Roche is returning the overseas rights to a drug for type 2 diabetes to its own Japanese unit Chugai Pharmaceutical Co.

The drug in question is CSG452, sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor which was licensed by Roche in January 2007. The firms worked together on a global Phase II study but the Swiss major has recently reviewed its pipeline, and has decided to return the development and marketing rights.

Chugai, which says that it will seek another partner regarding overseas development, started Phase III studies of the compound in Japan in November last year. The Tokyo-headquartered group, which is almost 60%-owned by Roche, added that there is no change to the plan to file for approval in Japan in 2013.

The SGLT2 class, a specific target located in the kidney, is currently led by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb's dapagliflozin, which is currently under review at regulators in Europe and the USA.