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HEALTHCARE | Tony Chua, Hong Kong

Lansen inks exclusive deal with Ethypharm

Lansen will market and distribute Ethypharm’s Ketoprofen/Omeprazole SR capsules in China.

Lansen Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited (“Lansen”), a leading Chinese company which focuses on disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (“DMARDs”), on Wednesday announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ningbo Lansen Pharmaceutical Company Limited, has signed an exclusive agreement with Shanghai Ethypharm Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd and Ethypharm SA (“Ethypharm”). 

Under the agreement, Lansen has been granted the exclusive rights for the marketing and distribution of ketoprofen/omeprazole slow-release capsules (“the Drug”) in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) for over 10 years. Ethypharm will be responsible for developing the Drug, applying for the Clinical License, conducting clinical trials and obtaining the Import Drug License (“IDL”) from the State Food and Drug Administration (“SFDA”) for the Drug in the PRC, while Lansen will be responsible for applying for the Import Drug Repackaging License (“IDRL”) and repackaging the Drug in the PRC. In accordance with the requirements set by the SFDA for imported drugs, Lansen estimates that the Drug will receive the IDL and IDRL approvals within the next four to six years. 

The Drug is a specialty analgesic and anti-inflammatory product for the treatment of rheumatic autoimmune diseases, the pharmaceutical sector which Lansen is principally engaged in. The Drug is marketed in Europe as Axorid® by Ethypharm’s licensee Meda Pharma and is a fixed-dose combination of ketoprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (“NSAID”), with the proton pump inhibitor omeprazole. Ketoprofen helps to reduce inflammation and pain in rheumatic disorders but, as with all NSAIDs, can also cause gastric irritation and ulceration. Omeprazole inhibits gastric acid production and when combining it with ketoprofen helps to prevent the development of NSAID-associated ulcers, ulcer complications and dyspeptic symptoms. 

Lansen intends to sell the Drug in the PRC using the Group’s extensive distribution network, which currently extends to over 1,000 hospitals in 25 provinces and four municipal cities throughout the PRC, according to a Lansen report. 

Mr. Xu Jun, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lansen, said, “We are very pleased to have signed this agreement with Ethypharm, which is renowned as the European leader in innovative drug delivery, and which we believe makes an ideal partner for Lansen. This deal also has great significance for the Group as it marks our first major agreement with an international pharmaceutical company. We believe that the distribution of ketoprofen/omeprazole slow-release capsules in the PRC will enable Lansen to gain strategic access to the important NSAIDs market with a unique product with attractive characteristics. This will allow us to expand our existing product portfolio and strengthen our market position and brand reputation in rheumatologic diseases, and also bring a significant revenue contribution to the company.”

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