June 22, 2000
Taisho Enters into Joint Research Agreement with Arena Pharmaceuticals
Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (President: Akira Uehara) and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (headquartered in San Diego, California; President: Jack Lief) have concluded a research collaboration agreement aimed at the creation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using Arena Pharmaceuticals' CART technology.
Under the agreement, Arena Pharmaceuticals will acquires the rights to research contributions, milestone payments and product royalty fees from Taisho, who, in return, receives exclusive to the commercialization of all the results of the research.
Genomic researchers believe there are approximately 2,000 GPCRs within the human genome which are potential targets for drug development. Approximately 95% of these GPCRs are orphan receptors - receptors whose function is uncertain and the ligand (the material linking cells to receptors) has not been identified.
Previously, researching receptor for which the ligand had not been identified proved daunting. Using Arena Pharmaceuticals' advanced genetic CART Technology, research and analysis is possible at orphan receptors because the receptor's native ligand is not used.
Until now, very little research had been done on orphan receptors due to the difficulty in identifying the ligands. This joint project promises to reveals new functions in living organisms, and we are confident that many novel medical products will be developed based on our findings.
We expect that this technology will enable much faster creation and development of new medical products. Research time (including ligands location) for medical product developments had averaged 3 to 15 years, but will be significantly shortened, as the search for ligands has been obviated.
Taisho leads the industry in over-the-counter healthcare products in Japan and continues to expand its sales and research, both internally and through collaborations, in the prescription drug field. We have formed a strong working alliance with ReqMed Company Ltd. (President: Tadashi Matsumoto): an enterprise that handles the introduction of new products by pharmaceutical venture companies. Our present joint venture with Arena Pharmaceuticals owes much to support and cooperation from ReqMed.
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.