Chugai in-licenses melanoma treatment vemurafenib

Pharmaceutical Company Product News

Chugai has agreed an in-licensing deal with parent company Roche that will allow it to develop and commercialise the metastatic melanoma drug vemurafenib in certain territories.

The company is aiming to commence its own clinical trials of the BRAF inhibitor therapy in 2012 ahead of the prospective introduction of the drug in Japan, where Chugai will have exclusive sales rights for the therapy.

Vemurafenib has already been submitted by Roche for regulatory approval in the US and Europe for approval as a treatment for BRAF V600 mutation-positive metastatic melanoma.

Chugai has previously assisted in the development and global commercialisation of oncology therapies such as Avastin, Tarceva, Herceptin and Xeloda.

"With the addition of the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib, a first-in-class compound ... Chugai's strength as a leading pharmaceutical company in the area of oncology will be enhanced," the firm said.

Last month, Chugai published positive new clinical trial data supporting the efficacy of a new subcutaneous administration method for the treatment RoActemra.

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