German-American biotech firm MediGene and partner Astellas Pharma have launched their prostate cancer drug Eligard (leuprolide) in France, its eleventh EU market.

Updating on Eligard’s progress, MediGene chief executive Dr. Peter Heinrich said sales in Germany were increase ‘continuously’, adding that in other countries ‘we notice a very positive development’.

MediGene acquired pan-European marketing rights to Eligard from US company Atrix Laboratories in April 2001. It was first launched in Germany in May 2004 by Yamanouchi, which merged with Fujisawa to form Astellas last year.

MediGene will receive a milestone payment frm Astellas following the French launch of the product.