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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2009
For Print (PDF 113KB)

Ajinomoto and Eisai Sign Agreement for Distribution of Branched-chain Amino Acid Formula LIVACT® Granules in Asia

Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Eisai Co., Ltd.
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. Pharmaceutical Company (Headquarters: Tokyo, President & CEO: Norio Yamaguchi, “Ajinomoto”) and Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President & CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that the two companies concluded an agreement for distribution of LIVACT® Granules, a branched-chain amino acid formula in Asian countries.
Under the agreement, Eisai obtains exclusive rights from Ajinomoto to distribute LIVACT® Granules in eleven Asian countries*1.

LIVACT® Granules is a branched-chain amino acid formula, which was originally developed by Ajinomoto. LIVACT® Granules has been available in the Japanese market since 1996, indicated for “improvement of hypoalbuminemia*2 in patients with decompensated hepatic cirrhosis*3 that have hypoalbuminemia despite adequate dietary intake”.

Patients with decompensated hepatic cirrhosis have jaundice, malaise, ascites, edema, hepatic encephalopathy and other symptoms, which result in a decline in the quality of life (QOL). The cause of such symptoms includes malnutrition or metabolic disorder resulting from hypoalbuminemia that occurs as hepatic cirrhosis progresses. LIVACT® Granules ameliorates the symptoms by improving undernutrition in hepatic cirrhosis and, as a result, increases in serum albumin levels.

Large-scale clinical studies conducted in Japan have demonstrated that LIVACT® Granules significantly reduced the risk of complications in patients with decompensated hepatic cirrhosis compared to diet therapy group and is also expected to inhibit the progression from hepatic cirrhosis to liver carcinogenesis.
Recently, LIVACT® Granules was listed in “the guidelines for comprehensive treatment of viral liver cirrhosis”*4. As a standard medication for nutrition therapy for decompensated hepatic cirrhosis, LIVACT® Granules has contributed to the improvement of patients’ prognosis.

Ajinomoto has been offering products for liver disease and other gastrointestinal diseases with a main focus on the Japanese market. With this agreement, however, the company will intensify and develop overseas business utilizing its own technical and marketing know-how.
Eisai has licensed Stronger Neo-Minophagen C® and Glycyron® Tab. for the treatment of liver diseases and allergic diseases, and clevudine for the treatment of hepatitis B for marketing in Asian countries. Eisai will continue to aggressively enrich its strategic product portfolio that matches to the needs of the region.

With this strategic alliance, the two companies expect to make further contributions in improving QOL and benefits to patients with liver diseases in Asia.

  *1
China, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Sri Lanka.
  *2
Hypoalbuminemia: Blood albumin levels decrease as hepatic cirrhosis progresses. This pathology is called hypoalbuminemia. In hypoalbuminemia, total body nutrition status deteriorates, which causes ascites and other symptoms.
  *3
Decompensated hepatic cirrhosis: In hepatic cirrhosis, increase of fibrous tissues in the liver leads to hardening of the liver and results in loss of normal liver function. It is the end stage of chronic liver diseases. When hepatic cirrhosis does not accompany symptoms such as jaundice, ascites and encephalopathy, it is called compensated cirrhosis. When such symptoms have developed, it is called decompensated cirrhosis.
  *4
“The guidelines for comprehensive treatment of viral liver cirrhosis”, Annual report 2007 of “Research for standardization of cirrhosis and other viral liver disease treatment”, the urgent research project against liver and other diseases (the liver disease area), the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare scientific research subsidies in Japan.
Contact
Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Pharmaceutical Company
Pharmaceutical Personnel and Risk
Management Dept.
Public Relations Office
Tel +81-3-6280-9500
Eisai Co., Ltd.
PR Dept.
Tel +81-3-3817-5120