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Astellas Pharma launched its hormonal prostate cancer treatment in three-month dosing

10th November 2016 in Product Launches

  • More than 11% of the Iranian male population are within the risk age group for prostate cancer [1]
  • Men in the Middle East region are approximately 3 times more likely to die from prostate cancer as compared with the Northern Europe [2]
  • Early detection is more likely to increase the survival rate of prostate cancer patients

Tehran, Iran; November 10, 2016: The Clinical Oncology Congress took place in Tehran, Iran, 9-11 November 2016. In parallel to the congress, Astellas Pharma launched its prostate cancer therapy to the Iranian patients and physicians.

Cancer is a growing concern in Iran and currently ranks as the third most common cause of death in the country [3], with prostate cancer being the third most common cancer among men [4]. More than 11% of Iranian male population are over the age of fifty, placing them in the risk age group for prostate cancer.[1]

Prostate cancer is a slow-growing tumor, if it is diagnosed early there is a high potential for a complete cure. There are therapies that can be administered at every stage of prostate cancer. Hormonal therapies enable physicians to tailor the disease treatment according to the needs of the patient, offering rapid and effective results, with an established side effect profile. Eligard™ (Leuprolide Acetate is one of the few molecules available that is able to suppress and maintain testosterone at below surgical castration levels (20 ng/dL).

The three month dosage (22.5mg) is administered as a single subcutaneous injection every three months. The injected solution forms a solid delivery depot and provides continuous release of medication over the three-month period. Hormonal treatment with Leuprolide Acetate has relatively low side effects and provides the convenience of requiring only four annual visits to the hospital, this reduces the disease burden and allows patients to maintain their usual daily routines. Fewer injections are required, suggesting the overall treatment cost to be more efficient.

“At Astellas Pharma, we continually strive to deliver therapies that improve patients’ quality of life. We are proud to offer treatment with Leuprolide Acetate (22.5 mg) to Iranian patients and physicians and look forward to launching new therapies as they become available. In addition to providing the latest innovative treatments, Astellas Pharma is also supporting the economic development of Iran through the technology transfer – currently three of our innovative products are locally manufactured. “Ms. Gelareh Norouzi Majd, Country Manager, Astellas Iran, commented on the launch of the new product and the company’s priorities.

About Astellas Pharma:
Astellas is a global pharmaceutical company dedicated to Changing Tomorrow™ by improving people’s health through developing reliable first-in-line and best-in-class therapy options in our specialization areas – Oncology, Urology, Transplantation, Anti-Infectives and Pain management. Aiming to improve the lives of cancer patients, we are focusing our R&D and partnership efforts into precision medicine – there are 36 therapies under clinical development targeting prostate cancer and other solid tumors like breast cancer, lung cancer, and bladder cancer, as well as hematological malignancies.

About Astellas MENA/SSA:
Astellas MENA/SSA is an affiliate of Astellas Pharma Inc. and aims to make a positive difference to the patients in the Middle East & Africa region, which is a key territory for Astellas. The new regional affiliate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates brings together a team of highly skilled people, with local knowledge and long-standing professional experience in the region. The regional affiliate serves as a management hub to further expand and develop Astellas’ business activities across the MENA/SSA territory.

About Leuprolide Acetate:
Leuprolide Acetate is an active ingredient used for the hormonal treatment of prostate cancer. It is a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist and works by providing constant stimulation to the pituitary gland [5], this causes the gland to become desensitized and leads to inhibition of hormone release, resulting in reduced testosterone levels in the body. Clinical studies and ongoing medical practice have proven that Leuprolide Acetate reduces the circulation of testosterone by 90–95%, levels similar to those achieved by surgical removal of testicles. [6],[7] Results are visible two to four weeks after the initial injection.


[1] Iran Demographics Profile 2016. Last accessed October 2016

[2] Hilal L et al. Clin Genitourin Cancer 2015;13:505-11(

[3] Sadaat, S. et al (2015) The Most Important Causes of Death in Iranian Population; a Retrospective Cohort Study Last accessed October 2016

[4] GLOBOCAN 2012

[5] Suzman DL, Antonarakis ES. J Clin Oncol 2015;33:1098–100.

[6] ELIGARD 7.5 mg. Summary of Product Characteristics, 2015.

[7] ELIGARD 22.5 mg. Summary of Product Characteristics, 2015.

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