Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP) (SPI) today announced that its subsidiary, Sucampo AG, has received a $15 million milestone payment from Abbott’s (NYSE: ABT) subsidiary, Abbott Japan Co., Ltd. (Abbott), pursuant to the existing license, commercialization, and supply agreement between Sucampo Pharma Ltd. (SPL), SPI’s subsidiary, and Abbott. The milestone payment was triggered by the first sale of AMITIZA ® (lubiprostone) capsule 24 μg in Japan. AMITIZA is available through Abbott in Japan as a prescription medication for chronic constipation not caused by organic diseases, and was launched to primary care and specialist physicians on November 21, 2012.
“For years, millions of patients in Japan have been suffering from chronic constipation,” said Sucampo’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Scientific Officer Ryuji Ueno, M.D., Ph.D., Ph.D. “Until the approval of AMITIZA, there had been no new chemical entity developed for chronic constipation in Japan in 32 years. Sucampo and Abbott are honored to bring AMITIZA to the Japanese market, and we look forward to the positive impact we hope this medicine will have for patients who need it.”
Dr. Ueno also said the availability and first sale of AMITIZA in Japan is another step forward in the company’s objective of bringing medicines with novel mechanisms of action to patients globally with unmet medical needs.
AMITIZA is the world’s first chloride channel activator approved for therapeutic use, and has a unique mechanism of action to restore mucosal barrier function. With more than six million prescriptions worldwide, it is the first and currently the only prescription medicine available in Japan for chronic constipation.In 2009, SPL and Abbott entered into a license, commercialization and supply agreement for AMITIZA in Japan. About Chronic Constipation (excluding constipation caused by organic diseases) Millions of people in Japan live with the pain and discomfort of chronic constipation, yet many do not seek physician care. Medical attention could mean early diagnosis and effective, long-term treatment. More than one-third of patients in Japan who seek healthcare provider care for constipation are dissatisfied with their current therapy.