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Abstral Approved in Japan

By Gil Roth | September 23, 2013

Recipharm to manufacture, package sublingual opioid for Kyowa Hakko Kirin

Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. Ltd.'s Abstral sublingual tablet has been approved for manufacturing and marketing by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare(MHLW). The approval allows contract manufacturer Recipharm to carry out commercial scale manufacturing and packaging of Abstral for supply to the Japanese market through Kyowa Hakko Kirin.

Abstral is a novel, highly potent, rapid disintegration, sublingual formulation of fentanyl citrate. This well-established opioid is used extensively for fast relief and management of episodes of breakthrough pain experienced by cancer patients that are already in receipt of opioid analgesics for cancer pain.

Recipharm will compress and formulate Abstral in tablet dosage at its manufacturing site in Årsta, with all packaging performed at the company’s Jordbro complex. Quality control will be initiated in laboratories located in central Stockholm. According to a Recipharm statement, MHLW assessed the CMO's suitability through detailed analysis of the company’s history, capabilities, proven track record and the reliability of the supply chain set to take the product through to Japan, together with a thorough review of all clinical data and product documentation.

Thomas Beck, director of Quality and Qualified Person at Recipharm Stockholm, commented, ”We are delighted to receive Japan’s MHLW approval to carry out a combination of both the manufacturing and the packaging of such a product, for onward  supply to the Japanese market. Indeed, we are pleased, both because securing such authorization from a regulatory body outside of the EU is an extremely complicated process, especially in the case of Japan, and due to the fact that Abstral is a highly innovative drug that enables fast relief of pain endured by patients undergoing cancer treatment.”
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