Sun Pharma Launches Ilumya in Japan
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, the Indian multinational pharmaceutical company got approval for launching a part of its specialty products portfolio, its psoriasis drug Ilumya, in the Japanese market. Sun Pharma’s dermatology portfolio in Japan would be strengthened by this.
One of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries got approval for using Ilumya (tildrakizumab) to treat plaque psoriasis in adult patients who have an inadequate response to conventional therapies, from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), Japan. Currently, approximately 430,000 people suffer from psoriasis in Japan.
Psoriasis approximately affects 125 million people worldwide and is a chronic immune disease that appears on the skin. Thick scaly areas of skin are resulted due to the growth cycle of skin cells increased by the non-contagious disorder. Plaque psoriasis is the common most form of psoriasis which affects about 80-90 percent of people.
Sun Pharma Japan’s Country Head, Junichi Nakamichi said, “As part of Ilumya’s global clinical development program, Ilumya was extensively tested in Japanese patients and it is the first innovative drug that Sun Pharma plans to launch in Japan.”
He added saying that for Japanese patients who struggle every day with the chronic nature of plaque psoriasis, with only one injection every 12 weeks, this drug offers a new treatment option. With low rates of severe infections, malignancies, etc, it has safety profiles over 4 years and showed sustained efficacy for over 4 years.
Junichi said, “To our existing strong dermatology portfolio in Japan, this approval adds a biologic product. To make Ilumya, available to dermatologists and patients in Japan, a safe and efficacious product, we will leverage Sun Pharma Japan’s marketing network.”
In the EU and US markets, Ilumya is already approved. In the first year of its commercialization, Ilumya has clocked sales of $94 mn.
Apart from psoriasis, to find out other indications of Ilumya, Sun is conducting more research.
Last year, Pola Pharma in Japan was acquired by Sun Pharma. Sun Pharma plans to expand its presence in dermatology in Japan and the company already has a portfolio of specialty products. Sun Pharma has a basket of nine specialty products including Cequa, Yonsa, Xelpros, Absorica, and Ilumya. Information on how many of these specialty products the company aimed to launch in Japan is not disclosed.
As the generic medicines in Japan see price revision twice a year, Japan is not a very lucrative market, said a Mumbai based analyst. He said, “Dermatology segment is witnessing price erosion, but there is some opportunity in the branded market that Sun is eyeing. Considering the stock, this is not seen as an upside. Sun may see some competition as there are other options available for psoriasis treatment in Japan.”
With the acquisition of 14 established prescription brands from Novartis, Sun had forayed into the Japanese prescription market in 2016. Due to price competitiveness, many Indian players have lost interest in the Japanese market. Branded products market has opportunities in Japan, according to Sun Pharma.
Sun Pharma Launches Ilumya