Pfizer's RA drug wins OK in Japan

A drug brought to life by the Pfizer Inc. laboratories in Groton has earned approval from Japanese regulatory authorities.

Pfizer announced this week that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approved use of the rheumatoid arthritis pill Xeljanz for adults who don't respond well to existing therapies, such as methotrexate.

Xeljanz, which took 16 years to bring to market, was given approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last year. It previously had been known by its generic name, tofacitinib.

Pfizer said it invested more than $1 billion into the discovery, development and commercialization of Xeljanz.

- Lee Howard

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