Asahi Kasei Pharma launched Kevzara® Subcutaneous Injection, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, in Japan

February 5, 2018
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.

Asahi Kasei Pharma launched the sale of Kevzara® 150 mg Syringe and 200 mg Syringe Subcutaneous Injection [generic name: sarilumab (rDNA origin)] in Japan today.

Developed jointly by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, 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® is available in the United States, Canada, and various countries in Europe. Sanofi obtained manufacturing and marketing approval for Kevzara® in Japan as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in patients who have had an inadequate response to conventional treatments on September 27, 2017, and the product was listed in Japan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) drug price standard on November 22, 2017.

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 treat rheumatoid arthritis but some patients do not respond well to current treatments and need additional treatment options. Asahi Kasei Pharma will work to further contribute to patients and healthcare professionals in Japan by providing a new treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis.

Product outline

Product name
Kevzara® 150 mg Syringe Subcutaneous Injection
Kevzara® 200 mg Syringe Subcutaneous Injection
Generic name
Sarilumab (rDNA origin)
Rheumatoid arthritis not responding well to conventional treatments
Dosage and administration
For adults, ordinarily subcutaneous administration of 200 mg of sarilumab (rDNA origin) once every 2 weeks. Reduced to 150 mg depending on patient condition.
Sanofi K.K.
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.
September 27, 2017
NHI price listing
November 22, 2017
Launch of sale
February 5, 2018
NHI price
¥45,467 per 150 mg syringe
¥60,329 per 200 mg syringe