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December 22, 2000

Taisho and Janssen Sign Agreement for
CRF Recepter Antagonists



Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Company headquarters: Japan; President: Akira Uehara) announces that it has signed an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Inc., to license, jointly research and develop a potentially novel CRF (corticotoropin- releasing factor) receptor antagonists, mechanistically unrelated to existing therapy, discovered by researchers at Taisho.

CRF, an endogenous neuropeptide, synthesized in and released from the hypothalamus, can also be found in other CNS sites. The factor is known to play a critical role in the body's response to stress. It is believed that inhibition of CRF functions may provide effective treatments for stress-related, central nervous diseases such as anxiety and depression. Researchers at Taisho have found antagonists with a high affinity for the CRF receptor.

Taisho will receive milestone payments and royalties from sales in exchange for co-funding development and granting the worldwide exclusive development and commercialization rights, excluding those for Japan, to Janssen. Taisho will retain development and commercialization rights in Japan and will also have the option to promote products along with Janssen in the United States and certain countries of Europe.

Janssen, headquartered in Beerse, Belgium, is on the forefront of looking for new ways to treat depression that will benefit patients and has operating companies in 32 countries, including the United States. Its areas of research focus include analgesia, neurology, psychiatry, oncology and gastroenterology. Janssen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson the world's most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical and professional markets with approximately 91,400 employees in 180 operating companies in 51 countries around the world, selling products in more than 175 countries.

Taisho is number one in Japan and number two in the world in the field of OTC drugs. It is increasingly strengthening its research and development in the field of prescription drugs, as well, and is in the midst of developing tie-ups with foreign and domestic pharmaceutical companies and bio-venture companies. This agreement is one of the results.

Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V.
Headquarters Belgium
Established 1953
Managing Director Dr. Ajid Shetty