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March 14, 2000

Taisho and INSMED to Join in Development and Commercialization of Diabetes Treatment.



Today, Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (President, Akira Uehara) announced signing a letter of intent with INSMED Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (President: Geoffrey Allan, PhD; Head Office: Richmond Virginia) for development and commercialization rights for INS-1 in treatments of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and type 2 diabetes, both in Japan and in other Asian countries.

Under the agreement, Taisho will make an equity investment in INSMED, in addition to furnishing INSMED with other milestone and royalty payments. INSMED will retain all rights in the rest of the world.

INS-1 is a low molecular weight oral drug, and is believed to be an essential component of an inositol glycan that activates key enzymes to regulate glucose metabolism in those who are insulin resistant. Approximately 20% of the population in the US is believed to insulin resistant, and this thought to be the major cause of a wide range of other serious metabolic disorders, including PCOS and Type 2 diabetes. In the United States, INS-1 is currently in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of both PCOS and type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder characterized by the body's inability to properly use or produce insulin - the principal hormone that regulates glucose metabolism. In Japan and the West, more than 24 million people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes - 7 million of those are in Japan - and, by 2008, this number is expected to climb above 34 million. In the United States, the costs relating to diabetes treatment total over $100 billion annually, and diabetes is the fourth ranking cause of death by disease. In Japan, the market for diabetes treatments is estimated at 70 billion yen, and forecast to reach 250 billion yen by the year 2007.

PCOS is the most common female endocrine disorder, affecting up to 6% of women between the ages of 14 and 44 years old. It is the leading cause of anovulatory infertility in Japan and the United States. Women suffering from this disorder are often overweight, have excess facial hair and suffer from menstrual irregularities. They also have a significantly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and endometrial cancer. Overseas, the strengthened insulin with INS-1 treatments has affected a huge improvement in ovulation of woman with PCOS, and has brought a notable decrease in reported cases of blood triglyceride and blood pressure problems, both of which increase the risk of heart disease.

INSMED Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology firm that is focused on the development of pharmaceutical products to treat metabolic and endocrine diseases. INSMED recently announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Celtrix Pharmaceuticals, based in San Jose, California. Celtrix is developing SomatoKine(R), a novel IGF-BP3 (insulin growth factor-1, binding protein 3) complex for the treatment of a broad range of metabolic disorders.

Taisho leads the OTC drug industry in Japan and continues to expand its sales and research - internally and through collaborations - in the prescription drug field. We are committed to sustaining and improving consumer health by creating and providing high quality medical and related healthcare products, as well as information services that meet the needs of our consumers' diverse lifestyles.

INSMED Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Head Office Richmond, Virginia, USA
Established 1988
Representative Director Geoffrey Allan, Ph.D. (President and CEO)