2016 BBA Winner Profile: Innovation Award - AstraZeneca K.K.

Nov. 29, 2016


Ninth annual British Business Awards (BBA) ceremony held on November 11 2016 at the Hilton Hotel Tokyo | AstraZeneca K.K. receives Innovation trophy.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) is delighted to announce AstraZeneca as the winner of the 2016 Innovation award.

AstraZeneca K.K. (AZKK) was recognised for its commitment to Japan, illustrated by the successful launch of the innovative anti-cancer drug TAGRISSO®; and for initiatives to expand and expedite access to treatments for Japanese lung cancer patients.

AZKK launched TAGRISSO® in Japan in May 2016. TAGRISSO®’s approval took only seven months from its new drug application (NDA), which was one of the fastest approvals ever in Japan.

TAGRISSO® is designed to target a genetic mutation (T790M) found in non-small cell lung cancer (NSLC) patients. It helps 60% of patients who are resistant to existing molecularly-targeted drugs and have no other options.

AZKK worked with key external stakeholders such as government, health care professional and medical institutions to expedite its approval and introduction, and narrowed the time-gap with the US/EU. The company conducted an innovative 'zero yen supply program', which ensured patients received early access to TAGRISSO® free of charge for two months before the drug was marketed and reimbursed. AZKK also operated a 'TAGRISSO® 24 hour/365 day toll-free line' to ensure patient safety by promoting proper use and safety information.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in Japan with 72,734 fatalities in 2013. TAGRISSO® development was record-breaking; it achieved approval in Japan and abroad in just 36 months. Following product approval in Japan, 290 patients with urgent medical needs received TAGRISSO® free of charge at 37 medical institutions within two months. AZKK provided first shipment on the next business day after approval - first shipments in the industry typically take one week.

AZKK is focused on patient health in Japan and is expanding its commitment to patients across the entire spectrum of their oncology portfolio to address serious unmet medical needs in Japan. Working on immuno-oncology (I-O), the company aims to be a major leader in Oncology. I-O is a revolutionary approach to science that harnesses the body’s natural immune response to fight cancer. AZKK has eight molecular entities projected to launch by 2021 in an entire oncology pipeline as of October 2016. I-O therapy is at the center of AZKK’s drive to not only treat cancer more effectively, but to also improve the quality of lives of patients.

AZ is increasing investment in Japan and is committed to expanding AZKK’s role within their global strategy. As of June 2016, the company is conducting 50 development projects in Japan and almost half (24 projects) are in late stage development.

AZKK are also expanding their educational programs for the public to increase disease awareness among patients and their families. The company is working in partnerships with industry and leading academic centers, including the National Cancer Center to develop innovative treatments for patients across multiple cancer types.

Congratulations once more to AZKK on their win!

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