Finnish pharmaceutical and diagnostics company Orion has entered into a global strategic collaboration agreement with Japan-based Asahi Kasei Pharma to discover, develop and commercialise assets in pain management.

Under the agreement, the companies will deal with four discovery phase candidates, with two being from Asahi Kasei and two from Orion.

The deal enables the companies to exclusively licence each others’ development-ready programmes at pre-determined stages.

Orion Pharmaceutical Research and Development senior vice-president and chief medical officer Dr Reijo Salonen said: "I am very pleased with the collaboration agreement with Asahi Kasei. By joining forces and resources, we aim to bring new innovative treatment options for the benefit of patients faster and more efficiently.

"We aim to bring new innovative treatment options for the benefit of patients faster and more efficiently."

"The agreement is also perfectly in line with Orion’s research and development (R&D) strategy to focus on risk-and-reward-sharing partnerships.

"We look forward to developing new pain management therapies for the patients jointly with Asahi Kasei."

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Orion and Asahi Kasei will have to co-develop the assets from this collaboration and share all development costs.

Orion will have exclusive rights to market the products across Europe and Central Asia, while Asahi Kasei will continue to enjoy exclusive marketing rights in East Asia, South East Asia and South Asia, excluding Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Both companies will pay cross royalties to each other on sales from their respective territories.

They will also decide the most effective method to optimise product opportunities in rest of the world (ROW) territories, including the US, thereby share ROW revenues.