BELLUS Health announces closing of the acquisition of Thallion Pharmaceuticals

- PIPELINE NOW FEATURES TWO CLINICAL-STAGE RARE DISEASE DRUG CANDIDATES -

LAVAL, QC, Aug. 15, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - BELLUS Health Inc. ("BELLUS Health") (TSX: BLU) today announced the consummation of the previously announced arrangement pursuant to which BELLUS Health has acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Thallion") (TSX-V: TLN) for a purchase price of $6.266 million or $0.1889 per common share, and the issuance of one contingent value right per common share.

"The addition of Thallion's lead clinical stage drug candidate Shigamabs™ advances BELLUS Health's vision of being a developer of treatments targeting rare diseases" said Roberto Bellini, President and Chief Executive Officer of BELLUS Health. "We now have two clinical-stage programs targeting orphan diseases, including KIACTA™ in Phase III for AA amyloidosis and Shigamabs™ for Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome ("HUS"), two potentially deadly renal indications with no current specific treatments."

The transaction strengthens BELLUS Health's pipeline by adding a clinical stage drug candidate in a rare renal indication. Shigamabs™, a monoclonal antibody therapy, is being developed for the treatment of HUS related to Shiga toxin-producing E. coli ("STEC") bacterial infections. HUS principally affects the kidneys and often leads to acute dialysis, and in certain cases chronic kidney disease and death, primarily in children. BELLUS Health's lead program is KIACTA™, a drug candidate currently in a Phase III Confirmatory Study for the treatment of AA amyloidosis, a rare disease resulting in kidney dysfunction that often rapidly leads to dialysis and death. AA amyloidosis affects approximately 35,000 to 50,000 individuals in the United States, Europe and Japan.

The transaction also strengthens BELLUS Health's cash position by more than $1.1 million. The company's cash position on June 30th 2013, pro forma to the Thallion transaction, is $16.8 million, enabling the Company to be fully funded into 2018.

About BELLUS Health (www.bellushealth.com)

BELLUS Health is developing drugs for rare diseases with a particular focus on renal disorders. The Company's lead program is KIACTA™, a novel drug candidate currently in a Phase III Confirmatory Study for the treatment of AA amyloidosis, an orphan indication resulting in renal dysfunction that often rapidly leads to dialysis and death. KIACTA™ is partnered with global private equity firm Auven Therapeutics.

About Thallion (www.thallion.com)

Thallion is a biotechnology company developing pharmaceutical products in the areas of infectious disease and oncology. Thallion's lead clinical program Shigamabs™ is a dual antibody product for the treatment of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli ("STEC") bacterial infections and has recently completed a Phase II clinical trial. Additional information about Thallion can be obtained at www.thallion.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this news release, other than statements of fact that are independently verifiable at the date hereof, may constitute forward-looking statements.  Such statements, based as they are on the current expectations of management, inherently involve numerous risks and uncertainties, known and unknown, many of which are beyond BELLUS Health's control. Such risks include but are not limited to: the ability to obtain financing, the impact of general economic conditions, general conditions in the pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical industry, changes in the regulatory environment in the jurisdictions in which the BELLUS Health does business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in costs, and changes to the competitive environment due to consolidation, achievement of forecasted burn rate, achievement of forecasted clinical trial milestones, and that actual results may vary once the final and quality-controlled verification of data and analyses has been completed. The length of KIACTATM Phase III Confirmatory Study is dependent upon many factors including clinical sites activation, patient enrolment rate, patient drop-out rate and occurrence of clinical endpoint events. Consequently, actual future results may differ materially from the anticipated results expressed in the forward-looking statements. The reader should not place undue reliance, if any, on any forward-looking statements included in this news release. These statements speak only as of the date made and BELLUS Health is under no obligation and disavows any intention to update or revise such statements as a result of any event, circumstances or otherwise, unless required by applicable legislation or regulation. Please see BELLUS Health's public fillings including the Annual Information Form of BELLUS Health for further risk factors that might affect BELLUS Health and its business.

SOURCE BELLUS HEALTH INC.

For further information:

Adam Peeler
TMX Equicom
Phone: 416-815-0700 ext. 225
Email: apeeler@tmxequicom.com