WOKINGHAM, England, March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe welcomes the first regional launch of its statin, Livazo (pitavastatin) in Lebanon, where it will be marketed by Beirut-based Algorithm, under an exclusive license.
Aimed at patients with primary hyperlipidemia and / or mixed dyslipidemia,(1) Lebanon will be the first market for Livazo outside the Far East and the USA. Algorithm will launch Livazo in the rest of the Middle East and North Africa from 2012 onwards.
Livazo is a potent statin that combines effective control on LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides (TG), long-term incremental HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) increase and, due to its novel structure, is less likely to have drug-drug interactions.(2) Its effectiveness has been demonstrated in several Phase III clinical studies:
- Livazo safely and effectively reduced LDL-C and achieved European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) guideline targets in the majority of patients with primary hyperlipidemia or mixed dyslipidemia, similar to reductions seen with atorvastatin(3) and simvastatin(4) - Livazo 2 mg and 4 mg demonstrated comparable efficacy to commonly prescribed statins with 2 mg Livazo demonstrating statistically significant superior efficacy compared with simvastatin 20 mg in lowering LDL-C, non high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) and total cholesterol (TC)(4) - Livazo effectively reduced LDL-C in the elderly(5) and also improved LDL-C and other parameters of lipid metabolism in patients at higher cardiovascular risk(2) - Livazo was superior to pravastatin in improving LDL-C in elderly patients (65 years)(5) - Livazo demonstrated a gradual and sustained increase in HDL-C over the long-term, supported by data from a 52 week extension study(6)
"We welcome innovative treatments such as Livazo, which not only lowers LDL-C effectively but also addresses HDL residual risk and so has the potential to increase the proportion of patients achieving treatment targets," said Professor Ibrahim Salti, Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. "Pitavastatin has shown good efficacy in metabolic syndrome patients without effect on HbA1C levels, as well as in elderly patients. The low drug-drug interaction makes it an attractive option for clinically complex patients on multiple medications."
High cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease, the number one cause of death globally.(7) In Lebanon, about one sixth of all adults has high blood cholesterol, but only two fifths of these receive medical treatment for it.(8)
The overall safety and tolerability of pitavastatin are consistent with other commonly prescribed statins. In Phase III studies comparing pitavastatin with atorvastatin(3), simvastatin(4) and pravastatin(5), the overall safety profile of pitavastatin was demonstrated, with low incidences of adverse events. All three doses of pitavastatin (1, 2 and 4 mg) demonstrated a comparable safety profile to 10, 20 and 40 mg of pravastatin(5), which is considered to be the statin least likely to cause adverse drug reactions or drug-drug interactions. Additionally, pitavastatin has demonstrated a long-term safety profile (to 52 weeks),(6) comparable to that of simvastatin or atorvastatin.(9,10)
Drummond Paris, President of Kowa Research Europe, said: "The launch of Livazo in Lebanon represents a milestone for Kowa as our first product in this region. It will be the first of many launches in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa during 2011. We are keen to offer the benefits of Livazo to patients across the globe."
References 1. Livazo Summary of Product Characteristics 2. Ose L. Pitavastatin: finding its place in therapy. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2011. Published online before print. January 26, 2011, doi: 10.1177/2040622310389227 3. Budinski D, Arneson V, Hounslow N, Gratsiansky N. Pitavastatin compared with atorvastatin in primary hypercholesterolemia or combined dyslipidemia. Clin. Lipidol. 2009;4:291-302 4. Ose L, Budinski D, Hounslow N, Arneson V. Comparison of pitavastatin with simvastatin in primary hypercholesterolaemia or combined dyslipidaemia. Curr Med Res Opin 2009;25: 2755-64 5. Stender S, Hounslow N. Robust efficacy of pitavastatin and comparable safety to pravastatin. Atherosclerosis Suppl. 2009; 10:e945 6. Ose L, Budinski D, Hounslow N, Arneson V: Long-term treatment with pitavastatin is effective and well tolerated by patients with primary hypercholesterolemia or combined dyslipidemia. Atherosclerosis 2010; 202-208 7. World Health Organization. Cardiovascular diseases fact sheet. Accessed on 14 February, 2011. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/index.html. 8. Rady, A. Is lifestyle affecting the risk of non-communicable diseases in Lebanon? Human & Health 2010;13:15-17 9. Data on file (study 309) 10. Data on file (study 310)
Pitavastatin (a statin) is a fully synthetic and highly potent inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase used for primary hypercholesterolemia and combined dyslipidemia. Pitavastatin has a unique cyclopropyl group on the base structure common to the statin class. Since its 2003 launch in Japan, pitavastatin has accumulated millions of patient-years of exposure. Many of these patients have co-morbidities and are taking multiple medications. Kowa received FDA approval of pitavastatin (Livalo(R)) for the treatment of primary hyperlipidemia or mixed dyslipidemia in August 2009 and it was launched in the U.S. in June 2010. Additionally, Kowa filed in Europe in August 2008 using the decentralised authorisation procedure and received regulatory approval in mid 2010. In much of Europe, pitavastatin will be marketed by Recordati. Pitavastatin will be available in three dosage strengths (1 mg, 2 mg and 4 mg).
Country/area Current status Launched (or Distributors expected) Japan Launched September 2003 Kowa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.*1 Korea Launched July 2005 Choongwae Pharma Corporation Thailand Launched January 2008 BioPharma Chemical China Launched July 2009 *2 USA Launched June 2010 *3 EU Approved in some EU countries, undergoing 2011 *4 national phase in others Taiwan Submitted 2011 Tai Tien Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. Middle East/ Launched in North Africa Lebanon; preparing for 2011 Algorithm SAL other launches in 2012-2015 Latin Submitted in 2011 Eli Lilly America part Indonesia Submitted 2012 PT. Tanabe Indonesia Australia/ Submitted in 2012 Abbott New Zealand part
*1. Co-marketing by the two companies under one brand name, Livalo. The annual sales of Livalo tablets in Japan reached $520 million in 2010.
*2 Kowa (Shanghai) Pharma Consulting Co. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kowa, is obtaining and providing information to physicians and hospitals in China to ensure proper use of pitavastatin.
*3 In the United States, Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. (Headquarters in Alabama, US), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kowa, sell and market pitavastatin with a co-promotion partner, Eli Lilly (Headquarters in Indiana, US).
*4 In Europe, pitavastatin will be distributed by Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co. Ltd. (Headquarters in Wokingham, UK), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kowa, and Recordati (Headquarters in Milan, Italy), a partner distributor.
Kowa Company, Ltd. (KCL) is a privately held multinational company headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. Established in 1894, KCL is actively engaged in various manufacturing and commercial activities in the fields of pharmaceutical, life science, information technology, textiles, machinery and various consumer products. KCL's pharmaceutical division was founded in 1947, and is focused on cardiovascular therapeutics, with sales of the company's flagship product, Livalo, totalling $520 million (14.3% market share) in Japan during 2010 and expected to exceed $700 million in the near future.
Kowa Research Europe, Ltd. (KRE), established in 1999 in the United Kingdom, is responsible for European clinical trials for Kowa's strategic global pharmaceutical development.
Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co. Ltd, established in 2000, is a specialty pharmaceutical company located in Wokingham, UK, focused primarily on cardiometabolic therapeutics. Working in harmony with KRE, these European pharmaceutical divisions of Japanese Kowa Company, Ltd. are committed to ground-breaking research, development and marketing to ensure quality products are made available to people around the world, enabling them to enjoy a better standard of health and a more comfortable life.
Algorithm, pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Lebanon, aims at being the trusted regional partner to medical and patient communities and is committed to delivering quality care in pharmaceutical therapies. It operates in the Middle East and North Africa region with a product portfolio consisting of innovative products as well as differentiated generics, focusing mainly on the following therapeutic areas: cardiology, endocrinology, neurology, gynaecology and urology. Algorithm has built partnerships with many international companies, amongst which is Kowa.
SOURCE Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe