WOKINGHAM, England, August 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Kowa are delighted to announce that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted a UK licence for their statin, Livazo(R) (pitavastatin). This follows the completion of the decentralized regulatory procedure, in which the MHRA delivered a positive outcome for pitavastatin whilst acting as the Reference Member State for 16 EU countries. The UK licence represents the first national approval in the EU. Pitavastatin is indicated for adults as an adjunctive therapy to diet for the treatment of primary hypercholesterolaemia or combined dyslipidemia. It is available in doses of 1 mg, 2 mg and 4 mg.

Drummond Paris, President at Kowa Research Europe, commented pitavastatin has been the leading product in our cardiovascular portfolio in Asia since 2003, we are therefore thrilled to reach this European milestone and look forward to achieving the ongoing national marketing authorisations (MA) within the EU.

While few drugs, including pitavastatin, are free from drug-drug interactions, pitavastatin may be an attractive option for physicians treating patients taking multiple medications because its potential for cytochrome P450-mediated drug-drug interactions is low. Pitavastatin is only minimally metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system in the liver, which is important because this system is involved in approximately 75 percent of all drug metabolism.(1)

Since many patients treated for elevated cholesterol may be on multiple medications, it is important that physicians caring for these patients understand how treatment with a cholesterol medication, such as a statin, may potentially interact with the other drugs the patient may be taking, said Professor John Betteridge, Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, UCLH, London.

Pitavastatin is a fully synthetic and highly potent statin. It has a unique cyclopropyl group on the base structure, contributing to a more effective inhibition of the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme to inhibit cholesterol production, and allowing for the use of a lower dose.

Because of its unique product attributes, pitavastatin may be a first-line treatment option for clinically complex patient populations. Pitavastatin will be available in three low-dose strengths (1 mg, 2 mg and 4 mg) and it is anticipated that it will be used as first-line therapy with a usual maintenance dose of 2 mg daily and a maximum dose of 4 mg daily. Pitavastatin can be taken at any time of the day, with or without food, allowing added flexibility for patients.

The overall safety and tolerability of pitavastatin are consistent with other commonly prescribed statins. In Phase III studies comparing pitavastatin with atorvastatin(2), simvastatin(3) and pravastatin(4), the overall safety profile of pitavastatin was demonstrated, with low incidences of adverse events (AEs). All three doses of pitavastatin (1, 2 and 4 mg) demonstrated a comparable safety profile to 10, 20 and 40 mg of pravastatin(4), which is considered to be the statin least likely to cause ADRs or Drug-drug interactions. Additionally, pitavastatin has demonstrated a long-term safety profile (to 52 weeks), comparable to that of simvastatin or atorvastatin.(5)

About pitavastatin

Pitavastatin (a statin) is a fully synthetic and highly potent inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase used for primary hypercholesterolaemia and combined dyslipidaemia. 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 hypercholesterolaemia and mixed dyslipidaemia in August 2009 and it was launched in the U.S. in June 2010. Additionally, Kowa filed in Europe under the decentralized procedure in August 2008. 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).

Global business in pitavastatin

Kowa has dedicated itself enthusiastically to the RD and commercialization of pharmaceutical products including pitavastatin as a global corporation.

Country/area Current Launched Distributors status (or expected) Japan Launched September Kowa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. 2003 Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.*1 Korea Launched July 2005 Choongwae Pharma Corporation Thailand Launched January Biopharm Chemicals Co., Ltd. 2008 China Launched July 2009 *2 USA Launched June 2010 *3 EU Registration 2011 *4 Canada Submitted 2011 Abbott Taiwan Submitted 2011 Tai Tien Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Co.) Indonesia Submitted 2012 Tanabe Indonesia (Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Co.) Middle East/ Preparing for North Africa submission 2011 Algorithm SAL Latin Preparing for America submission 2011 Eli Lilly Australia/ Preparing for New Zealand submission 2012 Abbott

*1. Co-marketing by the two companies under one brand name, Livalo. The annual sales of Livalo tablets in Japan reached 41 billion yen in 2009.

*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 Indianapolis, 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.

About Kowa

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, totaling US$430 million (12% market share) in Japan during the last fiscal year and expected to exceed US$600 million in the near future.

Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. (KPA) is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused primarily in the area of cardiometabolic therapeutics. The company, started in 2001 as ProEthic Pharmaceuticals, Inc., was acquired by KCL in September of 2008. A privately held company, KPA focuses its efforts on the acquisition, development, licensing and marketing of pharmaceutical products. Its lead product, LIPOFEN(R) (fenofibrate capsules), is indicated as adjunctive therapy to diet to reduce elevated TG and to increase HDL-C in adult patients with primary hypercholesterolemia or mixed dyslipidemia.

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.

About Recordati

Recordati, established in 1926, is a European pharmaceutical group, listed on the Italian Stock Exchange (Reuters RECI.MI, Bloomberg REC IM, ISIN IT 0003828271),with a total staff of over 2,950, dedicated to the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals. It has headquarters in Milan, Italy, operations in the main European countries, and a growing presence in the new markets of Central and Eastern Europe. A European field force of over 1,450 medical representatives promotes a wide range of innovative pharmaceuticals, both proprietary and under license, in a number of therapeutic areas including a specialized business dedicated to treatments for rare diseases. Recordati's current and growing coverage of the European pharmaceutical market makes it a partner of choice for new product licenses from companies which do not have European marketing organizations.

Recordati is committed to the research and development of new drug entities within the cardiovascular and urogenital therapeutic areas and of treatments for rare diseases. Consolidated revenue for 2008 was EUR689.6 million, operating income was EUR144.7 million and net income was EUR100.4 million.

For more information about Recordati please visit http://www.recordati.com


1) F Peter Guengerich. Cytochrome P450 and Chemical Toxicology. Chem.Res.Toxicol.2008; 21: 70-83

2) Budinski D, Arneson V, Hounslow N, Gratsiansky N. Pitavastatin compared with atorvastatin in primary hypercholesterolemia or combined dyslipidemia Clinical Lipidology 2009; 4(3): 291-302

3) Ose L, Budinski D, Hounslow N, Arneson V.. Comparison of pitavastatin with simvastatin in primary hypercholesterolaemia or combined dyslipidaemia Current Medical Research and Opinion 2009; 25 (11): 2755-2764

4) Stender S, Hounslow N. Robust efficacy of pitavastatin and comparable safety to pravastatin. Atherosclerosis Suppl. 2009; 10(2): e945

5) 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; 210 (1): 202-208


CONTACT: For further information please contact: Dr Rod Coombs, EuropeanMarketing Manager, Mobile: +44(0)7824-415025, Direct Line:+44(0)118-922-9013, E Mail: rcoombs@kowa.co.uk