Eisai Inc, the USA-based subsidiary of the like-named Japanese pharmaceutical major, has signed deal with the world’s largest drugmaker, Pfizer, for exclusive rights to promote its blood-thinning agent Fragmin (dalteparin sodium injection) in the USA.

Under the terms of the agreement, Eisai also assumes responsibility for post-marketing studies and product distribution, and will book all US sales, In addition, the firm gains ownership of Fragmin’s New Drug Application for the duration of the deal.

In the USA, the agent, which blocks the formation of blood clots, is approved for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis in patients undergoing hip replacement surgery, in those at-risk undergoing abdominal surgery, or in at-risk chronically ill patients whose mobility is severely restricted. In addition, Fragmin is indicated for prophylaxis of ischemic complications resulting from unstable angina and heart attack, when taken with aspirin. It competes against products such as the gold-standard warfarin, Sanofi-Aventis’ Lovenox (enoxaparin) and GlaxoSmithKline’s Arixtra (fondaparinux).

The market for anticoagulants is vast. The American Heart Association estimates that, each year, DVT occurs in around 2 million people in the USA alone. Around 600,000 of these go on to develop pulmonary embolism, resulting in about 60,000 fatalities.