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2024.07 Targretin (bexarotene) capsules approved in Hong Kong

  • Approvals in Hong Kong and Macau mark first availability of Targretin® in China
  • Bexarotene a standard-of-care drug for refractory CTCL in international clinical practice.

Main Life Corp., Ltd (“Main Life”) today announced the marketing authorisation of Targretin® (bexarotene) capsules in Hong Kong for the treatment of cutaneous manifestations of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) in patients who are refractory to at least one prior systemic therapy. The availability of Targretin® offers patients living with the rare disease in Hong Kong the option of a drug considered standard-of-care in international clinical practice. The approval is preceded by approval in Macau earlier this year and together represent the first commercial availability of Targretin® in China.

Targretin® was first approved by USFDA in 1999 and is currently available in 36 countries or regions for the treatment of CTCL (data as of Dec 2022). It is recommended as a treatment option in major treatment guidelines such as by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) guidelines.

Targretin® contains a type of retinoid called bexarotene as an active ingredient. It is thought that bexarotene selectively binds to retinoid X receptor (RXR) and suppresses tumor growth by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.

CTCL is a type of primary cutaneous lymphoma characterized by proliferation and manifestations of T-cells in the skin. This type of lymphoma may reoccur on the same site or spread to other parts of the body, progressing slowly over anywhere between a few years to a few decades, and rarely leading to poor prognosis. Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome are the two most common forms of CTCL.

Development of Targretin® in Asia took off when Minophagen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Minophagen”) obtained the license from Eisai Co., Ltd. (“Eisai”) in 2012 to develop and commercialise the drug in certain unpenetrated geographies including Asia. Minophagen launched Targretin® in Japan in 2016, and has obtained an Investigational New Drug Approval to initiate clinical trials in mainland China.

Main Life has entered into an exclusive agreement with Minophagen and shall be responsible for commercialisation in Hong Kong and Macau.

Together with Minophagen, Main Life strives to improve QOL of patients in the region by offering Targretin as a new treatment option for patients living with CTCL.

2020.03  JUBLIA (efinaconazole) topical solution launched in Hong Kong

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