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UCB (0GD8)

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Friday 20 February, 2009


UCB to divest Equasym�®

  * Shire to acquire product rights and staff for Equasym® IR and
    Equasym® XL
  * UCB to receive up-front payment of EUR 55 million
  * UCB continues to focus on its core areas, as outlined in the
    SHAPE programme

Brussels (Belgium), February 20, 2009 at 8 am CET - press release,
regulated information - UCB has agreed the sale of Equasym® IR and
Equasym® XL (methylphenidate HCl) for the treatment of attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to Shire, a specialty
biopharmaceutical company.

With the exception of the U.S., Canada and Barbados, world-wide
product rights and relevant staff for Equasym® IR/XL are being
acquired by Shire. UCB will receive an up-front payment totalling EUR
55 million and additional undisclosed milestone payments if Shire
meets certain pre-defined sales targets. Equasym® IR/XL sales in 2008
were approximately EUR 17 million.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter 2009 and
is subject to standard closing conditions. In the U.S., UCB will
continue to market Metadate® CD (methylphenidate HCl) extended
release tablet for the treatment of ADHD. Further details of the
transaction are not disclosed.

"ADHD is a behavioural disorder mainly treated by paediatric
psychiatrists and paediatricians. With this agreement, UCB further
underlines its SHAPE programme and focuses its CNS franchise on our
core products bringing new innovative medicines to people living with
severe neurological conditions," said Troy Cox, President CNS
Operations UCB.

Notes to the Editor: About "SHAPE"
In August 2008, UCB launched "SHAPE", a major global project designed
to drive its transformation into a specialist company focused on the
therapy areas of the central nervous system (CNS) and immunology
while strengthening its presence in core strategic markets, including
the U.S., Europe, Japan, major emerging and international markets.

With SHAPE, the company increases its focus on core assets,
re-deploys its resources, advances research and development, and
simplifies its organization, while bringing new medicines to
patients.  In early January 2009, UCB announced a strategic alliance
with the German oncology specialist Wilex to develop UCB's
preclinical oncology portfolio. Later in January this year, UCB
announced the divestiture of smaller selected markets to GSK for a
cash consideration of EUR 515 million. Consistent with the principles
of the SHAPE strategy this enables UCB to further focus on its core
areas. With the ongoing execution of the SHAPE strategy UCB confirms
its 2009 financial guidance of a recurring EBITDA* of at least EUR
650 million.

UCB is actively pursuing its transformation into a leading
biopharmaceutical company by continuing to invest in its late stage
pipeline and innovative breakthrough research, while preparing
launches of several new products in its core areas of CNS and
immunology. With the recent approvals of Cimzia® for Crohn's disease
in the U.S. and of Vimpat® for epilepsy in Europe and in the U.S.,
UCB has reached the right point in time to transform into a
specialist company.

*(Earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation)

About ADHD
ADHD is a common neurobehavioural disorder. Symptoms of ADHD may
include chronic history of short attention span, distractability,
emotional lability, impulsivity and moderate to severe hyperactivity.
Learning may or may not be impaired.

About Equasym®
Equasym® is indicated as part of a comprehensive treatment programme
for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children over
six years of age when remedial measures alone prove insufficient.

Important safety information about Equasym® in Europe
Equasym® is contraindicated in patients known to be hypersensitive to
methylphenidate or to any of its excipients and in patients with:
marked anxiety, agitation or tension, glaucoma, hyperthyroidism,
thyrotoxicosis, severe angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, severe
hypertension, heart failure, myocardial infarction, severe
depression, psychotic symptoms, psychopathological personality
structure, history of aggression or suicidal tendency, known drug
dependence or alcoholism, diagnosis of motor tics, tics in siblings,
or a family history or diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome.   Equasym®
is contraindicated during pregnancy. Equasym® is contraindicated in
concomitant use or use within two weeks following discontinuation of
non-selective, irreversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors. The most
commonly reported adverse events in pivotal studies were insomnia and
nervousness. Other common adverse events included decreased appetite,
reduced weight gain during prolonged use in children, headache,
drowsiness, dizziness, dyskinesia, hyperactivity, abnormal behaviour,
aggression, agitation, anorexia, anxiety, depression, irritability,
arrhythmia, palpitations, tachycardia, abdominal pain, nausea,
vomiting, dry mouth, changes in blood pressure and heart rate
(usually an increase), arthralgia, alopecia, pruritus, rash and

About UCB
UCB, Brussels, Belgium ( is a global biopharmaceutical
company dedicated to the research, development and commercialisation
of innovative medicines focused on central nervous system and
immunology disorders. Employing more than 10 000 people in over 40
countries, UCB aims to reach revenues of at least EUR 3.3 billion in
2008. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).

Further information
Antje Witte, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, UCB
T +32.2.559.9414,

Richard Simpson, Investor Relations, UCB
T +32.2.559.9494,

Forward looking statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on
current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. Such statements
are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results
to be materially different from those that may be implied by such
forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important
factors that could result in such differences include: changes in
general economic, business and competitive conditions, effects of
future judicial decisions, changes in regulation, exchange rate
fluctuations and hiring and retention of employees.

For the pdf version of this press release, please click on the link

This announcement was originally distributed by Hugin. The issuer is 
solely responsible for the content of this announcement.