It is a link to move within the page

Press Release

March 16, 2005

Toray Industries, Inc.
Japan Tobacco Inc.
Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Toray, Japan Tobacco, Torii Pharmaceutical Agree to Co-Develop and Market
New Antipruritus Drug in Hemodialysis Patients in Japan
Toray Industries, Inc. (Toray) (TSE: 3402), Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) (TSE: 2914) and Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Torii) (TSE: 4551) today announced that the companies have reached an agreement to jointly develop and market TRK-820, a novel selective k(kappa) opioid receptor agonist discovered by Toray's Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory, for treating uremic pruritus in hemodialysis patients in Japan.

Hemodialysis-related uremic pruritus is a condition that causes systemic and severe itching, without inflammation, on the skin and its cause has not yet been clearly elucidated. Hemodialysis patients with uremic pruritus suffer lack of sleep due to severe itching, which not only deteriorates their quality of life (QOL) but also is one of the causes of worsening of systemic condition. It is known that this type of itching is not relieved by conventional antipruritic drugs such as antihistamine agents, and the development of effective medicines has long been awaited.

TRK-820 is a compound that aims to treat uremic pruritus in patients on hemodialysis. This compound is a selective k opioid receptor agonist and is expected to be effective with a novel mechanism in treating itching that is resistant to existing treatments such as antihistamine agents.

The drug has entered the final phase of its clinical trials before application in Japan and further development would be jointly carried out by Toray and the JT group, with marketing to be handled by Torii.

Please refer to the supplemental material for details of TRK-820.

Supplemental material

1. Characteristics of TRK-820
TRK-820 is a novel selective k (kappa) opioid receptor agonist, with a different mechanism from existing antipruritic drugs such as antihistamine. The drug is thought to suppress the pruritus mediated by the opioid-related mechanism and hence is expected to be effective in treating itching that is resistant to existing treatments such as antihistamine drugs. Based on the currently available results of clinical data, the compound is expected to make significant contributions to improve the quality of life of patients on hemodialysis.
2. Opioid receptors
Receptors are on the surface of a cell membrane. When receptors bind to medical compounds, it triggers biological reactions. There are various types of receptors in the human body. Specific compounds bind only to specific receptors. The pharmacological action of substances depends on its receptors. Opioids are one such physiologically active substance and/or medical compounds that combines with specific receptors and triggers reactions, and its receptors are known as opioid receptors. Initially, it was thought that there was only one type of opioid receptor but advanced studies later uncovered three types of opioid receptors: mu (mu), delta (delta) and kappa (kappa).
3. Agonists
Drugs and/or compounds that target receptors are classified as agonists or antagonists. Agonist drugs and/or compounds activate, or stimulate, their receptors, triggering a response that increases or decreases the cell's activity.

Corporate Profiles

Toray Industries, Inc.
Headquarters: 2-1, Nihonbashi-Muromachi 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
President: Sadayuki Sakakibara
Capital: 96.937 billion yen
Japan Tobacco Inc.
Headquarters: 2-1, Toranomon 2-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo
President: Katsuhiko Honda
Capital: 100 billion yen
Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Headquarters: Torii Nihonbashi Bldg., 4-1, Nihonbashi-Honcho 3-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
President: Norihiko Matsuo
Capital: 5.19 billion yen

It is the end of the page