Eisai and UCL Form Major Drug Discovery Alliance to Develop New Therapeutics for Neurological Diseases

 Eisai and UCL Form Major Drug Discovery Alliance to Develop New Therapeutics
                          for Neurological Diseases

  PR Newswire

  HATFIELD, England, December 13, 2012

HATFIELD, England, December 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

UCL and the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai, today announce the
agreement to establish a major drug discovery and development collaboration.
The unique alliance will involve researchers from both organisations working
together to investigate innovative new ways of treating neurological diseases
such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other related disorders.The goal of the
collaboration will be to identify and validate novel drug targets, develop new
therapeutics and evaluate them in proof-of-concept clinical trials. 

This will be the first time that joint research is conducted by a partnership
involving a public institution in the UK and a pharmaceutical company. UCL and
Eisai will form a Therapeutic Innovation Group (TIG) which will comprise
experienced scientists from both UCL and Eisai with the principal function of
facilitating and coordinating the discovery and assessment of emerging
therapeutic targets involved in neurological diseases. The TIG will also be
responsible for the co-development of completely new research areas of
interest. A Joint Steering Committee (JSC) will be established to govern the
TIG and will be co-chaired by UCL's Professor Alan Thompson and Eisai's
Neuroscience Unit President, Dr Lynn Kramer.

UCL carries out world-class research into the genetic and mechanistic causes
of neurodegenerative diseases.It also has a wealth of expertise in clinical
translation and this collaboration is expected to involve scientists and
clinicians at UCL's new Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre located
in Queen Square, London.An alliance with UCL also forms a major part of
Eisai's Open Innovation initiative to explore external ideas and paths to drug
discovery through partnership. Eisai will provide drug discovery and
development resource and know-how, assay development capabilities and
medicinal chemistry expertise. In addition, Eisai has extensive experience in
regulatory and clinical expertise through successful drug launches of
neurological medicines. UCL will also receive milestones payments as projects
progress, and, in addition, royalties on therapies successfully brought to

The on-going partnership with UCL is only one example of the company's
continued commitment to the UK life sciences industry.This year, Eisai
announced the transfer of global manufacturing for its new epilepsy medicine,
Fycompa ^® (perampanel) to the UK. The first-in-class treatment was first
launched in the UK in 2012 and is currently being sequentially launched
throughout Europe. Today's announcement further consolidates the UK's position
as a major centre of Eisai's commercial and growth strategy, and its
continuing commitment to neuroscience research. Eisai already has one of the
largest dementia research units in the UK and around 200 of the company's 500
UK employees are currently employed in R&D related positions across multiple
therapeutic areas at Eisai's £100 million EMEA headquarters in Hatfield, UK.

Dr Lynn Kramer, President, Eisai Neuroscience Product Creation Unit, said:
"Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease
represent a significant unmet medical need due to lack of effective treatments
that can prevent disease progression. UCL's is a world-class academic
institution with specialised research capabilities and we expect this exciting
partnership to be very successful. In this unique collaboration, we hope our
complementary expertise will identify potential new drug targets that we can
bring to market and make available to patients that need it the most.

Professor Sir John Tooke, Vice Provost for Health at UCL, said; "This is a
genuinely new way of collaborating on pharmaceutical research for UCL, with
exciting implications for research with the potential to lead to step changes
in the treatment of diseases which affect the nervous system, such as
Alzheimer's. It will already build on many years of close working and
collaboration with Eisai, which I am confident will lead to the development of
much-needed, new effective therapeutic agents."

Commenting on the partnership, Professor Stephen Caddick, Vice-Provost
(Enterprise) at UCL, added:

"UCL is committed to working with partners who have a shared vision to
translate research findings into products which will have a tangible, positive
impact on society.This strategic alliance between UCL and Eisai combines
research excellence, clinical insight and commercial expertise which will
undoubtedly improve prospects for development of new treatments for patient

Notes to Editors

Eisai have a long and established history of scientific investment and
partnership in the UK:

  *Eisai's first investments into UK R&D began 20 years ago with a landmark
    partnership with the neurosciences department at UCL, established to
    undertake world-leading scientific research into neurodegenerative
  *After entering a new phase in 2011, the company's Neuroscience Product
    Creation Unit (Neuroscience PCU) and UCL are currently engaging in joint
    research into neurodegenerative diseases, including biomarker research and
    drug discovery.
  *Eisai is committed to making further contributions to address key unmet
    medical needs in neurosciences by maintaining and strengthening the
    relationship built up with UCL, whilst at the same time leveraging the
    knowledge accumulated over the course of the partnership for the benefit
    of patients and their families in Europe and beyond.

About Eisai

Eisai recently expanded their UK Hatfield commercial, research and
manufacturing facility which now supports the company's growing EMEA business.

Eisai concentrates its R&D activities in three key areas:

  *Neuroscience, including: Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, pain and weight
  *Oncology including: anticancer therapies; tumour regression, tumour
    suppression, antibodies, etc.
  *Vascular/Immunological reaction including: thrombocytopenia, rheumatoid
    arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease

With operations in the U.S., Asia, Europe and its domestic home market of
Japan, Eisai employs more than 11,000 people worldwide. In Europe, Eisai
undertakes sales and marketing operations in over 20 markets, including the
United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland,
Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Iceland, Czech Republic,
Slovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Middle East and Russia.

For further information please visit our web site http://www.eisai.com .

About UCL

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established
afterOxfordandCambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race,
class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of
law, architecture and medicine. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise
(RAE), UCL was rated the leading research university inLondon, and third in
theUKoverall, for the volume of research judged to be 'of world-leading

According to theThomsonScientificCitationIndex, which catalogues journal
articles and citations in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and
humanities, UCL is the second most highly cited European university and 15 ^th
in the world. UCL enjoys the lowest overall student to academic ratio of any
publicUKuniversity.UCL is among the world's top universities, as reflected
by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently
has 25,000 students from 150 countries, and over 9,000 employees. UCL's annual
income is over £800 million.

For more information about UCL visit http://ucl.ac.uk/about-ucl 

Follow us on Twitter @uclnews

Date of preparation: December 2012

Job code: Corporate-UK2010

Contact: For media enquiries, please contact: For Eisai Europe - Charlotte
Andrews +44(0)7947-231-513/ Cressida Robson +44(0)7908-314-155,
Charlotte_andrews@eisai.net/ Cressida_Robson@eisai.net; For UCL - Henry
Rummins, Media Relations Manager (enterprise) +44(0)207-679-9063 /
h.rummins@ucl.ac.uk; For Tonic Life Communications - Benjamyn Tan
+44(0)20-7798-9262 / Moira Githam +44(0)207-798-9900,
benjamyn.tan@toniclc.com/ moira.gitsham@toniclc.com
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