Brussels, Belgium - September 25, 2006 - UCB and sanofi-aventis announced today that they have entered into an agreement to co-promote in the United States the prescription antihistamine medicine, Xyzal® (levocetirizine dihydrochloride). Xyzal® is a once-daily antihistamine which was first launched in Europe in 2001 and currently marketed in 49 countries around the world where it enjoys leadership position in key markets.
In July 2006, UCB initiated the FDA regulatory approval process to market Xyzal® for the following indications: Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis, Perennial Allergic Rhinitis, and Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria.
Under the terms of the agreement with sanofi-aventis:
- Sanofi-aventis will co-promote Xyzal® with UCB in the United States
- Sanofi-aventis will book the sales
- Sanofi-aventis will make an upfront payment to UCB and milestones payments at certain stages in the development and commercialization of the drug, associated with regulatory approvals and sales milestones
- Profits will be shared between sanofi-aventis and UCB
About Allergic Conditions Many people suffer from the symptoms associated with common allergic conditions. The immune system of allergy sufferers over-reacts to something in the environment. This can lead to symptoms that affect their respiratory system, eyes, or skin. Estimates from a skin test survey suggest that allergies affect as many as 40 to 50 million people in the United States - more than 20 percent of the U.S. population.
Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (SAR), commonly referred to as "hay fever" or "outdoor allergies," is the most common form of allergic rhinitis. By definition, SAR includes allergies to seasonal pollens like grass, trees, fungal molds, and weeds. Perennial Allergic Rhinitis (PAR) is sometimes referred to as "year round" or "indoor allergies" and is characterized by allergies that last longer than four weeks. House dust mites, animal dander, and mold most commonly trigger PAR. Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU) is most commonly known as "hives of unknown origin" and is defined as the occurrence of daily, or almost daily, wheals and itching for at least six weeks with no obvious causes.
About UCB UCB (www.ucb-group.com) is a leading global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology products in the fields of central nervous system disorders, allergy/respiratory diseases, immune and inflammatory disorders and oncology - UCB focuses on securing a leading position in severe disease categories. Employing over 8,300 people in 40 countries, UCB achieved revenues of ¤2.3 billion in 2005. UCB is listed on the Euronext Brussels.
About sanofi-aventis Sanofi-aventis is the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Forward-Looking Statement This news release contains forward-looking statements. Such forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which might cause the actual results, financial condition, performance, or achievements of UCB or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. The statements in this press release represent UCB's expectations and beliefs as of the date of this press release. UCB anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause these expectations and beliefs to change. However, while UCB may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing UCB's expectations or beliefs as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
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