UBE Industries Collaborates with DSM on Chiral Technology

April 18, 2005

TOKYO, April 18, 2005__ Ube Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has obtained the usage rights for two homogeneous catalysts in chiral technology ("MonoPhos" and "Shi Epoxidation Catalyst") from the Dutch company DSM N.V. Ube Industries has agreed to work toward their implementation in Japan, including technical evaluations.

1. Basic technology

"MonoPhos" has been jointly developed by Professor Ben Feringa (Netherlands) and his research group at Groningen University and DSM. It is an asymmetric hydrogenation catalyst with a new type of ligand characterized by its stability against both air and humidity as well as its ease of manufacture.

Moreover, the optical yield of asymmetric reductions is extremely high, and "MonoPhos" also has exceptional yield of 100% and e.e. of basically 100%. At DSM, this technology has already been integrated into the manufacturing process for new drugs and developed for multiple users. The company has now set up a pilot plant and started to implement it on a factory scale.

[The chemical formula of MonoPhos]

[The chemical formula of MonoPhos]

The other technology, the "Shi Epoxidation Catalyst," has been developed by Professor Yian Shi at Colorado State University. DSM has obtained the exclusive usage rights for this catalyst of asymmetric olefin epoxidation, the first organic catalysts of its kind for asymmetric olefin epoxidation. It is highly enantioselective in particular for epoxidatio of 2-, 3- substituted olefins and enol ethers.

2. Significance of the adoption of this technology by UBE Industries and potential business developments

UBE Industries possesses facilities meeting cGMP and boasting high process developmental capacity. Relying on catechol precursors and complex compound synthetic technologies, manufacturing processes for new drugs from the developmental stage have been commissioned on a contract basis by pharmaceutical companies from Japan and abroad.

Also, in the field of chiral technology the company possesses enzymatic methods for asymmetric amino acid synthesis. Through the implementation of these technologies, UBE Industries provides pharmaceutical companies in Japan and abroad with intermediates for new drugs.

By adopting the two homogeneous catalysts, UBE Industries has indicated its intention to actively accept contracted work in fields in which it previously has been difficult to obtain consignments, such as asymmetric hydrolysis or asymmetric epoxidation for the manufacture of new drugs. Several projects are expected to be commissioned within this year that will require application of this technology.

3. Significance of this technology export for DSM

For DSM, the deployment of this technology in Japan had been inadequate to date, but its implementation at UBE Industries will permit faster, broader-based development by meeting the requirements of Japanese pharmaceutical makers.

4. Overview over the pharmaceutical business of Ube Industries

UBE Industries is expanding in the field of fine chemicals and working to gain an edge over its competition through advanced technologies. Since the early 1990s, it has gained the trust of clients and started to specialize through provision of cGMP compatible facilities and software in commissioned work relating to base materials and intermediate substances for drug manufacture. In 2001, the company established a new pharmaceutical business unit dedicated to commissioned manufacture of pharmaceuticals.

Many trustee manufacturers in Japan and abroad start out with the production of generic bulk drugs. Currently, the pharmaceutical business unit of Ube Industries is different, characterized instead by its specialization in the commissioned manufacture of new drugs.

5. Overview of DSM's pharmaceuticals related business

DSM is one of the world's leading specialty chemical manufacturers, active in the four categories of life science, nutritional products, performance products and industrial chemicals. Among these, the company's life science business is divided into drugs, foods, and food additives sections, and in 2004 achieved a sales volume of approximately 2 billion euro (about 280 billion yen).

The custom synthesis of pharmaceutical products and intermediates is conducted by DSM Pharmaceutical Products and constitutes approximately 25% of the entire sales volume of the life science product category.

DSM's Pharmaceutical Products division, in addition to pharmaceutical products and intermediates, is also engaged in the commissioned manufacture of antibodies and biomedical products. It also deals with all business aspects of the commissioned medical products. The company is one of the world leaders in the custom synthesis of pharmaceuticals.


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