Japan, June 10, 2005 - Astellas Pharma Inc. ("Astellas") today announced that a new dosage form of Harnal® (generic name: tamsulosin HCl), the orally disintegrating tablet "Harnal® D Tablet 0.1mg/0.2 mg," for the treatment of functional symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia to be available in the Japanese market on June 14, 2005, following its drug price listing today with the price of 103.60 yen for 0.1mg tablet and 206.70 yen for 0.2mg tablet.
Harnal® is an α1 blocking agent with a great selectivity for prostatic and urethral smooth muscles. It improves the functional symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia by relaxing the urethra with almost no effect on vascular smooth muscles, which affect blood pressure. Harnal® D Tablet is an orally disintegrating tablet developed using Astellas' proprietary drug delivery technology WOWTAB*1. It can be smoothly ingested without water since it quickly disintegrates upon contact with saliva in the mouth.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a term that describes a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate associated with aging. Prostate growth may compress the urethra, narrowing the tube and making urination more difficult. It is said that BPH occurs in one out of five men over the age of 55 years and its patient population has been increasing. Harnal® D Tablet can be easily taken even by elderly patients and patients with impaired swallowing function and is also useful for patients with restricted water consumption. The company expects Harnal® D Tablet will meet various needs of patients.
Since its first launch in Japan in 1993, Harnal® is now marketed in 66 countries and areas, including Japan, the US and European countries. Astellas' consolidated sales*2 of Harnal® for the year ended March 31, 2005 reached to 135.9 billion yen. Harnal® has steadily penetrated the market because of its excellent efficacy and safety and has been established as the leading brand in the field of prostatic hyperplasia-related drugs.
*1 WOWTAB: Without Water Tablet
*2 Including bulk royalties to the third parties