News Release

Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Yamanouchi and Merck KGaA to Conduct Co-Development of Jointly Discovered Products Worldwide

May 11, 1998

Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; president and CEO: Masayoshi Onoda) and Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany; CEO: Hans Joachim Langmann) have agreed to jointly develop two products with new mechanisms of action: YM103/ EMD96 785, a Na+/H+ antiporter inhibitor, and YM028 / EMD122 347, a platelet GPIIb/IIIa antagonist. These drugs are currently in Phase I in Europe, and YM103 is scheduled to proceed to early Phase II in the near future.

In Japan, Yamanouchi will have the operational role in clinical development efforts to be conducted jointly with Merck KGaA. The companies plan to base decisions about how clinical development should proceed in Japan on the progress of clinical development in Europe. Also, the two companies are now studying how to proceed with clinical development in the United States.

YM103 has a strong cardioprotective effect based on an action that inhibits the Na+/H+ antiporter exchanging sodium ions and hydrogen ions across cellular membranes. The drug has extremely promising new features expected to help prevent myocardial injury during reperfusion therapy in acute myocardial infarction.

YM028 is an orally active anti-platelet drug based on an action that blocks platelet GPIIb/IIIa. The drug is expected to be useful in treating various thrombotic diseases like acute coronary syndromes since it can easily be taken by patients orally.

For Yamanouchi and Merck KGaA, both of which have a strong commitment in cardiovascular research, these two projects are the result of an alliance to create new drugs in the highly competitive cardiovascular field. Through the alliance, which includes research starting at the early stage of identifying compounds that are promising candidates for clinical development, the companies are sharing in selected areas and specific indication groups their drug discovery technologies, research ideas, and other R&D resources and to jointly evaluate and research their respective seed compounds.

Thus, in this partnership, two competitors are synergistically combining their technologies and R&D resources in a global effort to capitalize on the results of their research and make effective use of time and research funds while sharing the risks associated with their endeavors. Pharmaceuticals developed under the alliance will be jointly manufactured and marketed on a global scale.

As an R&D-oriented, multinational pharmaceutical company, Yamanouchi is working aggressively on the worldwide development of the drugs it has discovered, making full use of such drug discovery research facilities as its Tsukuba Research Center in Japan and Yamanouchi Research Institute (U.K.) as well as the clinical research facilities of its European subsidiary Yamanouchi Europe B.V. Yamanouchi is actively working to build effective R&D partnerships-such as its alliance with Merck KGaA, which begins with basic research, and its comprehensive joint development alliance in the Japanese market with G.D. Searle Co., of the United States-with leading, global, R&D-oriented pharmaceutical companies with outstanding drug capabilities.

(Reference)
Outline of Merck KGaA
Established: 1668
Head Office: Frankfurter Str. 250, 64271 Darmstadt, Germany
Sales: DM7,974 million or US$4,609 million(at the end FY 1997)
CEO: Hans Joachim Langmann
Business Line:
Pharmaceuticals: Prescription medicines, generics, selfmedication, contrast media
Laboratory: Laboratory reagents, scientific laboratory products Specialty chemicals: Liquid crystals, electronic chemicals, process chemicals, fine chemicals

 

Outline of Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Established: 1923
Head Office: 3-11, Nihonbashi-Honcho 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8411, Japan
Sales: ¥ 454.7 billion(at the end FY 1997)
President and CEO: Masayoshi Onoda
Business Line: The manufacture, sale, import, and export of pharmaceuticals, quasi-drugs, foods, medical equipment, and devices