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News Release

August 23, 2007
For Print (PDF 117KB)

Sanko Junyaku and Eisai to Co-promote “Picolumi® ucOC”, Diagnostic Agent Introduced by Sanko Junyaku
New Diagnostic Agent Helps Physicians Make Prescribing Choice for Vitamin K2 Medication Therapy for Osteoporosis Patients

Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd.
Eisai Co., Ltd.
Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President: Masao Jimbo), a subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President and CEO: Haruo Naito), today announced that it will launch the new diagnostic agent Picolumi® ucOC used in determining the availability of Vitamin K2 medication therapy for the patients with osteoporosis as well as its effectiveness assessment. The Picolumi® ucOC will be introduced to the market on August 23, 2007, in co-promotion with Eisai Co., Ltd.

The Picolumi® ucOC is a new in vitro diagnostic agent jointly developed by Sanko Jyunyaku and Eisai Co., Ltd. with the technology licensed by Takara Bio Inc. (Headquarters: Shiga, President and CEO: Ikunoshin Kato). It measures the level of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (unOC) in serum, an adjunctive index to screen Vitamin K insufficiency in the patients with osteoporosis, thereby helps physicians make a choice for prescribing the appropriate medications.

Eisai Group established the Japan Business Headquarters in April 2007, which facilitates provision of information, services and products under the business strategy unified by the four business operations of Eisai Group in Japan consisting of diagnostics, prescription pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare products, and generics businesses. Eisai Co., Ltd. which co-promotes the Picolumi® ucOC has been marketing Glakay® (generic name: menatetrenone), the Vitamin K2 preparation, and the bisphosphonate Actonel® (generic name: sodium risedronate hydrate), for the treatment of osteoporosis.

From diagnostics to treatments, Sanko Junyaku and Eisai provide a wide range of products and information for osteoporosis, thereby improving the QOL (Quality of Life) of patients and making further contributions to the treatment of motor system diseases.

[Please see the following notes for descriptions for specific terms, Picolumi® ucOC product information, corporate profiles and product image]

Kazunori Nishina
Investor Relations,
Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd.
TEL: 81-3-3865-4311
Corporate Communications Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.
TEL: 81-3-3817-5120

< Note to Editor >

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to fracture. It frequently affects women after menopause and the elderly and the number of osteoporosis patients is expected to increase. The half of the osteoporosis patients who experience hip fractures impairs their mobility, which significantly influences on the patients' quality of life.

Vitamin K and Vitamin K2 Preparation
Medication is one of the treatment options for the patients with osteoporosis, along with dietary management and exercise. While there are different types of medications available, physicians make a choice based on the various factors including the patients' symptoms. Therapeutic Vitamin K2 Preparation is one of such options that helps osteoporosis patients whose level of Vitamin K in bone are insufficient, for Vitamin K has demonstrated its efficacy in improving the bone matrix protein osteocalcin by acting on osteogenic lineage.

Undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC)
The osteocalcin (OC) is a type of bone matrix proteins that exists in the osteoblast cells (cells that are responsible for bone formation), which is believed to act on the bone formation. It is activated when the glutamic acid residues in the OC are converted into γ-carboxylated glutamate residues with the influence of Vitamin K. In the osteoporosis patients who experience Vitamin K insufficiency, this conversion of the glutamic acid residues cannot be completed due to the lack of adequate amount of Vitamin K, and as a result, will be released into the blood as undercaboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC). There are overseas technical reports that demonstrate a high concentration of ucOC could be a risk factor for hip fracture.

Sanko Junyaku and Eisai Co., Ltd. are in license agreement with Takara Bio Inc. for the technology to measure the serum unOC to screen Vitamin K insufficiency in the bones of osteoporosis patients. The technology was originally developed by Takara Bio Inc. in collaboration with Dr. Pierre D. Delmas of Institut de Veille Santitaire, France (INSERM). (The patent registered in Japan, the U.S., and in some European countries.)

Product Information
Product Name: Picolumi® ucOC
Intended Use: Measurement of serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin *
* Adjunctive index for determining the availability of Vitamin K2 medication therapy for the patients with osteoporosis as well as its effectiveness assessment
Shelf Life: 12 months (stored at 2 - 10°C)
NHI Insurance Point (listed on August 1, 2007):
Sample Testing Fee: 170 points per Measurement of serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin
Biopsy diagnosing fee: 135 points per evaluation of biochemical examination (II) (for one evaluation on the same patient per month)
Delivery Price: 136,000 yen
Manufactured and marketed by: Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd.
Co-promotion with: Eisai Co., Ltd.

Corporate Profiles

Sanko Junyaku Co., Ltd.
PresidentMasao Jimbo
Headquarters      1-10-6 Iwamoto-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
OperationsManufacturing, marketing and import of in vitro diagnostics, laboratory reagents, laboratory instruments, etc.
Capital5,262 million yen (50.59% owned by Eisai, as of March 31, 2007)
* Sanko Junyaku will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd. as of October 1, 2007.

Eisai Co., Ltd.
President & CEOHaruo Naito
Headquarters4-6-10 Koishikawa, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
OperationsResearch & development, manufacturing, marketing, and import & export of pharmaceuticals.
Capital44,985 million yen (as of March 31, 2007)

Takara Bio Inc.
President & CEOIkunoshin Kato
HeadquartersSeta 3-4-1, Otsu, Shiga, Japan
OperationsDevelopment and sale of research reagents, scientific instruments, functional foods and mushrooms. Commercialization of cell/gene therapeutics.
Capital8,976 million yen (as of March 31, 2007)

Product Image