Eisai and Seikagaku Enter into Agreement for the Co-development and Marketing Alliance of SI-613, a Treatment of Osteoarthritis, in China

Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) and Seikagaku Corporation (Headquarters: Tokyo, President: Ken Mizutani, “Seikagaku”) announced today that the companies have entered into an agreement for the co-development and marketing alliance in China for SI-613 (diclofenac conjugated sodium hyaluronate), a therapeutic agent for osteoarthritis discovered by Seikagaku.

On the basis of this agreement, the companies will jointly develop SI-613 in China for a treatment of knee osteoarthritis. After obtaining approval, Seikagaku will supply products to Eisai, and Eisai will be responsible for distribution. The companies will cover an equal share of the development cost, and Eisai will pay Seikagaku the upfront payment, and development as well as sales milestones.

Osteoarthritis is a disease caused by the articular cartilage damage due to aging and other factors, leading to inflammation and pain, which result in impaired quality of life (QOL). Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most frequent cases among thereof, and the number of symptomatic patients with knee osteoarthritis in China is estimated to be approximately 47 million*1, and it is anticipated that the number will continue to increase as the population ages.

SI-613 is diclofenac conjugated sodium hyaluronate created by Seikagaku using their proprietary drug-binding technology to chemically bond hyaluronic acid and diclofenac (an anti-inflammatory drug). This material has the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of diclofenac, which is designed to be sustained-released*2 by a drug delivery system*3, in addition to the joint function improving effect of sodium hyaluronate. Hence, it is expected that SI-613 rapidly and continuously reduces the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.

Under this agreement, Eisai aims to contribute to patients with knee osteoarthritis that is unmet medical needs by utilizing the knowledge and networks that Eisai has cultivated through its China business. Seikagaku will seek to maximize the value of SI-613 in China by leveraging Eisai’s business base in China.
Through the development and commercialization of SI-613, the companies will provide new treatment options in China for knee osteoarthritis and contribute to improving the QOL of patients.

*1: For the estimated data regarding the number of patients with knee osteoarthritis
 · Data of morbidity prevalence rate – The Prevalence of Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis in China, ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY(2016)
· Estimated data calculated from United Nations World Population Estimates – World Population Prospects, URL:http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/
*2: Sustained release is a gradual release of the active pharmaceutical ingredients of a drug to achieve a sustained therapeutic effect.
*3: Drug delivery system (DDS) is a technology for the controlled release, targeting, and absorption improvement of drugs.