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Eisai Commences Sales of Biogen’s Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Portfolio in India

Eisai Pharmaceuticals India Pvt. Ltd (“Eisai India”), a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company in India, announced today that it has commenced sales of Biogen’s multiple sclerosis (MS) portfolio in India based on a collaboration agreement between Eisai India’s parent company Eisai Co., Ltd. (“Eisai”) and Biogen Inc. (“Biogen”)for India and other Asian countries.

Under the agreement, Eisai distributes and books sales for Biogen’s MS treatments,AVONEX® (interferon beta 1a), TYSABRI® (natalizumab), TECFIDERA® (dimethyl fumarate)and PLEGRIDY® (peginterferon beta-1a) in India.

The number of MS patients has increased in India in recent years. No survey has been done for MS Patients, but it is estimated that there are about ~200,000 MS patients in India. MS is being increasingly diagnosed due to an increase in the number of practicing neurologists and easy and affordable availability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

“Abiding by our core philosophy of human health care and access to medicine, we strive to work in areas of unmet medical needs and make available the support needed by patients and their families for coping with the disease. MS is one such unmet disease segment and providing the patients with necessary support, we can significantly improve the quality of life of patients and give them hope to live a better life,” said Dr Sanjit Singh Lamba, Managing Director, Eisai India.

He further added, “CNS/Neuro-Psychiatry has been a therapeutic focus area for Eisai and we will continue to use our strengths in research and development. By partnering with other companies to create and bring medicines to the country, we seek to improve and enhance the quality of life of patients and their families.”

Commenting on the low awareness of MS, Saumil Mody, Vice President, Commercial Operations, Eisai India, said“ Not many people are aware about MS or understand its challenges.  Lack of awareness about the disease and its symptoms, associated social stigma, lack of skilled professionals, as well as limited access to the latest advancements in technologies among the rural population result in a majority of cases going undiagnosed. Our aim is to help address these challenges and enable patients and their families to live a better life.”

MS is an intractable disease and can only be handled by managing the symptoms, being physically active and medications that aid in delaying the progression of disease. If left untreated, patients may eventually develop severe and irreversible disabilities.

MS is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system starts attacking the protective sheath covering the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. MS is one of the most common neurological disorders and reason for disability in young adults. The cause of MS is yet unknown and as yet there is no cure, though there are treatments available that can help some forms of MS.

Raising awareness about MS and establishing an early diagnosis is imperative as MS is a disease that evolves over time. Eisai India has recently launched two of its in-house developed products in India – both in areas of unmet medical need. Lenvima® (Lenvatinib) indicated for radioactive iodine refractory differentiated thyroid cancer was launched in the oncologys pace in June 2017 while Fycompa® (Perampanel) indicated forpartial onset seizures was launched in the neuropsychiatry segment in August 2017.

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