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Astellas Pharma (OTCPK:ALPMF) of Japan said it received SFDA approval for Vesicare, a treatment for Overactive Bladder (OAB). The drug, an antispasmodic, relaxes the muscle in the bladder, reducing leaking of urine and the powerful urge to urinate before the bladder is filled. Astellas China will begin marketing Vesicare immediately.

Astellas said the prevalence of OAB in Europe is approximately 17% in people over the age of 40. It estimates that over 100 million people in China have OAB symptoms, but only 15% of OAB patients seek treatment, and half of these are correctly diagnosed and treated.

In 2008, Astellas China’s revenues were about $100 million, led by its flagship product, Prograf, an immunosuppressant used to prevent rejection of transplants that has a 50% share in the calcineurin inhibitor market.

Astellas ranks number 2 in sales in Japan and number 18 in the world. It has set a goal for itself of being a top 10 pharma worldwide.

Disclosure: none.