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Eisai Opens GBP100 Million European Headquarters Facility in the UK
- Leading Research-Based Pharmaceutical Company Creates New Manufacturing and Research Jobs in UK

HATFIELD, England, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Eisai, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, today officially opened its new 'European Knowledge Centre' (the EKC) in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

Committed to developing new medicines for patients with conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy, as well as several new treatments for cancer, Eisai has invested over GBP100 million in Hatfield - bringing more than 500 jobs to the area. These include some 250 newly created jobs in research at the company's first ever manufacturing facility in Europe, also based at the EKC. The company's European headquarters, discovery research and clinical development teams are also based on the same site, as are the UK sales and marketing operations.

Speaking at today's opening of the EKC, Ivan Lewis MP, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said: "In choosing to base its new European headquarters in the UK, Eisai has demonstrated its long term commitment to supporting the British economy. It is a very positive move both for the company and for this country. This government has put the pharmaceutical industry at the heart of its economic agenda, and we are delighted to see this level of investment being made by Eisai. It is a real sign of confidence in the direction the UK and European economies are taking."

President and CEO of Eisai Co., Ltd., Mr Haruo Naito CBE, said: "Eisai believe that integrating all company functions on a single site will both encourage the creation of knowledge and improvements in our quality, efficiency and productivity. This in turn contributes towards achieving our corporate mission of human health care (hhc), that is, to help to improve the lives of patients and their families by developing innovative medicines as quickly as possible.

"This is an exciting day for the company. The newly opened European Knowledge Centre will not only act as a hub for managing our current business across Europe but it will play an important role in supporting our operations in driving further growth for Eisai in Europe, one of our key investment markets."

The Japanese ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Shin Ebihara, said: "Our two countries enjoy a warm, forward-looking relationship. The opening of Eisai's splendid new European Knowledge Centre will add a new page to the long history and excellent economic relationship between the UK and Japan through scientific cooperation and employment creation. Medical and pharmaceutical advances by the industry are beneficial to both countries. I hope these can be extended on such a scale so that our combined experience and knowledge can be shared globally."

Sir Terry Pratchett, the best-selling author who suffers from early stage Alzheimer's disease, speaking at today's opening said: "Since I was diagnosed with this disease I have always said that my goal is to stay alive and working as long as possible. I realise that I am far more fortunate than many sufferers, not least in the unusual variant of the disease that I have. I know the next two decades will see a tsunami of Alzheimer's sufferers, all desperately hoping for a treatment which will allow them to live more easily with the condition. We need to speed up research and, incidentally, the speed in which successful discoveries get to patients. Alzheimer's research started late compared to many other diseases and the wave is already breaking. I welcome the opening of the new research facility at the EKC as another step towards making these goals a reality for me and many hundreds of thousands of others around the world. I hope everyone employed in it works overtime!"

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