ATOX signed agreement with IRE ELiT (Belgium) to acquire exclusive rights to sell 68Ge/68Ga generator "Galli Eo®" in Japan.
68Ga-PSMA is a new kind of diagnostic agent for prostate cancer that is already used widely in Europe and North America. To help introduce this technology to Japan, ATOX has signed an agreement with Belgian company IRE ELiT to acquire the exclusive rights to sell their 68Ge/68Ga generator product "Galli Eo®" in Japan.
A 68Ge/68Ga generator is a compact device capable of producing 68Ga without the need for a large-scale facility like nuclear reactor or accelerator. Combining the 68Ga eluted from the 68Ge/68Ga generator with a compound that accumulates specifically in prostate cancer tissue and then intravenously administering the substance makes it possible to diagnose primary and metastatic prostate cancers using PET. There are high hopes for 68Ga-PSMA as a next-generation diagnostic drug to enable the clear visualization of metastatic cancers that could not be imaged using conventional diagnostic methods.
IRE ELiT was established in 2010 as a subsidiary of IRE, a leading Belgian maker of radioactive medical materials. The company develops and manufactures radiopharmaceutical products for diagnosis and treatment, supplying them not only to Europe, but also to the North America, South America, Middle East, and Asia markets. IRE ELiT’s 68Ge/68Ga generator "Galli Eo®" is compliant with the European Pharmacopoeia. Regulatory approval of the generator is currently pending.
IRE ELiT CEO Michael Bajiot offered the following comment. “In Europe and the U.S., high-precision PET diagnostic techniques using 68Ga, a substance that can indicate cancer tissue peculiar to metastatic prostate cancer, have already proven successful. We believe that our partnership with ATOX will facilitate the adoption and success of Galli Eo® in Japan and help to make it one of the most important diagnostic tools in the country.”
In response, ATOX President Toshikazu Yaguchi said, “This exclusive sales agreement is very important for introducing 68Ga-PSMA to Japan. We believe that our partnership with IRE ELiT will contribute enormously to the medical industry in Japan. ATOX will comprehensively support the spread of 68Ga-PSMA and in particular Galli Eo®.”
[About prostate cancer]
Along with stomach cancer and lung cancer, prostate cancer is currently the most common cancer in men, and in recent years it has been the fastest growing form of cancer. While prostate cancer in Japan affected only about 20,000 men in 2000, this figure grew to 90,000 in 2016 and is set to exceed 100,000 by 2025. The aging of Japanese society and the increasing westernization of the Japanese diet are thought to be the main factors behind this rise.
Prostate cancer is seen mostly in people over 60 and it is estimated that men over 80 have a 50% risk of contracting the disease. Decades ago when the Japanese diet consisted mostly of cereals, beans, and vegetables, prostate cancer was hardly seen at all in Japan. It is believed that this rise in prostate cancer rate may be related to a much higher intake of animal fat in recent years, as the Japanese diet has become increasingly westernized.