Japan, April 13, 2006 - Astellas Pharma Inc. ("Astellas"; headquarters: Tokyo; President and CEO: Toichi Takenaka) has today announced that its EU subsidiary submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for candin antifungal agent "micafungin" (generic name) for the treatment of systemic fungal infections to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) on April 11.
Micafungin, discovered and generated by Astellas, is a member of a new class of antifungal agents for injection, the candins. The novel mechanism of action of micafungin specifically interferes with fungal cell wall biosynthesis by selective inhibition of (1,3)-beta-D-glucan synthase. (1,3)-beta-D-glucan is an essential component of the skeletal structure of the fungal cell wall which is absent in mammalian cells. Micafungin, launched as "Funguard® for Infusion" in Japan in December 2002 and as "Mycamine® " in the US in May 2005 respectively, has contributed to the treatment and prophylaxis of systemic fungal infections. Astellas positions micafungin as one of its important products and expects the compound will further accelerate the expansion of its European business.