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9 September 2004 News Release: Establishment of a Japan-US Joint Venture aRigen is developing WAP-8294A2, an antibiotic for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) together with Catalyst, a US-based CRO (Contract Research Organization). aRigen has filed an IND (Investigational New Drug application) for that agent, and will launch its Phase I on 14 September (Tuesday) in Texas. aRigen has developed a strong relationship with Catalyst for the past three years through joint clinical development processes, and plans to deepen its relationship further to establish a joint venture. On 9 September 2004 aRigen has signed an agreement with Catalyst regarding the joint venture project. This joint venture will be initially 50:50 (US$250,000 each) financed by aRigen and Catalyst. Its headquarters will be located in the USA, which is the center of biotech industry. The target pharmaceutical products will be therapeutic drugs against infections particularly dermatological manifestations of infectious diseases. The joint venture is named as JANUS Pharmaceuticals Inc. to represent Japan (JA) and (N) the United States (US). Coincidentally JANUS (pronounced as jayn’-uhs) is also the name of the Roman god of creativity and good beginnings. Janus’ product development will start with ARYS-01 (antiviral) cream and WAP-8294A2 cream, and exclude WAP-8294A2 injection, which will continue to be developed by aRigen. The establishment of Janus will accelerate these two products’ development speed. In addition, Janus’ profits and capital gain will be shared by aRigen. The most updated information will be available from Janus’ US headquarters.
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