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MARION MERRELL DOW K.K. INCREASES OWNERSHIP IN KODAMA

 N?SAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Marion Merrell Dow Inc. (NYSE: MKC), a global pharmaceutical company, and Kodama Ltd., a leading Japanese pharmaceutical concern, today jointly announced that Marion Merrell Dow's Japanese subsidiary, Marion Merrell Dow K.K., has increased its ownership in Kodama's shares from 20 percent to approximately 38 percent.
 In making the announcement, the two companies also disclosed plans for Marion Merrell Dow K.K. to increase its ownership in Kodama's shares to more than 50 percent in early 1994. Financial terms were not disclosed. In February 1993, Marion Merrell Dow K.K. acquired approximately 20 percent of Kodama's shares and announced the creation of a business alliance with the Japanese pharmaceutical company in the areas of marketing and new product development.
 "This action allows us to participate in the Japanese market more fully by benefiting from Kodama's long experience in both sales and development," said Michael V. Aylott, Marion Merrell Dow K.K.'s president. "We are confident that the early strengthening of this relationship will lead to even more efficient product development, new products and sales promotion activities."
 Marion Merrell Dow K.K. has more than 900 associates, including 400 medical sales representatives and 130 R&D staff members. Its business bases are located in Tokyo, Osaka and Hirakata. Total sales for 1992 were $216 million.
 Marion Merrell Dow K.K.'s top-selling product is Triludan(R) (terfenadine), a nonsedating antihistamine known as Seldane(R) in the United States. Potential new products under development in Japan by Marion Merrell Dow include its Nicorette(R) and Nicoderm(R) smoking cessation aids; Targocid(R), an antibiotic; Sabril(R), anti-epilepsy medicine; deflazacort, an anti-inflammation drug; and Anzemet(R), for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
 "We are pleased to further this collaboration, which we believe will enhance the sales of current and future products for Kodama and Marion Merrell Dow K.K.," said Tsuneo Yumikura, president of Kodama. "We are confident that our efforts will benefit the medical community and patients we serve in Japan, as well as shareholders and employees of both companies."
 Headquartered in Tokyo, Kodama has more than 580 employees, including 280 medical representatives and 60 R&D staff members. Current Kodama products include Pollakisu (oxybutynin chloride, a treatment for incontinence and urinary frequency which is licensed from Marion Merrell Dow) and more than 20 other products.
 Marion Merrell Dow is a research-based global pharmaceutical organization dedicated to improving the longevity and quality of human life. The company is involved in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products worldwide.
 -0- 12/10/93
 /CONTACT: David M. Thompson or Richard M. Johnson of Marion Merrell Dow, 816-966-4000/
 (MKC)


CO: Marion Merrell Dow Inc.; Kodama Ltd.; Marion Merrell Dow K.K. ST: Missouri IN: MTC SU:

MC -- DV002 -- 2530 12/10/93 10:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 10, 1993
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