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
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.