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AstraZeneca PLC Roxadustat approved in China for the treatment of anaemia

AstraZeneca (LON: AZN) today announced that its partner FibroGen (China) Medical Technology Development Co., Ltd. (FibroGen China) has received marketing authorisation for roxadustat in China for the treatment of anaemia caused by chronic kidney disease (CKD) in non-dialysis-dependent (NDD) patients.

This approval, granted by the National Medical Products Administration, is primarily supported by a Phase III trial in NDD-CKD patients with anaemia, in which roxadustat demonstrated a statistically-significant improvement in haemoglobin levels from baseline averaged over weeks seven to nine of treatment, with a mean change of 1.9 g/dL compared to -0.4 g/dL with placebo. This data was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in July 2019.

This marketing authorisation follows the approval of roxadustat in China in December 2018 for anaemia in CKD patients who are on dialysis. AstraZeneca and FibroGen China expect to launch roxadustat in China during the second half of 2019.

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, said:

“With this approval for roxadustat in China, we are now able to provide this first-in-class medicine to all patients living with chronic kidney disease who experience anaemia, regardless of whether they require dialysis. This is a significant milestone and we look forward to bringing the medicine to patients later this year.”

Anaemia caused by CKD is associated with cardiovascular disease, hospitalisation, cognitive impairment and reduced quality of life, and has been shown consistently to increase the risk of death in patients with CKD.1 Anaemia becomes increasingly common in patients with CKD as their disease progresses.1


  1. Babitt JL, Lin HY. Mechanisms of Anemia in CKD. J Am Soc Nephrol (2012); 23:1631-1634.

About the AstraZeneca and FibroGen China collaboration

AstraZeneca and FibroGen China are collaborating on the development and commercialisation of roxadustat in China. FibroGen China, based in Beijing, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FibroGen Inc. that sponsored the development and registration of roxadustat. FibroGen China conducted the China Phase III clinical trials and submitted the New Drug Application for registration of roxadustat to the Chinese regulatory authorities. Following this approval, AstraZeneca will manage commercialisation activities in China, and FibroGen China will manage commercial manufacturing and medical affairs as well as continued clinical development and regulatory affairs.

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