News Release

Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Yamanouchi Ties up whith Metabolex for Genomic Drug Discovery Collaborative Research to Start for Discovery of New Drugs for Diabetes and Obesity

March 19, 2002

Tokyo, Japan - March 19, 2002 - Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (President: Toichi Takenaka) has signed a collaborative research agreement with Metabolex, Inc. (Chief Executive Officer: Thomas A. Glaze), CA, USA in order to discover new drugs in the field of diabetes and obesity. The two companies intend to discover and develop new therapeutics to treat type 2 diabetes, insulin-resistant diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and obesity using drug targets identified and validated by Metabolex's discovery program over the next three years in accordance with the agreement.

The agreement calls for Metabolex to select new drug discovery targets from its database of genes that are related to the development and progression of insulin-resistant diabetes and obesity and to offer a certain member of such targets to Yamanouchi each year during the term of the agreement. The two companies will verify disease-related functions of selected targets using animal models and a proprietary gene function assessment system, and Yamanouchi will initiate screening and identification of compounds that work with the selected targets. Yamanouchi hopes to further accelerate research and development and expand its product line in the field of diabetes and obesity, one of its top priority fields, through collaboration with Metabolex, which owns most advanced technology in this field.

Yamanouchi gives a great strategic importance to genomics drug discovery and is promoting genomics drug discovery through 3 avenues (triangle approach): gene-to-disease approach based on information on genes, disease-to-gene approach based on information on diseases, and compound-to-gene approach based on information on compounds. It is enthusiastically engaged in strategic alliances with research institutes and venture companies in Japan and abroad. It plans to use its Tsukuba Research Center as the hub in an effort to swiftly propel multifaceted drug discovery programs in order to win the ever-intensifying global genomics drug discovery race.

Reference: profile of Metabolex
Established in 1992, Metabolex is a bioventure company specializing in the screening and development of antidiabetic drugs. It screens genes related to diabetes and obesity and analyzes their function using its advanced knowledge and genomic technology and one of the world's largest gene expression databases it has constructed over years in the field of diabetes. It is one of the bioventure companies with the most comprehensive and versatile research programs in the field of diabetology. It already collaborates with US giants such as Pfizer and Abbott. This is the first time that it will collaborate with a Japanese company.