Company News


February 5, 1998

Tie-up with Lipha s.a. of France Announced
Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Japan) and Lipha s.a. (France), a subsidiary of Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany), announced today that they had reached agreement on a framework for the joint development of new pharmaceuticals by combining their research and development capabilities in the field of diabetes treatment.

Lipha s.a., of Lyon, France, markets Glucophage(R) (metformin), the world's leading oral diabetes drug. This product was released in the United States in 1995 by Bristol-Meyers-Squibb Corp. under license from Lipha. Lipha's sales in 1996 totaled US$779 million, 14% of which was allocated to research and development.

Highlights of the agreement are summarized below.

* Joint development of insulin sensitizers and cell glucose sensitizers resulting from research by Lipha and the licensing of these to Ono for several Asian countries.
* Joint development of compounds discovered in the libraries of both companies using Ono's screening system; licensing of these to Lipha for Europe and to Ono for several Asian countries. Each company will retain the U.S. rights to compounds from their respective libraries.