Japanese drugmaker Astellas says that its US affiliate has terminated a licencing and development agreement with Daiichi Asubio Pharma over the North American and European Union rights to carperitide for the treatment of acute heart failure.

The original agreement was signed in May 2003 between the firms’ predecessors Fujisawa (which merged with Yamanouchi to form Astellas) and Daiichi Suntory Pharma. Carperitide, which is an alfa-human atrial natriuretic peptide and has been on the market in Japan since 1995, was in Phase II trials in the USA.

Astellas did not mention any clinical problem with carperitide and limited itself to saying that it discontinued development “after reassessing competitive circumstances and market potential.”

Meantime, the firm has recently submitted a supplemental New Drug Application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking approval for the use of its antifungal agent Mycamine (micafungin) for injection in the treatment of candidemia and other candida infections. In 2005, the treatment was given the green light by the FDA for the treatment of patients with esophageal candidiasis and prophylaxis of candida infection in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.