Roche says Japan approves new formulation of arthritis drug

ZURICH Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:07am EDT

A logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is pictured in front of a company's building in Rotkreuz, April 12, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

A logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is pictured in front of a company's building in Rotkreuz, April 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Buholzer

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ZURICH (Reuters) - Roche Holding AG's Japanese subsidiary Chugai said on Monday that Japanese health regulators have approved a new formulation of its rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra.

Japanese regulators have approved a subcutaneous formulation of Actemra which shortens the delivery time of the drug compared to an intravenous formulation and can be administered at home.

Actemra was first launched with intravenous formulation in Japan for Castleman's disease and was later approved for rheumatoid arthritis.

Roche has also submitted the subcutaneous formulation for approval in the United States and Europe, where Actemra is approved for use in rheumatoid arthritis patients who are either intolerant to or have failed to respond to other medicines to treat inflammation.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley)

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