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Candesartan (Blopress, Atacand)

Antihypertensive Drug with a New Mechanism of Action

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Abstract

Candesartan (Blopress) is an antihypertensive drug known to act as an angiotensin-II receptor blocker (ARB). It was discovered and developed by Takeda Pharmaceutical . Compared to earlier antihypertensive drugs, candesartan had a new mechanism of action , fewer side effects , and demonstrated efficacy even at low doses. The research project started as exploratory research on diuretics. Takeda discovered CV-2198, the first nonpeptidic ARB, by making full use of spontaneously hypertensive rats (a pathological animal model) provided by academia, and through capturing serendipitous event brought about by cutting-edge chemical synthesis methodology. However, the project was suspended because of weak efficacy, while DuPont developed losartan, building on the Takeda’s invention. Although preceded by DuPont, Takeda quickly responded, and successfully launched candesartan shortly after. The case of candesartan is a good illustration of the role of unique capabilities and the overall organizational strength for innovative drug discovery, as well as the difficulty of go/no-go decisions and indicates the importance of flexible allocation of resources for grasping opportunities.

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Fig. 12.1

Source Blopress Drug Interview Form (2012), pp. 21, translated by author

Fig. 12.2

Source Takeda Pharmaceutical (2007, p. 828)

Fig. 12.3

Source Pharma Future (Cegedim Strategic Data)

Fig. 12.4

Source Pharma Future (Cegedim Strategic Data)

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Correspondence to Naoki Takada .

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Takada, N., Genda, K., Nagumo, A. (2019). Candesartan (Blopress, Atacand). In: Nagaoka, S. (eds) Drug Discovery in Japan. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-8906-1_12

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-8906-1_12

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