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December 26, 2017

Alexion drug greenlighted for use in Japan

PHOTO | Contributed An aerial view of Alexion Pharmaceuticals' New Haven headquarters

New Haven drugmaker Alexion Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday the Japanese government has authorized use of its flagship drug, Soliris, for treatment of patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG).

The crippling neuromuscular disease is chronic, progressive and leads to varying degrees of skeletal muscle weakness.

Alexion applied to Japan’s Ministry of Labour and Welfare in March to expand use of Soliris for patients there suffering from the disease.

John Orloff, executive vice president and head of research and development at Alexion, said the use of the drug for this purpose is an important medical advancement.

“This approval is great news for patients with gMG in Japan who fail to adequately respond to existing therapies and continue to face significant disease symptoms,” said Michiyo Sakurai, president of the Japanese Myasthenia Gravis Association in Kyoto, Japan.

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