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MBI ANNOUNCES ALBUNEX(R) APPROVAL IN JAPAN

 SAN DIEGO, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Molecular Biosystems Inc. (NYSE: MB) (MBI) today announced that Albunex(R), MBI's contrast imaging agent for use with ultrasound, has been approved for marketing in Japan. The Central Pharmaceutical Affairs Council of the Koseisho, Japan's Ministry of Health and Welfare, approved the new drug application for Albunex(R) filed by Shionogi & Co. Ltd., MBI's licensee for Albunex(R).
 This approval enables Shionogi to market Albunex(R) commercially in Japan. Shionogi plans to launch the product after the establishment of a National Health Insurance (NHI) price by the Chuikyo, the Central Social Insurance Medical Council in Japan. Prices for ethical drugs marketed in Japan are determined by NHI rates. Shionogi has filed a price application for Albunex(R) with the Chuikyo and expects to be notified of the official pricing within 60 days after the approval. MBI will ship product to Shionogi in Japan pending the receipt of an export license from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for which an application has been filed.
 Under MBI's agreement with Shionogi, MBI will receive a $5 million milestone payment within 30 days of the approval. MBI will manufacture Albunex(R), and Shionogi will market and distribute the product. Shionogi is Japan's fifth largest pharmaceutical company, with the largest sales and distribution network in that country.
 "We are extremely pleased with this first approval to market Albunex(R) and that Shionogi will soon begin marketing Albunex(R) in one of the world's largest markets," stated Kenneth J. Widder, M.D., MBI's chairman and chief executive officer.
 Albunex(R) will be used during echocardiography (ultrasound imaging of the heart) to enhance the identification of precise endocardial borders and to assess ventricular wall motion, both of which are used to measure the efficiency of the main pumping chamber of the heart and to assess damage to the heart. Currently, there are no ultrasound contrast agents commercially available in the United States or Japan. Additional approval applications for Albunex(R) are currently pending in the United States, the United Kingdom, and a few other European countries.
 Molecular Biosystems Inc., based in San Diego, is a leader in the development of contrast agents for medical imaging, including ultrasound, MRI, and CT. Once approved, its flagship product, Albunex(R), will be marketed and distributed worldwide by MBI's partners, including Mallinckrodt Medical Inc. (IMCERA Group NYSE: IMA) in the United States, Shionogi & Co. Ltd. in Japan, and Hafslund Nycomed AS (NYSE: HN) in Europe.
 -0- 10/4/93
 /CONTACT: Sherry L. Mesman, VP-Finance and CFO, Molecular Biosystems, 619-452-0681, ext. 2212/
 (MB)


CO: Molecular Biosystems Inc.; Shionogi & Co. Ltd. ST: California IN: MTC SU: PDT

JB-LS -- SD004 -- 8396 10/04/93 13:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 4, 1993
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