DUBLIN, Calif., Oct. 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ASTX), a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics, announced that a $5 million dollar milestone was earned from Eisai Inc., for the first commercial sale of DACOGEN® in the European Union. Dr. James S.J. Manuso, Astex chairman and chief executive officer, commented, "DACOGEN will continue to help patients around the world in the years ahead, and royalties on its sales will contribute to the funding of our prioritized development programs." Janssen-Cilag International NV and its affiliates hold marketing and development rights for DACOGEN in all markets except the United States, Canada and Mexico, where rights are maintained by their strategic partner, Eisai Inc. and its affiliates. These marketing rights flow from a worldwide license from Astex Pharmaceuticals to Eisai Inc. Astex receives royalties from Eisai Inc. on the global sales of DACOGEN for any indication starting at 20% and escalating to a maximum of 30%. In accordance with Astex's license agreement with Eisai, Astex may receive up to $12.5 million in future payments if additional milestones are achieved for DACOGEN globally. About DACOGEN (decitabine) DACOGEN is a DNA hypomethylating agent currently approved for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in more than 35 countries worldwide including key markets such as the United States, Brazil, China, India, Korea, Russia and Turkey. On September 28, 2012 Janssen-Cilag International NV announced that the European Commission (EC) had granted marketing authorization for DACOGEN (decitabine) for the treatment of adult patients (age 65 years and above) with newly diagnosed de novo or secondary acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification, who are not candidates for standard induction chemotherapy. [i] The Orphan Drug designation for AML was also maintained by the Committee of Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP). About Astex Pharmaceuticals Astex Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics with a focus on oncology. The Company is developing a proprietary pipeline of novel therapies and is creating de-risked products for partnership with leading pharmaceutical companies. Astex Pharmaceuticals co-developed DACOGEN® (decitabine) for Injection and receives significant royalties on global sales from Eisai in North America and from Janssen-Cilag in the rest of the world.