Sanofi and Asahi Kasei Pharma enter license agreement for marketing of Kevzara® Subcutaneous Injection, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, in Japan

December 8, 2017
Sanofi K.K.
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.

Sanofi K.K. and Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation have entered into a license agreement for the marketing of Kevzara® Subcutaneous Injection [generic name: sarilumab (rDNA origin)] in Japan.

Developed jointly by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Kevzara® is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptors and thereby blocks the action of IL-6, which is known to play an important role in inflammation of the synovial membrane of joints. Kevzara® was approved and launched in the United States, Canada, and Europe in 2017. Sanofi and Regeneron obtained manufacturing and marketing approval for Kevzara® in Japan as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis not responding well to conventional treatments on September 27, 2017. Under the license agreement announced today, Asahi Kasei Pharma will perform marketing, promotion, and distribution, Sanofi and Regeneron will perform manufacturing, and Sanofi will perform co-promotion of Kevzara®.

Associated with swollen and painful joints, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease caused by abnormal autoimmune responses that attack the body's own tissues. More than 700,000 patients suffer from rheumatoid arthritis in Japan.* Currently, methotrexate and biologic therapies are used to induce remission of rheumatoid arthritis at an early stage, but some patients do not respond well to conventional treatments and need additional treatment options. Sanofi and Asahi Kasei Pharma will work together to further contribute to patients and healthcare professionals in Japan by providing a new treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis via this agreement.

About Sanofi

Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions. With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.

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About Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led by physician-scientists for the past 30 years, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to six FDA-approved treatments and over a dozen product candidates, all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye disease, heart disease, allergic and inflammatory diseases, pain, cancer, infectious diseases and rare diseases.

Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through its unique VelociSuite® technologies, including VelociGene® and VelocImmune®, and ambitious initiatives such as The Regeneron Genetics Center, one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.

For additional information about the company, please visit or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.