Lundbeck is looking east and expanding a deal with partner Teva Pharmaceutical Industries which will see the Danish drugmaker sell the Parkinson’s disease drug Azilect in key Asian markets.

The deal, which covers China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, will see Lundbeck conduct clinical trials and prepare the application filings needed to gain marketing authorisation for Azilect (rasagiline) in each country. The Copenhagen-headquartered firm says that the first launch in one of the aforementioned markets “may potentially occur in approximately one year”.

Ole Chrintz, senior vice president of commercial operations at Lundbeck, said the pharmaceutical markets in Asia, “and the central nervous system market in particular, is undergoing rapid development, and we see this agreement as a possibility to further strengthen our commercial platform in this promising region”. He added that Azilect is the first medication to have shown “an effect consistent with the possibility of disease modification in Parkinson's” and the firm is looking forward to offering the drug to people in Asian countries
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Lundbeck added that Azilect will be a significant growth driver especially in China and South Korea, and noted that the Chinese government recently granted reimbursement on two of its key products, the antidepressant blockbuster Cipralex (escitalopram) and the Alzheimer's disease drug Ebixa (memantine).

Financial terms of the new agreement were not disclosed but Lundbeck noted that it will pay a share of sales in the Asian markets to Teva.