Media Release

Hyphens Pharma licenses Amenalief® from Maruho for ASEAN

  • Amenalief® is a new oral medication for the treatment of shingles that works in a distinctive way.

  • It is to be taken once daily versus currently available options that have to be taken three or five times a day.

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Singapore, 5 June 2024 – Hyphens Pharma International Limited (“Hyphens Pharma”, “凯帆药剂国际有限公司”, or the “Company”, and together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”), Singapore’s leading specialty pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare group, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, Hyphens Pharma Pte. Ltd., has entered into an exclusive license, development and commercialisation agreement (the “Agreement”) with Maruho Co., Ltd. (“Maruho”) for the exclusive rights to register and commercialise Amenalief® Tab 200mg (INN: amenamevir1) tablets in the 10 ASEAN countries for the treatment of herpes zoster, also known as shingles, and recurrent herpes simplex.

Amenalief®️ Tab 200mg (amenamevir) tablets, approved in Japan.


Shingles, also known as 生蛇 in Chinese, is a viral infection caused by a reactivation of the dormant chickenpox varicella-zoster virus (“VZV”). Shingles strikes when a person’s immunity is weak and often manifests as a blistering and painful rash. In Singapore, more than 90% of adults over 50 years old carry VZV2 and older persons are at higher risk of developing shingles.3 The main treatment for shingles is antiviral medications like Amenalief®.

Maruho’s Amenalief® is a new medication and has a novel mechanism of action that inhibits the proliferation of VZV by inhibiting the activity of the helicase-primase complex which is essential for viral DNA replication. Amenalief® has proven to be effective against VZV when administered once a day for seven days, versus standard therapies that require either three or five times dosing per day. Unlike other oral therapies, Amenalief® does not require any dosage adjustment in patients with renal impairment, a common concern in older patients. Amenalief® was approved and launched in Japan since 2017.

Mr Atsushi Sugita, President and CEO of Maruho commented: “When considering a partner to extend the market reach of Amenalief®, we believe Hyphens Pharma is the best partner for us, given their status as a leading specialty pharma company focused on the commercialisation of innovative pharmaceutical products in the ASEAN region. Hyphens Pharma’s focused strategy to grow its dermatology portfolio makes it an excellent partner for Maruho to bring Amenalief® to the ASEAN region, with its large and growing market of over 600 million people.”

Mr Lim See Wah (林世华), Chairman and CEO of Hyphens Pharma remarked: “We are very pleased and honoured to be entrusted by Maruho, the leading dermatology-focused pharmaceutical company in Japan, to bring Amenalief® to ASEAN. Currently available drug for the treatment of shingles must be taken up to 5 times a day. This affects compliance. Both doctors and patients will welcome the convenience of Amenalief®. We plan to register and launch Amenalief® as soon as possible. This will benefit patients as well as bolster our position as ASEAN’s leading pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare group.”

The Agreement will not have a material effect on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of the Group for the financial year ending 31 December 2024.

1 INN stands for International Nonproprietary Name, which is a unique name for pharmaceutical substances or active ingredients that is recognized globally and is public property, also known as a generic name.

2 Fatha N, Ang LW, Goh KT. Changing seroprevalence of varicella zoster virus infection in a tropical city state, Singapore. Int J Infect Dis. 2014 May;22:73-7.

3 Shingles: Symptoms and Treatment.



About Hyphens Pharma International Limited                 (

Hyphens Pharma International Limited and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) is Singapore’s leading specialty pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare group, leveraging on its diverse footprint in ASEAN countries.

The Group has a direct presence in Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and is supplemented by a marketing and distribution network covering 14 other markets – Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong S.A.R., Macau S.A.R., Myanmar, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Singapore is the Group’s regional headquarters, where its strategic planning, finance, regulatory affairs, research and development, legal, business development and logistics operations are based. The Group’s core business comprises the following segments: Specialty Pharma Principals, Proprietary Brands, and Medical Hypermart & Digital. Besides marketing and selling a range of specialty pharmaceutical products in selected ASEAN countries through exclusive distributorship or licensing and supply agreements with brand principals mainly from Europe and the United States, the Group also develops, markets and sells its own proprietary range of dermatological products and health supplement products. In addition, the Group operates a medical hypermart for healthcare professionals, healthcare institutions and retail pharmacies, to supply pharmaceutical products and medical supplies and an online pharmacy for doctors to prescribe and have medications delivered to their patients’ homes.

About Maruho Co., Ltd.                          (

Maruho Co., Ltd. has its head office in Osaka and leads Japan in research and development, manufacturing and commercialization of dermatological products. Founded in 1915, Maruho has 1,566 employees (as of the end of September 2023), and net sales were approximately 85.71 billion yen in its fiscal year ended September 30, 2023. With the mission “More smiles, brighter life for you.”, Maruho aims to help realize a society where everyone can live with a smile.

Issued on behalf of : Hyphens Pharma International Limited
For media enquires contact : Mr Derek Chng / Mr Gerald Woon
Email / DID / Mobile : [email protected] / (65) 6704 9285 / (65) 9638 8635
[email protected] / (65) 6704 9268 / (65) 9694 8364

This media release has been reviewed by the Company’s sponsor, SAC Capital Private Limited (the “Sponsor”). It has not been examined or approved by the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (the “SGX-ST”) and the SGX-ST assumes no responsibility for the contents of this media release, including the correctness of any of the statements or opinions made or reports contained in this media release.

The contact person for the Sponsor is Ms Lee Khai Yinn (Tel: (65) 6232 3210) at 1 Robinson Road, #21- 00 AIA Tower, Singapore 048542.