News Release

Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Sales of Tamsulosin Begin in Italy; Product Now Available in Europe's Three Largest Markets

March 12, 1997

On March 10, 1997, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., launched tamsulosin, a treatment for functional symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), in Italy under the trade name Omnic (R). With tamsulosin's launch in Italy, the ninth European country in which it has been marketed, the product is now available in Europe's three largest pharmaceutical markets - Germany, France, and Italy - and poised to contribute significantly to Yamanouchi's earnings.

Tamsulosin, the alpha1-blocker developed in-house by Yamanouchi, has been shown to be an effective for symptoms related to bladder outlet obstruction, such as difficulty in urinating and the need to urinate frequently. Since the drug's introduction in Japan in 1993 under the trade name Harnal (R), it has had quite a favorable reception in the medical community. Yamanouchi considers tamsulosin a strategically important product in its global pharmaceutical business strategy and is working to increase sales of the drug in European and Asian markets.

The product is being marketed in Europe by Yamanouchi's European subsidiary Yamanouchi Europe B.V., which is headquartered in Leiderdorp, the Netherlands, and has bases in 12 European countries. In major European markets, the subsidiary is jointly marketing Yamanouchi products through licensing arrangements with local corporations.

Since making its European debut in the Netherlands in September 1995, tamsulosin has been introduced in Finland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Ireland, and Greece. In the Netherlands, tamsulosin has already attained a 40% market share in its therapeutic category, and the product's market penetration has exceeded expectations in other countries. Italy's pharmaceutical market ranks with those of France and Germany as one of the continent's three largest. Together, the three nations' markets for BPH treatments are estimated to be worth 50 billion yen a year, or 75% of the overall European market for BPH treatments. As sales continue to grow in the 'big three' and other European countries and as the product is launched in additional markets, tamsulosin is expected to play an increasingly important role in the development of Yamanouchi's European pharmaceutical business.

In the United States, tamsulosin is now awaiting Food and Drug Administration clearance for commercial marketing through a licensee.

In Asian markets, tamsulosin was launched in China by Shenyang Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., in July 1996 and in South Korea by Korea Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., in February 1997. Clinical development of the drug is now in progress in Southeast Asian countries.


[For reference only]

Yamanouchi Europe B.V.
Established: 1991
Headquarters: Leiderdorp, The Netherlands
Employees: About 1,100
Sales Offices: The Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Russia, Poland, (Czech Republic office scheduled to open in 1997)
Manufacturing Facilities: The Netherlands, Italy
Research Laboratories: The Netherlands
Sales: 340 million Dutch guilders, or approximately 22 billion yen (year ended February 1996)