Contact: Kristin Fayer (847) 470-6728 / Jack Domeischel (847) 470-6720 / Scarlett Foster (314) 694-2883
JULY 28, 1995 -- Chicago, IL -- Searle and Sankyo Company, Ltd., announced today an agreement to co-develop and co-market Searle's novel oral anti-platelet agent, xemilofiban, in Japan. Under the terms of this agreement, Sankyo will lead the development of the compound in Japan and will collaborate with Searle to support co-registration by both companies. Sankyo will pay a one-time licensing fee, make milestone payments, pay royalties and purchase compound from Searle. "We are very pleased to collaborate with Sankyo, a premier pharmaceutical company. Sankyo has had outstanding success in developing and marketing breakthrough products within the Japanese market. This partnership will enhance the development of xemilofiban in Japan already begun by Searle," says Searle's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard U. De Schutter. He adds, "This agreement signals a new era at Searle in which our innovative product pipeline will allow us the freedom to create high quality partnerships, to share costs, to accelerate development, to strengthen our business in markets where we wish to establish a stronger presence and to build our key therapeutic franchises worldwide."
Xemilofiban represents the first oral anti-platelet drug under development which works by the specific inhibition of the glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa receptor. Its mechanism of action is designed to result in potent inhibition of platelet aggregation in response to all stimuli. It is in Phase II trials in the United States, Canada and Europe for patients undergoing coronary revascularization, including stents and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), for acute myocardial infarction, and for unstable angina. The basic core of Phase I trials in volunteers has been completed in Japan where the drug is initially targeted for control of peripheral arterial disease. The compound is potentially applicable to a number of indications including cerebrovascular disorders, such as prevention of stroke.
"There is a growing enthusiasm among cardiologists for new approaches to the control of thrombotic diseases, and xemilofiban has strong potential to address this medical need. We are particularly pleased to partner this product in Japan with Sankyo, a company with a long and distinguished record of accomplishment. This arrangement with Sankyo demonstrates the strength and attractiveness of Searle's emerging product pipeline," notes Philip Needleman, Ph.D., President of Research and Development at Searle.
Searle, a wholly owned subsidiary of Monsanto Company, is a research-based developer, manufacturer and marketer of prescription drugs, and employs approximately 8,500 people worldwide. Searle has a major franchise in cardiovascular medicine. Its products include Calan SR, a leading, verapamil-based calcium channel blocker; Norpace, prescribed for arrhythmias; Kerlone, a beta blocker; and the diuretics Aldactone and Aldactazide. In January 1995, the company filed a New Drug Application with the FDA for PPR verapamil, a controlled onset extended release formulation of verapamil. In addition to xemilofiban, Searle's product pipeline includes the anti-coagulant protein Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor, being jointly developed with Chiron for microvascular surgery, and epoxymexrenone for congestive heart failure.
Sankyo Company, Ltd. is the second largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. Headquartered in Tokyo and established in 1913, Sankyo employs nearly 7,000 people. As a research-based developer, manufacturer and marketer, Sankyo has introduced several breakthrough drugs to the international market, including its own ethical drug, Mevalotin, an in-house developed hyperlipemia agent, and Banan, an oral cephalosporin antibiotic. Sankyo also markets the largest anti-inflammatory drug in Japan, Loxonin; Espo, an erythropoietin formulation; and Gran, a human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF).
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