As part of its strategy to strengthen its presence in Japan, sanofi-aventis announced today that it has agreed with Astellas Pharma Inc. to accelerate the transfer of all rights to rimonabant in Japan from a joint-venture company held by the two groups to sanofi-aventis. The transfer will be implemented by June 2006. Rimonabant has been developed to treat obesity with associated risk factors, and for smoking cessation. In Japan, rimonabant is currently in phase II B clinical trials.
Sanofi-aventis is the worlds 3rd largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number 1 in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic disorders, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE : SNY).
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives and expectations with respect to future events, operations, products and services, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words expect, anticipates, believes, intends, estimates, plans and similar expressions. Although sanofi-aventis management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of sanofi-aventis, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by sanofi-aventis, including those listed under Risk Factors and Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements in sanofi-aventis annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2005. Other than as required by applicable law, sanofi-aventis does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.
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