Astellas – the Japanese company forged earlier this year out of the merger between Fujisawa and Yamanouchi [[01/04/05c]] – is dropping Aczone (dapsone), an acne treatment that has been filed with the US Food and Drug Administration, from its development list,

In a statement, the Japanese firm said that, although FDA action is imminent, it feels that the label, “may initially affect the market profile of the product.” Partner QLT is now pursuing commercialisation of the product alone.

Nevertheless, Astellas says the US dermatological business franchise remains an area of strategic focus for company and it remains committed to this field with Protopic (tacrolimus) for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, as its core product.

- Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Astellas has also dropped development of FK352B, which was undergoing Phase II testing for the treatment of dialysis related hypotention, and the psoriasis gel, FK506. According to the article, the company has terminated development of these products in these respective indications due to “economic and efficacy reviews.”