June 29, 2006
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.

Asahi Kasei Pharma licenses rights to oral and inhaled formulations of fasudil hydrochloride in North America and Europe to CoTherix
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation (AKP) has concluded an agreement granting CoTherix, Inc. of the United States exclusive rights in North America and Europe to develop and commercialize oral and inhaled formulations of fasudil hydrochloride, a Rho-kinase inhibitor, for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Additionally, AKP has granted CoTherix the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize oral formulations of fasudil hydrochloride for the treatment of stable angina in the same territories.

Under the terms of the agreement, CoTherix will make an upfront payment to AKP of $8.75 million, plus additional development and revenue milestone payments. CoTherix also has an option to develop fasudil hydrochloride in North America and Europe for other potential indications using the licensed formulations with the exception of stroke and eye diseases.

An injectable formulation of fasudil hydrochloride has been launched in Japan by AKP under the trade name Eril™ and is marketed for the improvement of cerebral vasospasm following surgery for subarachnoid hemorrhage and associated cerebral ischemic symptoms.

PAH is a chronic, progressive, and often fatal disease, which is characterized by severe constriction and obstruction of the pulmonary arteries. This makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the lungs to be oxygenated. CoTherix estimates that PAH affects approximately 100,000 patients in the United States and Europe, with only about 30% diagnosed and under treatment. Its cause may be unknown, or result from other diseases that cause a restriction of blood flow to the lungs, including scleroderma, HIV, and lupus. Symptoms of the disease include fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion, chest pain, and dizziness. Left untreated, the median survival time following diagnosis may be as short as three years.

Stable Angina
Stable angina is chest pain or discomfort that often occurs when the heart does not get enough blood. Stable angina may occur during exercise or emotional stress. Some people, such as those with a coronary artery spasm, may have stable angina at rest. An estimated 6.5 million individuals in the United States suffer from stable angina. Stable angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease, which is a leading cause of death in Western countries. It is believed that Europe has a similar prevalence and incidence for stable angina as the United States.

The crucial role that Rho-kinase plays in the pathophysiology of vascular diseases, such as pulmonary hypertension, stable angina, and atherosclerosis, has been established in preclinical and emerging clinical research over the last decade. In addition, results from in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that Rho-kinase inhibitors, such as Eril™, can reduce vasoconstriction and cell proliferation.

CoTherix, Inc.
Located in South San Francisco, CA, United States, CoTherix, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRX) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on licensing, developing and commercializing therapeutic products for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, including PAH and stable angina. CoTherix currently markets Ventavis Inhalation Solution in the United States for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (WHO Group I). More information can be found at www.cotherix.com or www.4ventavis.com.

Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation
Asahi Kasei Pharma, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a research-based healthcare innovator that discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets products for the pharmaceutical, pharmaceutical intermediate, diagnostics, biopharmaceutical/biological filtration, medical device, medical nutrition, and contact lens markets. Asahi Kasei Pharma is a wholly owned business unit of Asahi Kasei Corporation, a US$12 billion technology company that provides innovative, science-based solutions to a diverse range of markets including chemicals and plastics, apparel, housing and construction, healthcare, and electronics.

CoTherix and the CoTherix logo are trademarks of CoTherix, Inc. Ventavis is a registered trademark of Schering AG. Eril is a trademark of Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation.


Adobe Readeris required to view these PDF files.

page top