By Christiaan Hetzner
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer HealthCare has received approval from Japan's Ministry of Health to treat macular edema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) with its Eylea eye medication, the company said on Friday.
"The additional approval of Eylea in Japan for the treatment of macular edema secondary to CRVO is great news for patients in Japan suffering from this potentially sight-threatening eye condition," said Kemal Malik, member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and head of global development.
Eylea, which treats age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - the most common cause of blindness in the elderly - has been grabbing market share from rivals such as Roche AG's Lucentis since its launch in late 2011.
Bayer HealthCare and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc are collaborating on the global development of Eylea.
Regeneron maintains exclusive U.S. rights, while Bayer HealthCare licensed the exclusive marketing rights outside the United States, where the companies share equally the profits from sales of Eylea, except for in Japan where Regeneron receives a royalty on net sales.
(Editing by David Holmes)