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Locally manufactured Astellas Overactive Bladder (OAB) therapy to be available to Iranian patients

25th August 2016 in Local Manufacturing Launches

Partnership between Astellas Pharma and Behphar Holding realises success following last year’s agreement.  

Tehran, Iran; 25 August 2016: Global leader in urology, Astellas MENA/SSA announces the availability of Vesicare in Iran, which has been locally produced by the world-class facility of Behestan Tolid. This milestone comes after the partnership agreement signed last year between Astellas Pharma and Behphar Holding for the manufacturing of both urology and transplantation pharmaceutical products in the country.

In a technology transfer that occurred over the course of two years, Behestan Tolid’s manufacturing facility is producing three of Astellas key products in the fields of urology and transplantation. Vesicare, Omnic, and Prograf are innovative products from Astellas that are currently manufactured locally. Behestan Tolid started importing finished packs of Vesicare in 2013 and commenced the secondary packaging operation of Omnic locally in 2014. The facility has successfully completed the technical processes this year to move to the primary packaging operation for Vesicare and Omnic.

Commenting on this milestone, Dr. Mahyar Balouchestani, Managing Director, Behestan Tolid stated:

“We are looking forward to the re-launch of Vesicare to the local market. The technology transfer has so far been a smooth transition for us and we are looking forward to the next stages. As a company, we have grown rapidly from approximately 32 people to around 82 employees over the past three years. We are also supplying to more pharmaceutical institutions in the country. As our remit with Astellas grows, we look forward to further contributing to the nation’s job growth and supplying high quality products to patients in the country from our world-class facility.”

Overactive bladder affects more than 400 million adults worldwide.1 It is a group of symptoms that has a debilitating effect on an individual’s quality of life.2 Patients tend to suffer from strong and sudden urges to urinate, which can cause discomfort and embarrassment especially in a social setting. Lifestyle choices can further stress the condition such as consuming caffeine and failure to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day.3 Along with making healthy lifestyle changes, patients can look forward to more availability of treatment options.

Mr. Amr Seif, Marketing Director, Astellas Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa (MENA/SSA), concluded:

“Last year when we first announced this partnership agreement, we expressed our commitment to the development of the healthcare landscape in Iran. Today, we are extremely pleased to be able to announce that we are delivering on our agreement successfully with the availability of Vesicare. This is another milestone of many- our aim is to serve Iranian patients with relevant therapies.”

Containing the active ingredient, solifenacin succinate, Vesicare is an antimuscarinic drug that is believed to help prevent voluntary and involuntary bladder contractions by blocking certain receptors on the bladder muscles, thereby help the bladder to expand to its full size before signalling to the brain that it is necessary to urinate.4

Addressing key health concerns for Iran, Vesicare is available as a once-daily sustained release formulation and in two dosage strengths (5mg and 10mg tablet) that allows easy dose titration for patients requiring additional relief. Long-term safety, efficacy, tolerability and persistence with treatment have been established in an open label 40 week continuation study.5

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  1. Irwin D.E., et al. Worldwide prevalence estimates of lower urinary tract symptoms, overactive bladder, urinary incontinence and bladder outlet obstruction. BJU Int 2011; 108(7):1132-8
  2. Sexton CC, Coyne KS, Thompson C et al. Prevalence and effect on health-related quality of life of overactive bladder in older Americans: results from the epidemiology of lower urinary tract symptoms study. J Am Geriatr Soc 2011;59(8):1465-70
  3. Sakineh Haj Ebrahimi, Iranian Center for Evidence-Based Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.
  4. Solifenacin HCP Website, Mechanism of Action
  5. Haab F et al.; Long-term open-label solifenacin treatment associated with persistence with therapy in patients with overactive bladder syndrome; Eur Urol. 2005 Mar;47(3):376-84. Epub 2005 Jan 5.

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