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UCB Pharma enters European licensing agreement with Watson

Brussels, Belgium, September 24, 2003 - UCB Pharma, one of Europe's leading pharmaceutical companies, announced today that it has entered into a licensing agreement, with a subsidiary of Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Corona, California, to market Watson's novel oxybutynin transdermal patch for the treatment of urinary urge incontinence (overactive bladder) in Europe. Watson's product, which received FDA approval in February this year, is currently marketed in the United States as OXYTROL™. It is the first and only transdermal therapy to be available for urinary urge incontinence, a common and distressing complaint.

Under the terms of the agreement, UCB Pharma, will make milestone payments upon the occurrence of certain events and royalty payments based on sales. Watson will manufacture and supply the oxybutynin transdermal patches.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Watson to make this novel treatment available in Europe," said François Meurgey, UCB Pharma Global Marketing Director. "UCB has a very strong reputation in specialty pharma; one of the key factors in agreeing this partnership with Watson is UCB Pharma's sales presence throughout Europe combined with its thorough knowledge of the region and of both the primary and secondary care markets."

The combination of UCB's strong presence in Europe and Watson's expertise in novel drug delivery for the treatment of a condition from which up to 20 million Europeans suffer, offers a unique opportunity for a fruitful agreement.

The European Marketing Authorisation Application has been filed in March 2003 by Watson as part of the qualified European centralised procedure with the European Medicines Control Agency (EMEA).

 

Notes to Editors:

 

About the oxybutynin transdermal patch
Watson's oxybutynin transdermal patch is a thin, flexible and clear patch which is applied to the abdomen, hip or buttock twice weekly. The active ingredient, oxybutynin, is delivered through sustained release at the rate of 3.9 milligrams per day through the skin, direct into the bloodstream, bypassing initial metabolism of the liver and the gastrointestinal tract that occurs with oral medication, and providing relief from symptoms of up to four days per patch. Data shows that the oxybutynin transdermal patch is well tolerated, with a low incidence of anticholinergic side effects, including dizziness, dry mouth and constipation1.

About UCB Pharma
One of Europe's leading pharmaceutical companies, UCB Pharma is active in all the world's major markets, specialising in the fields of allergy and respiratory diseases and in treatments for disorders of the central nervous system. Among products developed by UCB Pharma are ZYRTEC®, (cetirizine) the world's most widely used second generation antihistamine, and KEPPRA® a novel adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial onset seizures associated with epilepsy. As a specialty pharmaceutical company, UCB Pharma has a commitment to research and development. With global headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, UCB Pharma achieved a consolidated turnover of 1,476 million euros in 2002. It employs approximately 6,500 people and operates in more than 100 countries. For further information about UCB Pharma please contact www.ucb-group.com and www.ucbpharma.com

About Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., headquartered in Corona, California, is a leading specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets and distributes branded and generic pharmaceutical products. Watson pursues a growth strategy combining internal product development, strategic alliances and collaborations and synergistic acquisitions of products and businesses. For further information about Watson Pharmaceuticals contact www.watsonpharm.com

Reference
1. Dmochowski, R. et al. Efficacy and Safety of Transdermal Oxybutynin in Patients with Urge and Mixed Urinary Incontinence. Journal of Urology, 2002;168:583-584

Note
ZYRTEC and KEPPRA are registered trademarks of UCB SA, and OXYTROL is a registered trademark of Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc.


Contact

Business media and investor relations enquiries
Arnaud Denis
Tel : +32-(0)2-559.92.64 
E-mail : arnaud.denis@ucb-group.com

Medical enquiries
Margaret Morgan
Tel : +32-(0)2-559.93.42
margaret.morgan@ucb-group.com


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