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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2009
For Print (PDF 65KB)

Eisai Receives Approval for a New Oral Jelly Formulation of Aricept® for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease in Japan


Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President and CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that the Company had received approval for a new oral jelly formulation of Aricept® (donepezil hydrochloride) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The new oral jelly formulation is easier for patients with Alzheimer’s disease who have difficulty swallowing to take and is the first treatment of its kind in the world.

Of the patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, there are many who have difficulty ingesting tablet or fine granule formulations due to a decline in their ability to swallow or who find that water accidentally enters the windpipe when swallowing medication. For patients with such problems, the new jelly formulation is easier to take, with the moderately sweet honey-lemon taste and the soft jelly-like texture ensuring that it can be taken without water. In addition, it can be divided with a spoon into an appropriate volume depending upon the patient’s ability to ingest and swallow, thereby reducing the burden on caregivers in helping patients take medication.

Aricept® is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor developed by Eisai, which works to increase levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, in the brain. It is the only approved treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in Japan, and is used in the treatment of patients with mild to severe forms of the disease. It is estimated that there are approximately 1.31 million people currently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in Japan; however, this figure is increasing every year along with the advancement of the aging society.

In Japan, the current Aricept® line up includes tablet, fine granule, and orally rapid disintegrating tablet formulations. Through the addition of the new oral jelly formulation that could better drug compliance among patients, Eisai will continue to make contributions to improving the quality of life of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their families and caregivers.

[Please refer to the following notes for product]

Contact:
PR Department
Eisai Co., Ltd.
+81 - (0)3 - 3817 - 5120


< Notes to Editors >

• About Aricept® Oral Jelly Formulation (Japan)

1) Product Name
Aricept® Oral Jelly 3mg, Aricept® Oral Jelly 5mg, Aricept® Oral Jelly 10mg
2) Indication
Suppression of progression of symptoms associated with dementia of Alzheimer’s type.
3) Dosage and Administration
Donepezil hydrochloride should be administered orally. The recommended initial dose for adult patients is 3mg once daily for one to two weeks, and then the dose should be increased to 5mg once daily. For patients with severe dementia of Alzheimer's type, the dose should be increased to 10mg once daily, after at least a four week titration with 5mg. The dose may be decreased according to the severity of symptoms.