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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2011
For Print (PDF 30KB)

U.S. SUBSIDIARY H3 BIOMEDICINE INC. UNDERTAKES THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEXT-GENERATION CANCER DRUGS

-----The New Company Is Established to Actively Utilize Cancer Genomic Information and Advanced Drug Discovery Chemistry-----


Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo; President and CEO: Haruo Naito) today announced that it has established the new research and development subsidiary H3 Biomedicine Inc. (H3 Biomedicine) in Cambridge, Massachusetts and that the company’s research activities are underway. H3 Biomedicine aims to discover breakthrough cancer drugs based on two research objectives: 1) the identification of drug targets in order to facilitate individualized medical care based on the genetic characteristics of each cancer patient, and 2) the active utilization of technologies based on advances in contemporary drug discovery chemistry in order to create new classes of safe and effective compounds that interact with these drug targets. In recent years there has been remarkable progress in the understanding of human cancers on a genetic level. H3 Biomedicine will use the latest findings to discover new cancer drugs that lead to individualized care.

H3 Biomedicine was established as a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., the U.S. affiliate of Eisai Co., Ltd. Eisai Inc. will provide H3 Biomedicine with approximately 200 million dollars in exploratory research funding over a 10 year period, and will further provide the funds necessary for the clinical development of the compounds created by H3 Biomedicine. Moreover, in addition to its exploratory research function, H3 Biomedicine will also access and collaborate with other drug discovery research functions in the Eisai Group, including utilization of FORMA Therapeutics’ technologies concluded through a strategic drug discovery research agreement in November of last year. H3 Biomedicine will take on the challenge of creating first-in-class compounds for difficult drug targets.

Distinguished professors Stuart L. Schreiber, Ph.D. and Todd R. Golub, M.D. will participate as scientific advisors to H3 Biomedicine. Professors Schreiber and Golub are founding members of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT as well as investigators at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and they have revolutionized the methodologies of medical research. Professor Schreiber’s research has had a significant impact on the fields of chemistry, biology, and medicine. As one example of his accomplishments, three cancer drugs that target cancer proteins discovered as a result of Professor Schreiber’s research have been approved in many countries. Professor Golub is a global leader in cancer-related analytical genetic research. He is engaged in research that focuses on the use of human genome information in order to explain biological and clinical issues faced by cancer medicine. Professor Golub has pioneered the approach of using human genome information in the biology of cancer and research into anticancer agents. H3 Biomedicine plans to immediately organize a world-class team in order to create the next generation of breakthrough cancer drugs.

It is anticipated that improvements in our understanding of cancer genome information and advances in small-molecule science will function as a foundation for the creation of the next generation of cancer drugs. H3 Biomedicine aims to develop drugs that promise high efficacy against specific cancers by using a disciplined approach where drug discovery is performed based on the genetic characteristics of specific cancers. In conjunction with this, the company will pursue clinical development using biomarkers with the intention of providing individualized care to people affected by cancer. Furthermore, it is hoped that this drug discovery research using biomarkers will shorten the time required for clinical development and reduce costs as well.

Eisai will position the field of oncology as an area of primary importance and will continue to accelerate the development of promising treatments such as low-molecular cancer drugs, antibody drugs, targeted drugs, vaccine therapies, and supportive therapies. With the establishment of H3 Biomedicine, Eisai will meet the needs of patients and their families by providing them with another option ・the option of drugs discovered by means of new technologies derived from the elucidation of cancer-related genes and the techniques of organic biochemistry.

[ Please refer to the following notes for H3 Biomedicine Inc.’s corporate profile ]

Media Inquiries:
Public Relations Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.
+81-(0)3-3817-5120


< Notes to editors >

1.  About H3 Biomedicine Inc.
H3 Biomedicine Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the discovery and development of cancer drugs. It aims to use the latest synthetic chemistry, chemical biology, and human genome information in order to create next-generation cancer drugs with the objective of improving the quality of life of cancer patients. It is a subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd.’s U.S. affiliate Eisai Inc. and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

[CORPORATE PROFILE]
Company name:H3 Biomedicine Inc.
Location:Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
President:Kentaro Yoshimatsu
Scope of business:Pharmaceutical research & development
Capital:US $ 1 million
Date established:December 13, 2010 (local time)