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Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. and Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd. Announce the Formation of GlycoMark, a Joint Venture to Develop and Commercialize Novel Biomarkers for Diabetes



7/17/2008 7:37:51 AM

NEW YORK and WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. (New York, NY) and Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) announced today the formation of a new joint venture company, GlycoMark, Inc., dedicated to the discovery and commercialization of novel biomarkers for diabetes. The company is located in New York, NY and the Piedmont Triad Research Park in Winston-Salem, NC.

Toyota Tsusho America, Inc., Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd., and the BioMarker Group (Kannapolis, NC) have worked together as partners to commercialize the GlycoMark(R) diabetes blood test over the past few years prior to establishing the new company. With increasing clinical acceptance and commercial success of the GlycoMark(R) blood test, a solid foundation has now been built to position GlycoMark, Inc. as a leader in the field of diabetes diagnostics.

"The GlycoMark(R) blood test is being increasingly utilized in clinical practice to manage patients with diabetes and in clinical drug studies," said John Buse, MD, PhD, director of the diabetes care center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. "The test is particularly useful in monitoring moderately controlled patients, where GlycoMark may be more dynamic than the gold standard hemoglobin A1C test in reflecting glucose levels, according to some recent studies."

"I am excited about the vision for this new company," said Eric Button, president and co-owner of GlycoMark, Inc. "We have already achieved several key clinical and commercialization milestones for GlycoMark(R) and the success of the test has put us in a strong position to transform testing for diabetes, a near-epidemic in the U.S. and worldwide."

GlycoMark(R) milestones include:

-- FDA approval

-- Establishment in diabetes care through numerous research publications in leading medical journals

-- Featured as a premier diagnostic test by Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. Available at these and other prominent national medical reference laboratories.

-- Highlighted as an American Diabetes Association sponsored symposium at its 2008 annual meeting.

-- Recent study by Eli Lilly of over 2000 patients from eleven countries indicates that GlycoMark(R) reflects glycemia better than the current gold standard, Hemoglobin A1c, in moderately controlled diabetic patients.

-- GlycoMark(R) is best marker for efficacy for blockbuster drugs Byetta (Amylin/Lilly) and Januvia (Merck) in moderately controlled patients.

-- Inclusion in the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Global Diabetes Care Guidelines.

-- Establishment of a scientific advisory board comprised of leading diabetologists worldwide.

The new company will focus initially on the continued commercialization of the GlycoMark(R) laboratory test with partner reference laboratories in the U.S. Preparations are currently underway for introduction of GlycoMark(R) internationally, including the European Union. The new joint venture company is also developing a point-of-care and home-test version of the GlycoMark(R) test.

About GlycoMark Blood Test

GlycoMark(R) is an FDA-approved test for monitoring intermediate glycemic control by measuring the levels of a monosaccharide 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) in blood. Multiple published studies in peer-reviewed journals have shown that the 1,5-AG test is a specific index of postprandial hyperglycemia (elevated after-meal glucose levels) and short-term glycemic control -- providing a useful complement to A1C testing. GlycoMark(R) is being used in clinical practices nationwide and is available at major reference laboratories including Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp, Esoterix, Mayo Medical Laboratories, ARUP Laboratories, and Specialty Laboratories. The test is also available at most major contract research organizations for pharmaceutical research studies.

About Toyota Tsusho America, Inc.

Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. has emerged in the US market as a multi-business entity with expanded capabilities, fresh ideas, and a greatly broadened experience base. Toyota Tsusho America, Inc.'s seven operating divisions (Chemicals, Metals, Machinery & Electronics, Logistics, Automotive, Food, and Consumer Products) pursue a broad range of activities which combine international trading functions with domestic source and supply activities, supply chain and logistics services, and processing and manufacturing functions in both the industrial and consumer sectors.

About Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd.

Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd. is a comprehensive fine chemical manufacturer, which had been established in Japan in 1916 and has continued to expand into a broad range of new fields including explosives, dyes, pharmaceuticals, in-vitro diagnostics, agrochemicals, functional products, catalysts, and automobile safety parts. Our products are distributed worldwide now. Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd. pursues to serve customers in global niche markets with innovative products through a fusion of technology and human resources.

CONTACT: Eric Button, President, GlycoMark, Inc., +1-336-725-8190,
eric_button@glycomark.com

Web site: http://www.glycomark.com/


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