Japanese drugmaker Sankyo has licensed rights to its blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil in a number of Latin American countries to Schering-Plough of the USA.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sankyo has granted Schering- Plough exclusive rights to market olmesartan, an angiotensin II receptor antagonist, in Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The two companies will also co-market the product in Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

Olmesartan medoxomil is currently available in 18 countries, including the USA where it is co-promoted by Sankyo and Forest Laboratories as Benicar [[06/01/05c]]. It is also available in a fixed-dose olmesartan medoxomil/hydrochlorothiazide combination product, which started its European roll out in Germany in June. Schering-Plough will develop the latter formulation in Latin America alongside Sankyo, which is in the process of merging with fellow Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi [[25/02/05a]].