Healthcare Industry News:  aripiprazole 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - February 12, 2009

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. Announces the Appointment of Mark Altmeyer as President and Chief Executive Officer

Altmeyer brings extensive experience in neuroscience and oncology to OAPI, further strengthening the company's growth in these therapeutic categories

ROCKVILLE, Md. and PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 12 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI), a fast-growing health care company that commercializes Otsuka-discovered and other product opportunities in North America, has announced the appointment of Mark Altmeyer as President and Chief Executive Officer. Altmeyer succeeds Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of OAPI, Dean R. Haubrich, who has been leading the company since August 1, 2008 and has been named Chairman of the OAPI Board.

Altmeyer joins Otsuka from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS), where he spent 16 years successfully promoting and developing neuroscience, oncology, and metabolic/cardiovascular brands. Altmeyer held a number of executive leadership roles at BMS, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Global Commercialization for oncology. During his tenure at BMS, Altmeyer led the Neuroscience business unit during the approval and launch of the atypical antipsychotic ABILIFY® (aripiprazole)*, which the company co-developed and co-promotes with Otsuka. Earlier in his career, he led the Glucophage® (metformin hydrochloride) business, worked internationally as General Manager of Turkey, and served as Area Vice President for the Cardiovascular Sales team.

"Mark Altmeyer brings a wealth of experience in pharmaceutical sales and marketing to Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., including intimate involvement in the development of a robust lifecycle plan for ABILIFY, and experience leading large teams in neuroscience and oncology -- therapeutic areas that are a major focus for Otsuka," said Dean Haubrich, Ph.D., Chairman, OAPI Board of Directors. "As Otsuka continues to develop strong people, products, and partnerships, I am confident that Mark's leadership will help propel the global Otsuka organization to become a top tier global pharmaceutical company."

In his role as President and CEO of OAPI, Altmeyer will oversee all aspects of the company's operations. Altmeyer's appointment became effective on January 5, 2009, and he will operate out of OAPI's offices in both Rockville, Md., and Princeton, N.J.

"Having worked closely with Otsuka during the past decade, I understand the company's deep commitment to providing the health care community with innovative products, and I am honored to have the chance to lead this dynamic organization at such a significant time in the company's history," said Altmeyer. "Working with our sister companies in the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Group, I look forward to the opportunity to achieve our companies' mission of developing new products for better health worldwide."

Altmeyer earned his Bachelors of Arts from Middlebury College in Vermont, and his Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Graduate School of Business. He is on the Board of Directors for Contact of Mercer County and Trinity Counseling Service.

About Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI) is a successful, innovative, fast-growing healthcare company that commercializes Otsuka-discovered and other product opportunities in North America, with a strong focus on and commitment to neuroscience, cardiovascular, oncologic, and gastrointestinal therapeutic treatments. OAPI is dedicated to improving patients' health and the quality of human life. OAPI is part of the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Group, and was established in 1989 by Otsuka America, Inc. (OAI), which is wholly owned by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (OPC). For additional information, please visit

About Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (OPC)

Founded in 1964, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: 'Otsuka -- people creating new products for better health worldwide.' Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and consumer products for the maintenance of everyday health. Otsuka is committed to being a corporation that creates global value, adhering to the high ethical standards required of a company involved in human health and life, maintaining a dynamic corporate culture, and working in harmony with local communities and the natural environment.

The Otsuka Pharmaceutical Group comprises 106 companies and employs approximately 33,000 people in 18 countries and regions worldwide. Otsuka and its consolidated subsidiaries earned 928.4 billion yen (approx. US $9.2 billion) in annual revenues in fiscal 2007. For additional information, please visit


INDICATIONS: ABILIFY is indicated for:

  • Use as an add-on treatment to antidepressants for Major Depressive Disorder in adults
  • Treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder in adults and in pediatric patients 10 to 17 years of age
  • Treatment of Schizophrenia in adults and in adolescents 13 to 17 years of age


Elderly people with psychosis related to dementia (for example, an inability to perform daily activities as a result of increased memory loss), treated with antipsychotic medicines including ABILIFY, are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. ABILIFY is not approved for the treatment of people with dementia-related psychosis (see Boxed WARNING).

Antidepressants may increase suicidal thoughts or behaviors in some children, teenagers, and young adults, especially within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are themselves associated with an increase in the risk of suicide. Patients on antidepressants and their families or caregivers should watch for new or worsening depression symptoms, unusual changes in behavior, or thoughts of suicide. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient's healthcare professional right away, especially if they are severe or occur suddenly. ABILIFY is not approved for use in pediatric patients with depression (see Boxed WARNING).

Contraindication: Patients should not use ABILIFY if they are allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients in ABILIFY. Allergic reactions have ranged from rash, hives and itching to anaphylaxis, which may include difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue.

Serious side effects may include:

  • An increased risk of stroke and ministroke have been reported in clinical studies of elderly people with dementia-related psychosis
  • Very high fever, rigid muscles, shaking, confusion, sweating, or increased heart rate and blood pressure. These may be signs of a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare but serious side effect which could be fatal
  • Abnormal or uncontrollable movements of face, tongue, or other parts of body. These may be signs of a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD), which could become permanent
  • If you have diabetes, or risk factors for diabetes (for example, obesity, family history of diabetes), or unexpected increases in thirst, urination, or hunger, your blood sugar should be monitored. Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), in some cases serious and associated with coma or death, have been reported in patients taking ABILIFY® (aripiprazole) and medicines like it

Lightheadedness or faintness caused by a sudden change in heart rate and blood pressure when rising quickly from a sitting or lying position (orthostatic hypotension) has been reported with ABILIFY.

ABILIFY and medicines like it can affect your judgment, thinking, or motor skills. You should not drive or operate hazardous machinery until you know how ABILIFY affects you.

Medicines like ABILIFY can impact your body's ability to reduce body temperature; you should avoid overheating and dehydration.

ABILIFY and medicines like it have been associated with swallowing problems (dysphagia). If you had or have swallowing problems, you should tell your healthcare professional.

Tell your healthcare professional if you have a history of or are at risk for seizures, or are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, and about all prescription and non-prescription medicines you are taking or plan to take, since there are some risks for drug interactions.

While taking ABILIFY, avoid:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Breast-feeding an infant

Most common side effects (greater than or equal to 10%) from all clinical trials involving adults or pediatric patients include:

  • ADULTS: Nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, dizziness, an inner sense of restlessness or need to move (akathisia), anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness
  • PEDIATRIC PATIENTS (10 to 17 years): Extrapyramidal disorder (for example, uncontrolled movement disorders or muscle disturbances such as restlessness, tremors and muscle stiffness), headache, sleepiness, and nausea

It is important to contact your healthcare professional if you experience prolonged, abnormal muscle spasm or contraction which may be signs of a condition called dystonia.

For patients who must limit their sugar intake, ABILIFY Oral Solution contains sugar.

For patients with phenylketonuria or PKU, ABILIFY DISCMELT (aripiprazole) contains phenylalanine.

If you have any questions about your health or medicines, talk to your healthcare professional.

Please see FULL PRESCRIBING INFORMATION, including Boxed WARNINGS, and Medication Guide at

Source: Otsuka America Pharmaceutical

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
Please address inquiries directly to the issuing company.

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