The text starts here.

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 1999

ARICEPT, AN ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE TREATMENT, TO BE LAUNCHED IN JAPAN

Tokyo (November 19, 1999) - Eisai Co., Ltd. of Tokyo (President and CEO: Haruo Naito) today announced the launch of the Alzheimer's disease treatment, ARICEPT (generic name: donepezil hydrochloride) will occur on November 24, 1999. ARICEPT 3 mg, and ARICEPT 5 mg, will be copromoted in Japan with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals of Tokyo (President: Alan Bootes) under a one brand one channel two promotion sales structure with Eisai recording sales.


Alzheimer's disease is a progressive form of dementia with symptoms of memory loss, behavioral changes and eventual loss of language and motor skills.


ARICEPT 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 is expected to improve cognition and prevent the progression of symptoms in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.


ARICEPT is a new reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor synthesized by Eisai in Japan, with clinical development conducted in Japan, Europe and the United States. Sales of Aricept, for symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, first began in the U.S. in January 1997. In Europe, sales began in the U.K. in April, 1997, in Germany in October 1997, and in France in March 1998. As of the end of September 1999, ARICEPT was being sold in 41 countries worldwide.


Eisai Co., Ltd. is a research-based human health care company which discovers, develops and markets products in more than 30 countries. Through a global network of research facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively participates in all aspects of the worldwide health care system. The company reported sales of over $2.3 billion in 1998 with greater than 15 percent of sales spent for research and development.


Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a research-oriented pharmaceutical company with operations in prescription pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter products, animal health products, and agricultural related products. The company was founded in 1955 and is capitalized at yen19.8 billion with 2,713 employees. Sales in 1998 were yen149.3 billion.