Days after getting the green light in the USA to sell its new combination high blood pressure drug Azor, Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo says that its European unit has applied for approval of the treatment in the old continent.

The company is looking to get the green light in 28 countries for CS-8663 (it has not been branded as Azor in Europe yet), which is a fixed-dose combination of two antihypertensives – the calcium channel blocker amlodipine (Pfizer’s Norvasc which recently went off-patent in the USA) and Daiichi Sankyo’s angiotensin receptor blocker Benicar (olmesartan).

Petra Laeis, head of clinical research at Daiichi Sankyo Europe, noted that most patients need two or more drugs to normalise their blood pressure and CS-8663 “has proved to be effective and well tolerated in a

large number of patients. That also applies to patients who have very high

blood pressure at the start of therapy".

She added that combining olmesartan and amlodipine in one tablet “gives doctors another effective treatment option for hypertension, which can lead to better results because patients are more likely to use it faithfully".

US ops growing steadily

Meantime, Daiichi Sankyo’s US unit has been touting its wares and has claimed that although it maybe not a household name across the Atlantic, it is one of the few pharmaceutical companies experiencing steady and sustained growth, “in a market that has seen most of its larger competitors forced to downsize and consolidate operations”.

After holding healthcare talks with US Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen at its headquarters in New Jersey, the subsidiary’s chief executive, Joseph Pieroni, noted that sales should grow 60% over the next three years. He also spoke of the firm’s “longstanding legacy of discovering leading cardiovascular and anti-infective products”.