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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2003

Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd., Eisai Co., Ltd. and FUJIREBIO INC.
Conclude Joint Research Agreement for
DCP Test Kit for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd.
Eisai Co., Ltd.
FUJIREBIO INC.

Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd., Eisai Co., Ltd.
and FUJIREBIO INC.
Conclude Joint Research Agreement for
DCP Test Kit for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President: Ryo Watanabe), Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President: Haruo Naito), and FUJIREBIO INC. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President: Tatsuo Tokumitsu) announced that the three companies concluded on February 25, 2003 a joint research agreement for development of a test kit (In-Vitro Diagnostics: IVD) to detetermine DCP (Des--Carboxy-Prothrombin , equal to and known as PIVKA-II in Japan) , a marker of HCC. The test kit which will be developed and used exclusively for LUMIPULSE, automatic chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay system developed by FUJIREBIO INC.


A test kit for PIVKA-II specially developed for LUMIPULSE will increase the convenience of detecting PIVKA-II in normal medical treatment practice. Also, the versatility of LUMIPULSE which is a diagnostic instrument (medical device) will be expanded by adding PIVKA-II as a new index. The test kit will be manufactured by FUJIREBIO INC., distributed by Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd. and Eisai Co., Ltd. will cooperate with Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd. for sales of the agent.


The test kit, PIVKA-II, has been widely used in the clinical test market to assist in HCC diagnosis because of its high specificity to HCC. Eisai Co., Ltd. developed this IVD and has the patent for this test kit. Currently, this test kit is manufactured and distributed by Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd.; and Eisai Co., Ltd. has an agreement for sales cooperation with Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd.


Currently, LUMIPULSE is sold under product name of LUMIPULSE-f (forte), and approximately 800 units are in use in the market.


Information
Sanko Junyaku Co.,Ltd. Eisai Co., Ltd. FUJIREBIO INC.
Administrative Dept. Public Relations Dept. IR & Public Relations Team
03-3865-4311 03-3817-5120 03-5695-9268

< FOR REFERENCE >

1. Automatic Chemiluminescent Enzyme Immunoassay System
An automated enzyme immunoassay utilizing a chemiluminescent substrate.
Trace materials in the living body are detected and measured using enzyme immune reaction.

2. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)
HCC includes most of the diagnosed liver cancer cases, and it is the fourth leading cause of death in all types of malignant tumors in Japan.
Since hepatitis B or C virus infections are determined in about 90% cases of HCC, frequent and detailed observations of process is a key to early diagnosis and the initiation of treatment.

3. DCP (Des--Carboxy-Prothrombin , equal to and known as PIVKA-II in Japan)
The second factor of blood coagulation which is called prothrombin which does not have bioacitivity, detected in the blood of a high percentage of patients with liver cancer in 1984. This factor is recognized as a tumor marker for HCC and examined widely in common diagnosis.

4. Tumor marker
Any substance which augments in the blood when tumors develop and utilized as an indicator of tumor formation.