Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Astellas and Sanwa Launch "ARGAMATE" - Hyperkalemia Treatment

Astellas Pharma Inc and Sanwa Kagaku Kenkyusho Co., Ltd. (SKK) announced today the launch of a hyperkalemia treatment “ARGAMATE® 89.29% Granule 5.6g” (“ARGAMATE® Granule”; generic name: calcium polystyrene sulfonate) in Japan. This is a novel formulation of existing drug (Argamate) to provide ease of swallowing.

ARGAMATE Granule helps to evacuate the excessive potassium in the gastrointestinal tract by exchanging potassium ions in the intestine with the drug’s calcium ions, and is used to treat hyperkalemia caused by acute or chronic renal failure.

Hyperkalemia medications are often difficult to take because of their rough sensation and other properties of the ingredient. SKK developed “ARGAMATE® 20% Jelly 25g” by formulation innovation to meet patients’ needs for improved swallowing, and it has become a main medication for the treatment of hyperkalemia.

The main characteristics of ARGAMATE® Granule are as follows:
1) It is not necessary to be suspended beforehand and ARGAMATE® Granule can be easily taken with a small amount of water.
2) Granules are processed to have a smooth surface and a reduced rough and burning sensation.
3) ARGAMATE® Granule is a granular preparation of cation exchanger resin of calcium salt.
Astellas and SKK established a strategic alliance in February 2012 in the pharmaceutical market for kidney diseases in Japan. Under the alliance, SKK will supply ARGAMATE® Granule to Astellas and Astellas will distribute it, while both companies will conduct co-promotion activities.

Through the strategic alliance Astellas and SKK expect to further contribute to patients with kidney diseases by providing various medical treatments for this pharmaceutical market in Japan.

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