Japan, July 6, 2005 - Astellas Pharma Inc. today announced that Astellas US LLC, its wholly owned subsidiary headquartered in Deerfield, IL.(Chairman and CEO; Makoto Nishimura, Ph.D.) has executed an agreement with QLT Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, to terminate the Collaboration, Licensing and Supply Agreement with regard to the anti-acne "AczoneTM" (generic name: dapsone), originally developed by QLT.
The agreement with regard to the co-development and exclusive marketing of "AczoneTM" for the treatment of acne vulgaris was signed between then-Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc., and then-Atrix Laboratories Inc. in October 2001. QLT made an NDA filing for "AczoneTM" in the summer of 2004. Astellas feels that, although FDA action on the product is imminent, the labeling suggested by the FDA may initially affect the market profile of the product. After re-evaluating the opportunity with the anticipated new market profile, Astellas and QLT have agreed that QLT will pursue commercialization of the product with its own organization.
The US dermatological business franchise is an area of strategic focus for Astellas and the Company remains committed to this field with Protopic for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, as its core product.