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Japan approves Gilead's hepatitis B treatment

Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare approved Gilead Sciences Inc.'s Vemlidy 25 mg for patients with chronic hepatitis B.

"There are currently more than one million people in Japan chronically infected with hepatitis B, and we believe Vemlidy is an important option for patients living with this disease," Gilead Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development, Norbert Bischofberger, said in a statement.

The Gilead drug will compete with GlaxoSmithkline Pharmaceuticals Ltd.'s tenofovir disoproxil fumarate in Japan.