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May 08, 2013Print(PDF/24KB)Licensing

Ono and Dainippon Sumitomo reach agreement on expanding business relating to Limaprost into China

Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Ono, Headquarters: Osaka, Japan; President: Gyo Sagara) and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. (DSP, Headquarters: Osaka, Japan; President: Masayo Tada) announced today that the companies reached an agreement to expand business relating to limaprost alfadex (generic name: limaprost) into China.
Limaprost is an oral prostaglandin E1 analogue discovered from the collaborative research between Ono and DSP. The product has been sold under the trade name of Opalmon® Tablets by Ono and Prorenal® Tablets by DSP in Japan.

In accordance with such agreement, Ono will develop limaprost in China for the treatment of lumber spinal canal stenosis. After obtaining marketing authorization in China, Ono will grant Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., Chinese subsidiary of DSP, exclusive marketing right to limaprost in China. Ono retains the right to co-promote limaprost with Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals (Suzhou).

Under the contract of the marketing right with Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals (Suzhou), Ono will receive lump sum payment from Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals (Suzhou).

It is expected that the number of lumber spinal canal stenosis patients are increasing along with the progression of an aging population in China, however currently there are no effective treatments. Ono and DSP therefore agree to expand their partnership with limaprost into China.

Through this partnership, DSP will strengthen its presence in China and Ono will expand its business activities into China.


1. About limaprost alfadex

Limaprost alpfdex is an oral prostaglandin E1 analogue with blood flow increasing effect through peripheral vasodilatation and inhibitory effect of platelet aggregation. It was discovered from the collaborative research between Ono and DSP. It was approved for the treatment of ischemic symptoms such as skin ulcer, pain and coldness accompanying thromboangiitis obliterans in 1988, and for the treatment of subjective symptoms such as pain and numbness of lower leg and walking disability associated with acquired lumber spinal canal stenosis as an additional indication in 2001.

2. About lumbar spinal canal stenosis

Lumbar spinal canal stenosis is mainly observed among the elderly people. Age-related changes in a bone (deformation of intervertebral joints and vertebra) and/or hypertrophy of the ligaments that cover the inner wall of the spinal canal contribute to a narrowing of the lumen of the lumbar spinal canal. Such a narrowed lumen contributes to poor blood circulation of the cauda equina, leading to lack of nutrition in the area and eventually resulting in neurologic functional impairment. As a result, pain and numbness are caused in lower limbs, which consequently lead to difficulty in walking (intermittent claudication) in many cases.

3. About Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals (Suzhou) is a subsidiary of DSP and was established in Suzhou, China in 2003. Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals (Suzhou) has 670 employees (as of December 31, 2012) and its annual sales in FY2011 was 6.5 billion Japanese yen. For more information on Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals (Suzhou) visit the company website of DSP.