Chugai Pharma to market SBI Pharma's Alaglio Granule 1.5g in Japan

TokyoWednesday, March 15, 2017, 11:00 Hrs  [IST]

SBI Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Inc., engaged in the research and development of medicines using 5-ALA (5-Aminolevulinic acid), has entered a licensing agreement with Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. to grant Chugai the exclusive marketing rights of “Alaglio Granule 1.5g (“Alaglio”)” in Japan for visualizing tumour tissues during resection of bladder cancer. The approval for manufacture and marketing of Alaglio is under application.

In a surgical procedure to remove bladder cancer called TURBT (TransUrethral Resection of Bladder Tumour), the key is discerning cancer tissues from normal tissues and removing all the cancerous tumours only. By orally administering Alaglio to a patient three hours before surgery and shedding a blue excitation light on the lesion during the surgery, the cancerous portion emits red fluorescence, thereby making it easier to distinguish between cancer and normal tissues.

Through the exclusive marketing agreement, SBI Pharma and Chugai join and further strengthen the effort to speed the availability of Alaglio, a new therapeutic option, for patients fighting against bladder cancer and healthcare professionals.

An amino acid produced in mitochondria. It is an important substance that serves as a functional molecule related to energy production in the form of heme and cytochromes, and its productivity is known to decrease with age. 5-ALA is contained in food such as shochu lees, red wine and Asian ginseng. It is also known as a material forming chloroplasts in plants.

TURBT is a method to insert a surgical endoscope from the urethra without laparotomy, and resect the tumour while preserving the bladder function.