Tokyo, London 19 December, 2005 – Sosei Co. Ltd. (4565, Tokyo Stock Exchange MOTHERS Index) and Laboratoire HRA Pharma (HRA) announced today that Sosei had signed a Distribution Contract with Sandoz/Hexal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Novartis AG, for the marketing of NorLevo in Australia. Sandoz/Hexal also obtained a marketing approval of NorLevo in Australia.
NorLevo is an oral emergency contraceptive “morning after pill” which is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. NorLevo contains the active ingredient, levonorgestrel, which is listed as an essential drug in emergency contraception by World Health Organization (WHO).
The dosing is started within 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse. NorLevo has been using worldwide with its well tolerated and effective profiles as an oral emergency contraceptive for post-coital use.
The product was developed by the French company HRA as Norlevo® and is already approved and marketed in 60 countries. Exclusive distribution rights for Japan, Australia and New Zealand were licensed to Sosei in April 2001.
Mr Shinichi Tamura, President & CEO of Sosei, said: "We are delighted to have concluded arrangements with such a long established and well regarded partner as Sandoz/Hexal to bring an important new product to the market in Australia”.
Dr André Ulmann, President & CEO of HRA, said: “For HRA, this agreement with Sandoz/Hexal offers an important opportunity for NorLevo in Australia and constitutes an important step in its long-lasting relationship with Sosei”.
Mr Clemens von Oswald, Managing Director of Sandoz/Hexal Australia, welcomed the development which he described as ”a significant opportunity for Sandoz/Hexal to enter this rapidly growing segment”.
“It also allows us to work ever more closely with pharmacists, our key partners, who have increasing professional responsibilities to prescribe and provide counseling for such products, previously available only on a doctor’s prescription”, Mr von Oswald added.