Issue Date: June 23, 2008
Asahi Kasei Buys Arthritis Drug
Japanese chemical maker Asahi Kasei has bought the Japanese rights to sell pentosan sodium polysulfate for treating osteoarthritis. Launched in 1947 by the German firm Dr. W. Benend as an anticoagulant, pentosan has since been approved for uses including treatment of the bladder ailment interstitial cystitis. The drug is in Phase I clinical trials in Japan as an arthritis treatment. Asahi will undertake development from Phase II trials onward. If pentosan is approved, Asahi will pay undisclosed sums to a Benend affiliate and ReqMed, a small Japanese firm that promotes drug development.
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