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01.08.2007 – 08:33

N.V. Organon

Eslax(R) (Rocuronium Bromide) Approved in Japan

Oss, The Netherlands (ots/PRNewswire)

Organon, the human
healthcare business unit of Akzo Nobel (Euronext Amsterdam: AKZ),
today announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and
Welfare (MHLW) has approved rocuronium bromide, its neuromuscular
blocking agent (NMBA) for use during general anesthesia, under the
brand name Eslax(R). This drug has a fast onset of action and is one
of the most widely used muscle relaxants in the United States, Canada
and many European countries (marketed under the brand names
Zemuron(R)/Esmeron(R)).
Rocuronium bromide was first introduced in the USA in 1994, and
quickly became one of the most commonly used muscle relaxants in many
countries. It has a proven safety profile and has been used in over
140 million patients, including an estimated 20 million patients in
2006.
Nippon Organon, Organon's Japanese affiliate, is preparing to
introduce the drug in the course of this year. This will be the next
innovation by Organon in a long line for the Japanese anesthesia
market following on the introduction of Mioblock(R) (pancuronium
bromide), Musculax(R) (vecuronium bromide) and TOF-Watch(R).
Welcoming the introduction of this important new agent, Professor
Takeda, department of Anesthesiology, Keio University, Japan
commented: "The introduction will undoubtedly contribute to greater
patient safety during surgery in Japan. This agent's rapid onset of
action allows almost all patients to be intubated within
approximately one minute of its administration. Additionally, it will
come in a ready-to-use solution and no active metabolites with the
drug have been shown in clinical trials to date which further
contributes to safety and ease of continuous infusion. Japanese
anesthesiologists will certainly welcome this important new drug to
their armamentarium as it will provide rapid and reliable
neuromuscular relaxation."
"We work to be a well respected partner for the anesthesiology
professionals in Japan and I am pleased we will bring them a new drug
that has already earned a strong position around the rest of the
world," added Willem de Laat, executive vice president Medical
Affairs, Organon, "In our commitment to the anesthesia field we will
continue to work in close partnership with the Japanese
anesthesiology professionals to develop innovative and safe solutions
that assist them in caring for their patients."
Background information
NMBAs (muscle relaxants), including rocuronium bromide
(Eslax(R)/Esmeron( R)/ Zemuron(R)), are administered during surgery
to facilitate safe and rapid endotracheal intubation (placing a tube
in the windpipe to facilitate artificial ventilation) and provide
total skeletal muscle relaxation. Although not all surgeries require
the use of muscle relaxants, they are often used when the surgeon
requires the patient's muscles to be relaxed during the procedure.
When the procedure is completed, the NMBA needs to either wear off
spontaneously (which can take some time) or be actively reversed so
that the patients can breathe spontaneously as they are awakened and
the endotracheal tube is removed.
About Organon
Organon creates, manufactures and markets innovative prescription
medicines that improve the health and quality of human life. Through
a combination of innovation and business partnerships, Organon seeks
to leverage its position as a leading biopharmaceutical company in
each of its core therapeutic fields: fertility, gynecology and
selected areas of anesthesia. It has extensive expertise in
neuroscience and a rich and focused R&D program. Research areas also
include immunology and specific areas of oncology. Organon products
are distributed in over 100 countries worldwide, of which more than
50 have an Organon subsidiary. Organon is the human healthcare
business unit of Akzo Nobel.
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This press release may contain statements which address such key
issues as growth strategy, future financial results, market
positions, product development, pharmaceutical products in the
pipeline, and product approvals of Organon. Such statements should be
carefully considered, and it should be understood that many factors
could cause forecasted and actual results to differ from these
statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, price
fluctuations, currency fluctuations, progress of drug development,
clinical testing and regulatory approval, developments in raw
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risks, legal issues, and legislative, fiscal, and other regulatory
measures. Stated competitive positions are based on management
estimates supported by information provided by specialized external
agencies. For a more comprehensive discussion of the risk factors
affecting our business please see our Annual Report on Form 20-F
filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, a
copy of which can be found on the company's corporate website
http://www.akzonobel.com.
(x) Pursuant to the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
1995.
http://www.organon.com

Contact:

For more information: Elina Daamen, Media Relations, +31-412-663685,
elina.daamen@organon.com