Abbott Laboratories Signs Agreement for Broad-Spectrum

Abbott Laboratories announced today that it has secured rights to market cefditoren pivoxil (cefditoren), a potent, broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic. The agreement with Meiji Seika of Japan gives Abbott co-marketing rights in Europe and exclusive rights to manufacture and market cefditoren throughout Latin America. The companies have also signed a binding letter of intent that will allow Abbott to market cefditoren throughout the Pacific/Asia region, with the exception of Japan and Korea, following a definitive agreement. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Discovered and developed by Meiji Seika, and marketed in Japan since 1994, cefditoren is an advanced generation oral cephalosporin that has a broad spectrum of activity against gram positive and gram negative pathogens. Cefditoren is currently in phase 3 clinical studies in the United States and Europe, where it is being developed as a first-line agent for respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia. A major threat to the treatment of infectious disease is bacterial resistance to certain antibiotics, such as penicillin. A 1992-93 surveillance study in Western Europe and the United States has shown that Streptococcus pneumoniae -- the most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia -- has overall resistance to penicillin of 23 percent, with some countries demonstrating resistance above 50 percent. Cefditoren has demonstrated in vitro efficacy against penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae. The product in vitro has been shown to be one of the more potent cephalosporins developed to date against common respiratory pathogens. "Cefditoren complements Abbott's existing strength in the anti-infectives arena by offering to general practitioners and pediatricians a treatment that addresses penicillin resistance and provides a high degree of safety and effectiveness for community-acquired respiratory infections," said Josef Wendler, senior vice president, international operations, Abbott Laboratories. Abbott's leadership in anti-infectives dates back to the introduction in the 1950s of erythromycin, an antibiotic still widely used today. In 1990, the company launched clarithromycin (trade names Klacid(R), Klaricid(R) and Biaxin(R)), a broad- spectrum antibiotic that is Abbott's most successful pharmaceutical product. In 1998, global sales of clarithromycin exceeded $1.25 billion. According to IMS Health, the total 1997 worldwide antibiotic market was estimated at $21.6 billion, with the total oral cephalosporin market estimated at $3.8 billion. In the United States, cefditoren is licensed by TAP Pharmaceuticals Inc., a joint venture between Abbott Laboratories and Takeda Chemical Industries, Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. Abbott Laboratories is a global, diversified health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical, diagnostic, nutritional and hospital products. The company employs 56,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. In 1998, the company's sales and net earnings were $12.5 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively, with diluted earnings per share of $1.51. Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at ots Original Text Service: Abbott Laboratories Internet: Contact: Laureen Cassidy of Abbott Laboratories, 847-938-7743 Company News On-Call: or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 110328 Web site:

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