The text starts here.

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 1997

Eisai Announces Launch of ARICEPT(R) (donepezil hydrochloride), New Treatment For Alzheimer's Disease in Germany

Tokyo (September 16, 1997) - Eisai Co., Ltd. of Tokyo (President and CEO: Haruo Naito) today announced that Eisai GmbH, an Eisai marketing subsidiary, will begin marketing in October of once-daily dosed, ARICEPT(R) (donepezil hydrochloride or E2020), a new drug for the symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, through co-promotion with Pfizer in Germany.


ARICEPT(R) received agreement for approval in 12 countries in Europe through the mutual recognition procedure in July 1997, and received a marketing authorization from the pharmaceutical authority in Germany.


ARICEPT(R) 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(R) was approved in the US in November 1996, and Eisai began marketing in January, 1997. In the UK, ARICEPT(R) was also approved in February and launched in April, 1997. ARICEPT(R) is in the Phase III clinical trial stage in Japan.


ARICEPT(R) 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(R) 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 seven hundred thousand people in Germany have Alzheimer's disease, and more than eight million people worldwide.


In November 1994, Eisai Co., Ltd. and Pfizer Inc formed a strategic alliance for the co-promotion of ARICEPT(R) in the US, UK, Germany and France.


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 $2.3 billion in 1996 with approximately 14 percent of sales spent for research and development.


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