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Drug Names(s): Campto, CPT-11, irinotecan hydrochloride, Topotecin (Japan, Daiichi Sankyo)
Description: Camptosar (Irinotecan hydrochloride injection) is an antineoplastic agent of the topoisomerase I inhibitor class. Irinotecan is a derivative of camptothecin. Camptothecins interact specifically with theenzyme topoisomerase I which relieves torsional strain in DNA by inducing reversiblesingle-strand breaks. Irinotecan binds to the topoisomerase I-DNA complex and prevent religation of these single-strand breaks. Current research suggests that the cytotoxicity of irinotecan is due to double-strand DNA damageproduced during DNA synthesis.
Irinotecan was originally developed in Japan by Yakult Honsha and the Daiichi Pharmaceutical Company. In 2007, Daiichi announced that the deal for irinotecan hydrochloride with Yakult Honsha will terminate as the use patent for the drug expires. After the termination of this deal, the two companies will independently pursue irinotecan businesses.
Licensing rights forclinical development and commercialization in the United States, Canada, Australia,New Zealand, and Latin America were granted to Pharmacia & Upjohn (now Pfizer), whereassimilar rights in Europe, Asia, and Africa were granted to Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (nowSanofi). In 2004, Sanofi-Synthelabo announced that it has signed an agreement with Pfizer regarding the divestment of Aventis' interests in irinotecan in response to requests made by the competition authorities. The consideration for the whole transaction is of $620 million and includes some milestone payments for the registration of future indications.
Partners: Yakult Honsha Co. Ltd. Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.
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