dr. Taro Iwamoto, President and Representative Director of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. "we remain dedicated to maximising the value of these two compounds while continuing to investigate additional indications. Otsuka and UCB will build a strong sales base so that our compounds can positively contribute to a number of patients in need."

"We are happy to continue our successful partnership with Otsuka Pharmaceutical in the area of CNS, namely E Keppra® and rotigotine." said Mark McDade, Executive VP, Chief Operating Officer, UCB. "And in the interest of Japanese patients living with severe immunological disorders, UCB is committed to building on the franchises of the immunology therapeutic area in Japan starting with certolizumab pegol.

  • *1:For more information about the certolizumab pegol data, please read the press release distributed at the ACR 2011 in Chicago.

About UCB

UCB, Brussels, Belgium ( is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8 500 people in about 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 3.2 billion in 2010. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).