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    4503   JP3942400007

ASTELLAS PHARMA INC.

(4503)
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Delayed Japan Exchange  -  02:00:00 2023-05-30 am EDT
2264.00 JPY   -1.39%
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Astellas Pharma Inc : International partnership receives funding to develop a drug product to fight schistosomiasis (bilharzia) in children

08/22/2013 | 03:37am EDT
International partnership receives funding to develop a drug product to fight schistosomiasis (bilharzia) in children

An international public-private partnership (PPP) was launched in July last year to develop a new pediatric formulation to combat schistosomiasis - commonly known as bilharzia - in preschool children. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grants $1.15 million to support some research & development activities before Phase I clinical trials. The current partners in this consortium, coordinated by TI Pharma, are Merck KGaA, Astellas Pharma Inc. and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute ("Swiss TPH").

Schistosomiasis is a severe chronic inflammatory disease caused by parasitic worms and is endemic in 78 developing countries, infecting more than 243 million people globally every year. Schistosomiasis is the second most prevalent tropical disease in the world after malaria, and occurs primarily in developing countries with limited access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. If not treated properly, the disease can lead to anemia, stunting and reduced learning ability, and can be fatal.

The consortium's goal is to develop a suitable pediatric drug for preschool children, a high-risk group for schistosome infections counting for 10-20 million of the global prevalence. The standard recommended praziquantel treatment is available in oral tablets for adults and children from the age of six. Younger children cannot always swallow these tablets because of their size and bitter taste. An appropriate treatment with praziquantel for preschool children is non-existent and highly needed.

The amount from the Gates Foundation was granted to Merck, one of the consortium partners, and will be used to finance some important R&D activities needed to bring the product up to the first clinical studies in man. It will also allow the involvement of disease experts, including from countries affected. Altogether, this will ensure that the product to be developed fits the needs of the pediatric population best.

Annalisa Jenkins, Chair of the Consortium Board and Head of Global Drug Development and Medical at Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck: "There is an urgent need for the treatment of schistosomiasis in very young children, for whom there is currently no approved therapy. The support of the Gates Foundation is a key step in moving forward with new options for this highly vulnerable population with the ultimate goal of elimination.

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Financials
Sales 2023 1 509 B 10 750 M 10 750 M
Net income 2023 144 B 1 029 M 1 029 M
Net cash 2023 388 B 2 763 M 2 763 M
P/E ratio 2023 28,6x
Yield 2023 2,61%
Capitalization 4 125 B 29 395 M 29 395 M
EV / Sales 2023 2,48x
EV / Sales 2024 2,67x
Nbr of Employees 14 522
Free-Float 98,9%
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Number of Analysts 13
Last Close Price 2 296,00 JPY
Average target price 2 773,08 JPY
Spread / Average Target 20,8%
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Managers and Directors
Naoki Okamura President, CEO & Representative Director
Minoru Kikuoka Chief Financial Officer & Head-Finance
Kenji Yasukawa Chairman
Yoshitsugu Shitaka Chief Scientific Officer & Head-Research
Tadaaki Taniguchi Chief Medical Officer
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