Press Release

Sales Contract With Genzyme Finalized: Antipostoperative Adhesion Agent “Seprafilm” to Be Marketed by KAKENFebruary 24, 1997

 KAKEN PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. ( head office: Tokyo ) finalized a contract with Genzyme Corporation ( head office: Massachusetts ) and Genzyme Japan K.K. ( head office: Tokyo ) on February 18, 1997 for cooperative marketing of Genzyme’s “Seprafilm”, a preparation for prevention of postoperative adhesion.


 Occurring in about 95% of all operations and causing intestinal adhesion, infertility, pain and many other complications, postoperative adhesion is a major medical problem. Adhesion also makes repeat surgery difficult. At present, there is no effective method of preventing adhesion. KAKEN has decided to market this product because it offers medicoeconomic advantages and significantly relieves patients’ pain and discomfort.


 Seprafilm is already marketed in the US, Canada and Europe. In Japan, Genzyme Japan filed an application in July 1996. KAKEN has obtained the marketing right in Japan. Inclusion in the NHI drug price list is expected at the end of this year.


 In addition to Seprafilm, the KAKEN – Genzyme agreement includes Sepracoat, a liquid formulation marketed in Europe. KAKEN has also obtained an option right for Sepragel, a gel formulation under development in the US and Europe.


1.   Information on adhesion
 Adhesion often occurs after surgery due to scarring of internal tissues. Organs and adjacent tissues, which are normally separate, adhere. Adhesion makes subsequent surgery difficult and is sometimes life-threatening. Adhesion often causes serious complications, such as intestinal adhesion, infertility in women and chronic pain.


2.   Information on Sepra products

Seprafilm :
 This product is used to create a temporary physical barrier between organs and adjacent tissues in the abdominal cavity during laparotomy.
 The anti-adhesion material developed by Genzyme is a bioabsorbable membrane made of polysaccharide derivatives. It is applied to operation sites to prevent adhesion by physically insulating organs.
 Seprafilm is excreted within one month after application.
Application :
prevention of organ adhesion after laparotomy
Sepracoat :
 This product is designed to protect tissues from secondary injury due to drying and contact with operative devices and instruments during surgery.
Sepragel :
 This product is applied to tissues manipulated under a laparoscope to which Seprafilm cannot be applied during laparotomy.


3.   Information on Genzyme
 Genzyme is a biotechnology and healthcare products company which places top priority on the development of unique orphan drugs and services. It has subsidiaries and offices around the world and about 3,400 employees.
 It is engaged in the development and marketing of genetic diagnosis services, diagnostic reagents, surgical products and special therapeutic products. It reported sales of US $384 million in 1995 and expects sales of US $519 million in 1996.


Name :
Genzyme Corporation
Head office :
Cambridge, Massachusetts
President and CEO :
Henri A. Tarmeer


4.   Information on Genzyme Japan K.K.
Genzyme Corporation’s 100%-owned subsidiary in Japan. It has about 20 employees and is marketing Ceredase, a drug for Gaucher’s disease.


Name :
Genzyme Japan K.K.
Head office :
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
President :
Takanari Yamada

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