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RHONE-POULENC RORER AND CHUGAI TO CO-DEVELOP, CO-MARKET TAXOTERE(R) FOR JAPAN

 RHONE-POULENC RORER AND CHUGAI TO CO-DEVELOP, CO-MARKET
 TAXOTERE(R) FOR JAPAN
 COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (NYSE: RPR) announced today the signing of an agreement with Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. for the joint development and marketing of Taxotere(R) for the Japanese market.
 Taxotere, a new chemical entity related to taxol, has demonstrated a broad spectrum of in vitro activity and is being developed by RPR in the treatment of a broad range of tumors including ovarian, breast, and lung. It is currently in phase II clinical trials in Europe, and the United States, and will enter phase II trials in Japan in the second half of 1992.
 Taxotere is synthesized from 10-deacetyl baccatin III, a taxol precursor extracted from the leaves of the European yew tree. Because the leaves regenerate quickly, supply is not limited, and even large-scale production of Taxotere will have no negative environmental impact. Taxotere's potential to selectively block proliferation of rapidly dividing cells is high, as it acts by inhibiting tubulin synthesis and formation which is involved in cell division.
 Under the agreement, RPR (through its affiliate RPR Japan) and Chugai will share all aspects of development and will co-market the product for several years.
 "RPR is very pleased to build on our long-standing partnership with Chugai through the development and subsequent marketing of Taxotere, one of the few truly innovative cancer treatments in development today," said Randy H. Thurman, executive vice president, RPR, and president, RPR Pharmaceuticals Inc. "Chugai's proven expertise and leadership in the Japanese oncology market with Picibanil(R), used to treat several cancers, and the recently launched Neutrogin(R), used to treat neutropenia induced by cancer chemotherapy, will be a valuable asset. This strategic partnership will provide an important competitive advantage in expediting the development process in Japan and, therefore, speeding the process of getting this potentially life-saving product onto the market and to the patients who need it."
 Rhone-Poulenc Rorer is a global pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of human pharmaceuticals. The company reported sales of $3.8 billion and invested $445 million in R&D in 1991.
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 /CONTACT: Rhone-Poulenc Rorer media relations, 215-454-3871, or investor relations, 215-454-3851/ CO: Rhone-Poulenc Rorer; Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU: JVN


LJ -- PH005 -- 3610 05/26/92 08:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 26, 1992
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