Roche has held the rights to filgrastim and pegfilgrastim under license from Kirin-Amgen (a joint venture between Amgen and Kirin Holdings of Japan) in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa since 1989. The franchise generated approximately $200 million in sales in these territories in 2012.
Filgrastim and pegfilgrastim are white blood cell boosting therapeutics used to reduce the risk of infection in patients receiving chemotherapy. They are marketed by Amgen in the U.S. and Europe under the trade names Neupogen and Neulasta, respectively.
"This agreement will enable Amgen to reach more patients around the world with two of our innovative medicines," said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer of Amgen.
Amgen will begin distributing and selling product as soon as practical in countries where the company has an existing commercial presence. In countries where Amgen does not have a presence, Roche or its distributors will continue to sell and distribute the products for an interim transition period.
Kyowa Hakko Kirin of Japan will continue to retain product rights and market filgrastim and pegfilgrastim in some selected Asian territories, including China and Japan.