TOKYO and CHERTSEY 12 December, 2016: Astellas Pharma Inc. (President and CEO: Yoshihiko Hatanaka, “Astellas”), today announced that Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. (“Astellas Pharma Europe”) has entered into a definitive agreement with Grünenthal under which Astellas Pharma Europe will transfer the exclusive rights for Qutenza™ (capsaicin 8% patch) in Europe, Middle East and Africa to Grünenthal.

Qutenza is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP) in adults, and given Grünenthal’s heritage in the therapy area, Astellas believes that patients will benefit from the continued access and support this agreement ensures.

This agreement marks the start of a process that will see Astellas Pharma Europe transfer all of its commercialisation rights for Qutenza to Grünenthal in all 28 European Union member states, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein, and other East European, Middle East and African countries.  It is anticipated to conclude in 2018. 

Until the transfer is complete, Astellas will continue to fully support the transition to ensure that patients who rely on Qutenza for the management of their pain are unaffected by this change.

Yukio Matsui, President of Operations, Astellas Pharma Europe commented: “This agreement is a part of our work toward higher quality and efficiency of operations through optimisation of resources and will ultimately provide hope for more patients around the world.  Grünenthal has a long track record in pain and will be well placed to provide Qutenza to more patients who stand to benefit. We are looking forward to working closely with Grünenthal to ensure smooth continuation of product supply.”

Gabriel Baertschi, CEO Grünenthal said: “We can look back on many successful partnerships. This agreement is a perfect strategic fit for us, because it will complement our existing business in the field of pain.”

Dott. Alberto Grua, member of the Corporate Executive Board, CCO Europe, North America and Global Operations at Grünenthal added: “This product will give us the opportunity to extend our portfolio in the neuropathic pain area. With our other pain products, Grünenthal has built up a high level of expertise in this area, which will allow us to market Qutenza successfully.”

Astellas reflected the impact from the transfer of Qutenza to Grünenthal in its current fiscal year (from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017) financial forecast.

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