Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President & CEO: Haruo Naito) announced today that it launched Glufast® (Chinese brand name: Kuai ru tuo, generic name: mitiglinide calcium hydrate), a rapid-acting insulin secretagogue, in China on September 1. Glufast® is a phenylalanine derived rapid-acting insulin secretagogue originally discovered and developed by Kissei Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Matsumoto, Nagano, President & CEO: Mutsuo Kanzawa, “Kissei”).

Eisai obtained the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Glufast® in China through a license agreement it concluded with Kissei in September 2007. Developed in China by Kissei and approved by the Chinese health authorities in November 2009, Glufast® will be sold by Eisai's Chinese subsidiary Eisai China Inc. (Suzhou, Jiangsu). Kissei and Eisai also concluded a license agreement in June 2007 to develop and commercialize Glufast in 10 ASEAN countries.

Glufast® promotes insulin secretion by stimulating the sulfonylurea receptors (SUR1) located on pancreatic islet β cells. Marketed in Japan since 2004, the drug is indicated for the improvement of postprandial blood glucose transition in type II diabetic patients. Glufast® lowers elevated post-meal blood glucose levels by restoring insulin secretion close to its natural patterns with a faster onset of action than sulfonylurea insulin secretion stimulants (SU drugs). Furthermore, compared with SU drugs, Glufast® is less likely to trigger hypoglycemia because of its short duration of action.

Eisai has focused its efforts in China on the development of the peripheral neuropathy treatment Methycobal® and other diabetes treatments such as α-Lipon 300 STADA®, a treatment for diabetic neuropathic pain. Through the addition of Glufast®, Eisai not only hopes to strengthen its portfolio of diabetes treatments, it also intends to increase synergy of these three products as its strives to establish a presence in the diabetes therapeutic area and seeks to make further contributions to addressing the diversified needs of and increasing benefits provided to diabetes patients and their families.

Media Inquiries:

Public Relations Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.