Takeda Pharmaceutical Co and Pfizer have significantly cut their marketing alliance in Japan whereby the latter will take on the promotion of most of its drugs in the country.

Specifically, Takeda will cease distribution of 13 out of the 15 Pfizer products that it previously sold under a licensing deal with Wyeth, which was bought by the US giant for $68 billion in 2009. The new agreement comes into place at the end of the year.

The list includes the acute myeloid leukaemia treatment Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin), withdrawn in the USA two years ago over concerns about safety and clinical benefits, the Premarin (conjugated oestrogens) range of hormone replacement therapies and the kidney cancer treatment Torisel (temsirolimus).

However, Takeda will continue to distribute the pneumococcus vaccine Prevenar for infants and young children and the haemophilia B drug BeneFIX(nonacog alfa) after January 2013. The firms will also continue a co-promotion agreement for the rheumatoid arthritis blockbuster Enbrel (etanercept).