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January 25, 2001

Clinical Testing Begins for a Hair-Loss Treatment for Women

Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (President: Akira Uehara) has announced commencement of Phase 3 clinical testing for a treatment for female sufferers of common baldness (hair loss); previously such products had treated only male baldness. The product release is targeted for 2003.

With similar products already enjoying market success overseas, Taisho anticipates that the products' safety and effectiveness will find widespread acceptance in Japan, as well.

Taisho's RiUP product lineup, first released in June 1999, is a hair-growth treatment strictly for male baldness. The products had not been clinically tested on women because Taisho anticipated difficulties in meeting both male and female requirements. But following the RiUP release, Taisho began receiving inquiries from women and began clinical tests.

The RiUP treatment, containing minoxidil, was Japan's first "direct OTC drug," a pharmaceutical approved for OTC use without first being sold by prescription. Minoxidil treatments for men were introduced in the U.S. in August 1988, and products for women became available in August 1991. First released in the U.S. and Canada, these products are now available in 88 countries around the world.

Chronology of RiUP:
July 1985 Binding agreement with the Upjohn Company (now Pharmacia Corporation) for development, production and sales of minoxidil products in Japan.
June 1992 Application for RiUP as a "direct OTC" drug
February 1999 Permission to begin producing RiUP
June 1999 RiUP released as an OTC drug; first-year sales (through March 2000) : 30 billion yen.