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February 7, 2000

Phase 1 U.S. Clinical Trials of Anti-CD23 Monoclonal Antibody

Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (President: Akira Uehara) today announced it has agreed with Seikagaku Corporation (President: Shiro Enoki) to develop and sell the anti-CD23 monoclonal antibody of IDEC Pharmaceuticals (headquartered in San Diego, California; President: William H. Rastetter).

IDEC has submitted the Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Phase 1 clinical trial has begun in the United States for its application as a treatment for allergic asthma.

In 1994, Seikagaku and IDEC entered into an agreement for joint research of the anti-CD23 monoclonal antibody. Under the contract, development and sales rights in the United States were granted to IDEC, and to Seikagaku in Europe and Asia. Taisho entered the agreement in November 1998 as a co-operator in European and Asian development and sales.

The anti-CD23 monoclonal antibody is part of IDEC's "Primatized Antibody" technology that holds a great deal of promise in treating allergic condition such as allergic asthma, allergic rhinitus and atopic conditions. This antibody enables the treatment of specific allergy conditions because it combines with the CD23 factor to regulate the production of the allergy-triggering immuno-globulin (IgE), and generates no further immuno-globulin production.

With the number of allergy sufferers growing year by year, we believe that our research surrounding this antibody could provide the fundamental allergy treatment that has eluded the medical world to date.

We are confident that this Phase 1 clinical trial will demonstrate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the anti-CD23 monoclonal antibody, and we look forward to contributing to further developments of related products in Europe and Asia.

IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Head Office San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
Established 1986
President William H. Rastetter