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News Release

April 7, 1997

Eisai Launches ARICEPT(TM) (donepezil hydrochloride), New Treatment For Alzheimer's Disease in the UK

Tokyo (April 7, 1997) - Eisai Co., Ltd. of Tokyo (President and CEO: Haruo Naito) today announced that Eisai Ltd., an Eisai marketing subsidiary, has started UK marketing of once-daily dosed, ARICEPT(TM)(donepezil hydrochloride) or E2020, a new drug for the symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, through co-promotion with Pfizer Inc since April 1997.

ARICEPT(TM) is a new reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor synthesized by Eisai in Japan, and is being developed by Eisai in Japan, Europe and in the US. ARICEPT(TM) was approved for marketing as a new drug for the symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 1996, and Eisai began marketing in January, 1997. ARICEPT(TM) also received a marketing clearance from the UK medicines Control Agency (MCA) in February, 1997. ARICEPT(TM) is in the Phase III clinical trial stage in Japan.

ARICEPT(TM) inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, associated with memory and learning, thereby allowing a greater concentration of acetylcholine in the brain. ARICEPT(TM) is expected to improve cognition and patient function in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease affects the central nervous system. It is a progressive form of dementia with symptoms of memory loss, behavioral changes and eventual loss of language and motor skills. An estimated five hundred thousand people in the UK have Alzheimer's disease.

In November 1994, Eisai Co., Ltd. and Pfizer Inc announced the formation of a strategic alliance for the promotion of ARICEPT(TM) and development of new treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders. ARICEPT(TM) is the lead compound in this alliance.

Pfizer Inc is a research ba sed health care company with global operations. In 1996, the company reported sales of more than $11 billion and, in 1997, anticipates investing approximately $2 billion on research and development.

Eisai Co., Ltd. is a research-based human health care company which discovers, develops and markets products in more than 30 countries. Through its global network of research facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively participates in all aspects of the worldwide health care systems. The company reported sales of $2.6 billion in 1995 with approximately 14 percent of sales spent for research and development.


ARICEPT(TM) is a trademark of Eisai Co., Ltd.