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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2008
For Print (PDF 56KB)

SymBio Pharmaceuticals and Eisai Sign License Agreement
for bendamustine hydrochloride (SyB L-0501)

SymBio Pharmaceuticals Limited.
Eisai Co., Ltd.
SymBio Pharmaceuticals Limited. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President and CEO: Fuminori Yoshida, “SymBio”) and Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President and CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that the companies have concluded the license agreement for the co-development and commercialization of bendamustine hydrochloride in Japan, with exclusive rights retained by SymBio.

Based on this agreement, SymBio shall grant co-development and exclusive commercialization rights to Eisai and, in return, receive upfront and development milestone payments of up to 4 billion yen in total. In addition, the companies plan to move forward with the development of several target indications through co-development.

In Germany, bendamustine hydrochloride has been used extensively for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The drug has been on the market in the United States since April of this year after receiving FDA approval in March 2008 for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In Japan, bendamustine hydrochloride is currently being investigated in patients with low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and is in the pivotal stage of clinical development prior to submission for approval.

The estimated annual incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Japan is approximately 15,000, and it is well-known that a large number of these patients are prone to relapse after responding to initial treatment, making further treatment difficult even though the overall survival period tends to be long.

By entering into this alliance with Eisai, which also focuses on oncology as one of its strategic therapeutic areas, SymBio aims to accelerate its business expansion efforts and maximize the market potential of bendamustine hydrochloride in Japan. Eisai, for its part, will further strengthen its full-scale business deployment in the oncology area in Japan with the addition of this drug to its extensive in-house anti-cancer pipeline products.

In a collaborative effort to address unmet medical needs, SymBio and Eisai will work in tandem to expedite the development of bendamustine hydrochloride so that it will be available for use by patients and healthcare professionals in Japan as early as possible.


[Please refer to the contacts below for additional product information and company profile]

Contacts:
SymBio Pharmaceuticals Limited.
Attn: Mr. Tatsuya Yoneyama
TEL: 81-3-5472-1123
e-mail: tyoneyama@symbiosis.co.jp
URL: www.symbiopharma.com
Corporate Communications Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.
TEL: 81-3-3817-5120



< Note to Editor >



bendamustine hydrochloride
SymBio Pharmaceuticals Limited has acquired exclusive rights for the development and commercialization of bendamustine hydrochloride in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore from Astellas Pharma GmbH (currently Astellas Deutschland GmbH, Munich, Germany).
This agent was originally synthesized by Jenapharm, a German (formerly ‘East German’) pharmaceutical company, and is currently being used in Germany for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia under the trade name of “Ribomustin®”. It was approved in March of this year by US FDA for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and has been marketed under the trade name of “Treanda®” since April 2008.

About SymBio Pharmaceuticals, Limited
SymBio Pharmaceuticals Limited was established in March 2005 by Fuminori Yoshida, who previously served as both Corporate Vice President of Amgen Ltd. and President of Amgen Japan. The company's underlying corporate philosophy is “delivering hope to patients in need,” and the company aims to address the unmet medical needs of patients in Japan and other Asia Pacific regions by cultivating a mutually beneficial or symbiotic relationship among key players in the healthcare industry (i.e. physicians, scientists, investors, government, and patients).
For more information about SymBio Pharmaceuticals, Limited, please visit www.symbiosis.co.jp/en/index.html

About Eisai Co., Ltd.
Eisai Co., Ltd. is a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: integrative neuroscience, including neurology and psychiatric medicines; integrative oncology, including oncotherapy and supportive-care treatments; and immunology and vascular disease. Through a global network of research facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing affiliates, Eisai actively participates in all aspects of the worldwide healthcare system.
For more information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit www.eisai.com/index.html