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News Release

March 14, 2018


Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that its Chinese subsidiary Eisai China Inc. (Headquarters: Suzhou, Jiangsu Province) has launched the gastrointestinal prokinetic agent Cidine® (cinitapride hydrogen tartrate, brand name in China: 希笛尼®) in China.

Cidine is a gastrointestinal prokinetic agent discovered by Almirall, S.A. (Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain, CEO: Peter Guenter, “Almirall”). Under the terms of a license agreement signed with Almirall in March 2010, Eisai obtained from Almirall the exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and market the agent in China. Eisai obtained approval for the agent in China for the indication to improve the symptoms of early satiety, postprandial fullness discomfort and abdominal bloating for mild-to-moderate functional dyspepsia.

By acting upon the serotonin 4 (5-HT4) receptors of the nerve plexus in the alimentary tract, Cidine increases the release of acetylcholine, and its mild antidopaminergic activity also stimulates the release of acetylcholine and contributes to the therapeutic effect. Acetylcholine increases motor and secretory activity throughout the digestive system, thereby improving gastrointestinal function.

The Chinese pharmaceutical market is the second largest market in the world after the United States, and in 2015 was worth US$115.2 billion (approximately 12.2 trillion yen) and growing at a rate of 7% on a local currency basis, maintaining high growth.1 Eisai considers China as a key region for driving its global business and is working to expand business that addresses not only its global areas of therapeutic focus, but also its franchise tailored to the local disease structures in China. Gastrointenstinal franchise is one such area, and the launch of Cidine will further strengthen the Company's existing gastrointestinal product portfolio together with the currently marketed proton pump inhibitor Pariet®, gastritis/gastric ulcer treatment Selbex® and hepatic disease/allergic disease agents Stronger Neo-Minophagen® C and Glycyron® Tablets.

Through the launch of Cidine, Eisai seeks to make further contributions to address the diversified needs of and increase the benefits provided to patients suffering from gastrointestinal diseases in China.

Media Inquiries:
Public Relations Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.

<Notes to editors>
1.  About Almirall

Almirall is a leading skin-health focused global pharmaceutical company that partners with healthcare professionals, applying Science to provide medical solutions to patients & future generations. Our efforts are focused on fighting against skin health diseases and helping people feel and look their best. We support healthcare professionals in its continuous improvement, bringing our innovative solutions where they are needed.

The company, founded in 1943 and with headquarters in Barcelona, is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange (ticker: ALM). Almirall has become a key element of value creation to society according to its commitment with its major shareholders and its decision to help others, to understand their challenges and to use Science to provide them with solutions for real life. Total revenues in 2016 were 859.3 million euros and more than 2,000 employees are devoted to Science.

For more information, please visit,

2.  History of Eisai's Business in China

Eisai has been conducting business in China for over 25 years. Eisai expanded into the market in 1991 through a joint venture company, and in 1996, established Eisai China Inc. (Suzhou, Jiangsu Province), a 100% subsidiary with manufacturing/marketing capabilities. In 2010, Eisai (Suzhou) Trading Co., Ltd. was established for directly importing products and in December 2015, Eisai entered the generic pharmaceutical business in China by buying out Eisai (Liaoning) Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. for the purpose of providing a stable supply of high-quality generic medicine to fulfil the medical needs of Chinese patients. These three companies were consolidated under Eisai China Holdings Ltd, which was established in December, 2014. The core products of Eisai's Chinese business include peripheral neuropathy treatment Methycobal®, liver disease/allergic disease agents Stronger Neo-Minophagen® C/Glycyron® tablets, anti-Alzheimer's agent Aricept®, proton pump inhibitor Pariet®, gastritis/gastric ulcer treatment Selbex®, and Parkinson's disease treatments Comtan®, Stalevo® and Eldepryl® as well as the pipeline product branched-chain amino acid formula Livact® Granules.

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