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Drug Names(s): ASP3550, FE200486, degarelix, Gonax (Jpn)
Description: Degarelix, a synthetic peptide with a sustained-release injectable formulation, targets and blocks the GnRH receptor, preventing the production of testosterone.
Naturally occurring GnRH binds to the GnRH receptor on cells in the pituitary gland, triggering the production of luteinizing hormone (LH), which subsequently stimulates the production of testosterone. GnRH agonists initially cause a flare in testosterone production and possibly cancer symptoms. However, because they remain on the receptor for prolonged periods, they eventually lead to reduced LH release and testosterone production.
In contrast, antagonists like degarelix directly prevent the release of LH, avoiding the initial testosterone flare of the agonists.
Deal Structure: In January 2006, Ferring and Astellas entered into a license agreement that gives Astellas exclusive rights to develop and market degarelix for the treatment of prostate cancer in Japan. The license agreement grants Astellas the exclusive rights to develop and market degarelix for the treatment of prostate cancer in Japan. Astellas will make upfront and milestone payments to Ferring. In addition, Astellas will pay a royalty on product sales.
Partners: Astellas Pharma, Inc.
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