Toray Industries, Inc. and KAKEN PHARMACEUTICAL Co., Ltd. have drawn closer together through the reciprocal exchange of stock totaling three million shares each. The swap builds upon an already solid relationship that includes both mutual capital participation and the joint development and sale of pharmaceutical products. The exchange boosts Toray’s stake in KAKEN PHARMACEUTICAL from 1.8% to 5.0%, making it Kaken’s top shareholder, and elevates Kaken Pharmaceutical’s ownership of Toray shares from 0.08% to 0.3%.
Toray and KAKEN PHARMACEUTICAL deemed it necessary to strengthen their relationship to enhance drug developments and business-expansion capabilities at a time when growth is slowing and drug development costs are rising in the domestic pharmaceutical market.
The alliance between Toray and KAKEN PHARMACEUTICAL began in 1972, when the two firms joined hands to develop and commercialize the Toray-synthesized prostaglandin (PG), a joint effort that led to the market introduction of natural PGF2α and PGE2. They also teamed up to develop beraprost sodium, a PGI2 derivative used effectively to control thrombocyte. In 1992, the companies received permission to manufacture beraprost sodium for the treatment of chronic arterial occlusion. Marketed as Dorner by Toray and Procylin by KAKEN PHARMACEUTICAL, it has evolved into a major drug generating sales of 14 billion yen in terms of NHI (National Health Insurance) drug pricing for each company in fiscal 1998.
Dorner and Procylin both received approval for added efficacy in treating pulmonary hypertension this past September 22.
Toray and KAKEN PHARMACEUTICAL have also been jointly developing an antirheumatic drug formulated by Toray, currently in Phase II of clinical trials, since March 1997.