Japanese launch for Bayer Schering's Zevalin
This article was originally published in Scrip
Bayer Yakuhin(Bayer Schering Pharma) has launched the antibody radio-immunotherapy Zevalin (ibritumomab tiuxetan) in Japan for the orphan indications of relapsed/refractory CD20-positive follicular low-grade or indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and mantle cell lymphoma. The product, originally licensed from Biogen Idec by Schering AG, is labelled with either yttrium-90 or indium-111, which kill B-cells targeted by the CD20 antigen. The isotopes will be supplied by the Fujifilm subsidiary Fujifilm RI Pharma, with which Bayer has a local alliance. The therapy is the first of its type to be launched in Japan, where around 95% of lymphoma patients have NHL, of whom 70% present with the B-cell type.