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Nitto Denko Subsidiary Develops Novel Drug Delivery Technology Platform; Higher Drug Efficacy with Less Side Effects Expected.

Osaka, Japan, Feb 13, 2007 - (JCN Newswire) - Japan's leading diversified materials company Nitto Denko Corporation (Nitto Denko) has developed, at its wholly owned United States R&D subsidiary "Nitto Denko Technical Corporation"(NDT), a platform technology for a novel drug delivery system (DDS) using a biodegradable polymer material, the company announced today, adding that the development has been conducted in collaboration with University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

Located in Oceanside, California, NDT is engaged in high-tech research in various fields including biomedical materials. It is a member of Nitto Denko Group comprising Nitto Denko and its 117 subsidiaries in 24 countries around the world.

The technology NDT developed this time together with the Moores Cancer Center of UCSD, takes advantage of a biodegradable and biocompatible polymer material which, when linked to certain therapeutic agents, can greatly enhance the drug's solubility and act as a "carrier" with promising potential to deliver such agents to the target tissue with high efficiency.

While not possessing any therapeutic properties per se, the polymer-based carrier has shown the potential to increase therapeutic efficacy and offer the benefit of reduced side effects when conjugated to existing drugs. In addition, it has the potential to serve as a carrier for a large number of compounds in a range of therapeutic classes, for treating a wide variety of diseases.

Nitto Denko possesses a strong portfolio of transdermal drug delivery technology, including asthma patches as well as patches for ischemic heart disease, with a large share in the Japanese market. Having added to its Medical Division a US company "Aveva Drug Delivery Systems" ( in Florida in 2003, Nitto Denko Group is actively engaged in further expanding the business of manufacturing and selling transdermal drug delivery patches.

The technology developed by NDT is consistent with Nitto Denko's plan to increase their profit-margins by leveraging their expertise in polymer synthesis to increase their business in the lucrative drug delivery industry. Aside from this new technology, NDT has also been engaged in extensive research into biomedical materials applications by leveraging Nitto Denko's polymer synthesis capabilities, to develop a gene delivery reagent based on a biodegradable cationic polymer, as well as a polymeric solid support for oligonucleotide synthesis and biomedical related technologies.

Showing great promise to expand the Group's Medical business, this new technology is expected to become the core of a new technological platform, in addition to the Group's existing transdermal DDS assets, and is being earmarked for further R&D from hereon.

It is envisaged that successful completion of the development of this technology would result in achievement of the following benchmarks:

1) Increased efficacy and reduced side effects of existing drug classes, such as cancer chemotherapy.

The technology utilizes parent company Nitto Denko's polymer synthesis expertise to create a biodegradable, hydrophilic material that can be used in conjugation with traditional therapeutic agents. The use of this polymer material will enable significantly greater solubility of drug compounds, resulting in greatly enhanced ease of administration.

In addition, while most chemicals used as therapeutic agents have extremely small particle sizes, the particles resulting from combining the agents with the NDT carrier have a relatively large particle size of 100 nm. This allows the therapeutic agents to remain in the bloodstream for a longer period of time, resulting in greater efficacy, while at the same time reducing side effects by preventing their migration to normal tissues.

2) Improved therapeutic efficacy of existing drugs that exhibit high toxicity (side-effects) or poor solubility.

To demonstrate the efficacy of the carrier, NDT has performed early-stage testing with one chemotherapy drug in a single cancer model. In animal tests using mice, the new carrier technology exhibited promising tumor growth inhibition characteristics, including a 9-fold increase in concen- tration in plasma and a 17-fold increase in tumor tissue accumulation compared to free drugs.

3) Renewed commitment to promising drugs whose development was halted due to high toxicity or poor solubility.

It is well known that the costs associated with the development of new drugs are extremely high, while in contrast, the chance of successful progress through clinical trials is relatively low. This new technology may have the potential to be conjugated to a wide variety of existing therapeutic compounds. In particular, if linked to promising compounds that have not successfully completed clinical trials, the carrier may offer the potential to increase efficacy and safety as well as offering opportunities for successful new drugs to reach the market. In this way, it is expected that it may contribute to significant reductions in the time and cost associated with bringing new drug candidates through product development.

In light of these promising initial findings, NDT plans to continue further studies to confirm the carrier's broad-based efficacy in combination with a larger number of drugs, in multiple disease models. It his hoped that positive results of these tests will confirm NDT's carrier's potential to deliver improved clinical outcomes compared with free drugs.

In commenting on the progress made by NDT, Dr. Stephen B. Howell , an expert in the development of cancer therapeutics, notes: "The drug delivery system holds great promise for improving the effectiveness of many classes of drugs. The fact that it can direct cancer drugs to the tumor and away from normal tissues is of particular importance, and its ability to enhance drug solubility is expected to result in superior formulations of novel therapeutics."

About Nitto Denko Corporation

Nitto Denko Corporation (TSE: 6988; US: NDEKY) is a company with an unchanging vision: creating new value precisely matched to the evolving needs of customers and the community. The Company was founded in 1918 as Japan's first manufacturer of electrical insulation materials. Capitalizing particularly on our Group strengths in polymer synthesis, application and processing technologies, Nitto Denko has constantly stayed at the leading edge in the development and implementation of an expanding range of advanced technologies that offer customers in countless fields the products they need when they need them. Consisting of 109 companies in 23 countries, the Nitto Denko Group is a continually evolving business organization that strives to enrich the quality of life worldwide through better products and technology.

Source: Nitto Denko Corporation

Kazuhito Kouno
Corporate Communications
Corporate Brand Management Department
Nitto Denko Corporation
Tel: +81-6-6452-2215
Fax: +81-6-6452-3316

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Publication:JCN Newswires
Date:Feb 13, 2007
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