Tokyo, April 20, 2011 - Astellas Pharma Inc. (TOKYO:4503,“Astellas”) announced that a new dosage form of Vesicare® (generic name: solifenacin succinate), the orally disintegrating tablet “Vesicare®OD Tablet 2.5mg/5mg” for an additional formulation of the overactive bladder(OAB*) treatment becomes available in the Japanese market today, following its drug price listing dated March 18, 2011 with the price of 113.00 yen for 2.5mg tablet and 189.80 yen for 5mg tablet.

Vesicare is a muscarine receptor antagonist discovered and developed by Astellas and is the first drug approved for OAB in Japan. It relaxes bladder smooth muscles and improves symptoms associated with OAB such as by blocking muscarine receptors on bladder smooth muscles. It was launched in 2006 in Japan and has been already marketed in more than 60 countries and areas.

“Vesicare OD Tablet” is the OAB treatment applied with WOWTAB**, one of the Astellas' proprietary drug delivery technologies. It can be ingested without water since it quickly disintegrates upon contact with saliva in the mouth. So, it can be easily taken even by elderly patients, patients with impaired swallowing function, and patients with the restriction of fluid intake. Astellas expects to further contribute to OAB treatment by introducing into Japanese market “orally disintegrating tablet Vesicare OD” which can further improve the compliance with its more convenient dosing option.

*OAB is caused by involuntary contraction of urinary bladder smooth muscles and is associated with symptoms such as mainly urinary urgency, frequency, nocturia and urgency incontinence. According to Neurogenic Bladder Society, the number of OAB patients is estimated to be about 8.1 million, nearly 12% of men and women aged 40 years or older In Japan. These symptoms cause significant inconvenience and mental distress in patient’s activities of daily living. 

**WOWTAB=Without Water Tablet
 

#####