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Britannia and Otsuka collaborate on autoimmune disease treatment

Published on 15/04/04 at 06:32pm

Britannia Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals UK to manage the UK distribution of the novel treatment for autoimmune diseases, Adacolumn.

Britannia is to provide Otsuka with sales professionals, sales management, medical information, financing functions and product distribution in the UK, while Otsuka will continue to supply the marketing, clinical trial and strategic planning resources to promote its product.

The Adacolumn device is a plastic cylinder containing cellulose acetate which reduces levels of blood molecules (granulocytes, monocytes, and macrophages) involved in autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and chronic rheumatoid arthritis. In inflammatory bowel disease, granulocytes and monocytes infiltrate the tissue of the bowel and cause or worsen inflammation. Adacolumn protects against further tissue inflammation, by removing the molecule while other blood constituents remain unaffected and are returned with the blood.

"All of us at Britannia are delighted to be working with Otsuka to bring Adacolumn to patients in the UK. This treatment has the potential to help change the lives of patients who suffer from debilitating autoimmune conditions," said Max Noble, Britannia's managing director.  

Otsuka managing director, Grant Geddes, said: "We are pleased to be working with Britannia to raise the profile of Adacolumn among medical professionals and patients in the UK. Britannia's technical and commercial expertise with novel treatments makes it an ideal partner for this initiative."    

Adacolumn is one of a class of Apheresis devices which form part of a growing global market for treating severe autoimmune conditions, which includes anti-TNF drugs and is forecasted to be worth $10 billion by 2008.  

The system is well established, having been used by thousands of people in Europe and Japan for several years, and is marked for use in the UK for treating ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Behcet's syndrome and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).




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