June 14, 2010
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.

License agreement for the bisphosphonate zoledronic acid
Asahi Kasei Pharma and Novartis Pharma AG ("Novartis Pharma," head office: Basel, Switzerland, CEO: David Epstein) have concluded a license agreement for zoledronic acid, a bisphosphonate agent used for the treatment of osteoporosis.

Under the terms of the agreement, Asahi Kasei Pharma obtains exclusive rights in Japan to develop and sell zoledronic acid for the treatment of osteoporosis, and will begin clinical development of this agent in Japan.

Zoledronic acid is used to treat osteoporosis in many countries, and Novartis Pharma has been looking forward to making the product available to meet the needs of Japanese patients. With many years of experience and a strong established track record in the field of bone metabolism disorders, notably with its Elcitonin™ treatment for osteoporosis pain, Asahi Kasei Pharma had sought to further reinforce its development pipeline in this field. As such, the two companies shared complementary interests, which led to the conclusion of this license agreement.

It is estimated that more than 10 million people suffer from osteoporosis in Japan, including those not receiving treatment,* and the number is increasing as the population ages. Since osteoporosis carries an increased risk of vertebral and femoral neck fracture, with a high probability of resulting in confinement to bed, the implementation of effective measures against osteoporosis is not only a medical matter but also an important social issue. With the rights to develop and sell zoledronic acid, Asahi Kasei Pharma intends to further strengthen its contribution to the treatment of osteoporosis in Japan.
About zoledronic acid
  Zoledronic acid, developed by Novartis Pharma, is a bisphosphonate which inhibits elevated bone turnover. Bisphosphonates accumulate in mineralized bone matrix, are released during bone resorption, and are internalized by osteoclasts. They directly inhibit osteoclast activity, and may reduce the formation of osteoclasts, as well as their recruitment to the bone surface. First approved in 2005 in the EU and in 2007 in the US as the only osteoporosis drug capable of a year-long treatment with once-a-year intravenous infusion, zoledronic acid is now approved in over 90 countries worldwide. It is sold under the trade name Reclast in the US and Aclasta in the rest of the world.

Zoledronic acid has been sold in Japan as Zometa by Novartis Pharma K.K. (head office: Tokyo, President: Hiroyuki Mitani) since 2005 for the indication of hypercalcemia of malignancy and since 2006 for the indication of multiple myeloma and metastatic bone lesions of solid tumors.
About Novartis Pharma AG
  Novartis Pharma AG based in Basel, Switzerland, is a world leader in healthcare. In 2009, the Group's continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 44.3 billion, while approximately USD 7.5 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 100,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. Novartis Pharma K.K. is a Japanese subsidiary of Novartis Pharma AG. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.co.jp
About Asahi Kasei Pharma
  Asahi Kasei Pharma is a core operating company of the Asahi Kasei Group in the field of healthcare, with a diverse range of businesses including pharmaceuticals, diagnostic reagents, nutritional products, and contact lenses.
* Satoshi Soen, et al., Progress in Medicine, Vol. 27, No. 3, 621-627, 2007.
Aclasta, Reclast, and Zometa are trademarks of Novartis.


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