Angiotech and Symphony Medical Announce Licensing Agreement



    New Clinical Program Under Development to Improve Outcomes of Coronary
    Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) and Cardiac Valve Surgeries

    VANCOUVER, BC and LAGUNA HILLS, CA, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - Angiotech
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:   ANPI, TSX: ANP) and privately held Symphony
Medical, Inc. today announced that they have entered into an exclusive
licensing agreement to employ one of Angiotech's proprietary PEG-based
biomaterials as part of a prophylactic therapy envisioned to mitigate the
onset of post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF) for patients undergoing
coronary artery bypass grafting and cardiac valve surgeries.
    "This agreement is another example of our continuing effort to lessen the
complications and improve the outcomes of patients living with cardiovascular
disease," said Dr. Bill Hunter, President and CEO of Angiotech. "Our
innovative use of cutting edge, site-specific therapy has been central to the
development of coronary and peripheral drug-eluting stents, anti-restenosis
therapy in bypass surgery and hemodialysis access procedures, and more
recently, coronary stem cell therapy and treatments for arrhythmias following
open heart surgery," added Dr. Hunter.
    Symphony Medical has been engaged in the development of non-destructive
biocompatible polymer therapies to treat significant cardiac conditions such
as atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure since 2003. Its lead
program involves the development of a prophylactic injection of biopolymer to
prevent or reduce the incidence of POAF that occur following coronary artery
bypass grafting (CABG) and cardiac valve surgeries. The product under
development is a kit which employs a biopolymer, applicator and specialized
electrical stimulation device. The concept is protected by a number of patents
which are currently pending.
    "We are excited about the opportunity to work with Angiotech's
biomaterial to address a large unmet clinical need in POAF. According to
numerous clinical studies, on average, 40 percent of patients who undergo CABG
and coronary valve surgeries develop atrial fibrillation. Based on the success
of our preclinical animal model, we have already received EU and Institutional
Review Board approval for our 60 patient multi-center 'randomized safety
study' in Germany and expect to begin enrolling patients in the first quarter
of 2008," said Raymond W. Cohen, CEO of Symphony.
    Under the terms of the agreement, Angiotech has been granted an equity
position in Symphony Medical in exchange for the exclusive license of
Angiotech's technology in the field of POAF. In addition, Angiotech will
receive a royalty on end-user product sales should the product receive
regulatory approval and is commercialized.

    About Post-Operative Atrial Fibrillation (AF)(1)

    Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia following open heart surgery
that is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Patients who
develop postoperative atrial fibrillation are more likely to have other
postoperative complications such as peri-operative MI, CHF and respiratory
failure(2). Postoperative atrial fibrillation is associated with longer ICU
and hospital stays and consequently, the economic cost can be considerable(3).

    About Angiotech
    Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and
medical device company with over 1,600 dedicated employees. Angiotech
discovers, develops and markets innovative treatment solutions for diseases or
complications associated with medical device implants, surgical interventions
and acute injury. To find out more about Angiotech (NASDAQ:   ANPI, TSX: ANP),
please visit www.angiotech.com.

    About Symphony Medical

    Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Orange County, California, Symphony
Medical is a privately held, venture-backed company developing proprietary
products to address the unmet clinical needs of millions of patients suffering
from heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias. The Company's products employ
proprietary biocompatible polymers injected directly into specific locations
of the heart during either open chest surgery or via a minimally invasive
procedure. The biopolymers are engineered to achieve clinical benefit by
locally modifying cardiac physiology. To find out more about Symphony Medical,
please visit www.symphonymed.com.

    FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:

    Statements contained in this press release that are not based on
historical fact, including without limitation statements containing the words
"believes," "may," "could", "plans," "will," "estimate," "continue,"
"anticipates," "intends," "expects" and similar expressions, constitute
"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and constitute "forward-looking information"
within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All such statements
are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of applicable securities
legislation. Forward-looking statements may involve, but are not limited to,
comments with respect to our objectives and priorities for 2008 and beyond,
our strategies or future actions, our targets, our estimation of potential
market size, expectations for our financial condition and the results of, or
outlook for, our operations, research development and further product and drug
development. Such forward-looking statements also involve known and unknown
risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results,
events or developments to be materially different from any future results,
events or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking
statements. Such factors are taken into account as part of our assumptions
underlying these forward-looking statements and include, among others, the
following: general economic and business conditions, both nationally and in
the regions in which we operate; technological changes that impact our
existing products or our ability to develop and commercialize future products;
competition; changes in business strategy or development plans; the ability to
attract and retain qualified personnel; existing governmental regulations and
changes in, or the failure to comply with, governmental regulations; adverse
results or unexpected delays in drug discovery and clinical development
processes; failure to obtain patent protection for discoveries; loss of patent
protection resulting from third party challenges to our patents;
commercialization limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third
parties; dependence upon, and relationships with strategic alliance partners
to develop and commercialize products and services based on our work; our
ability to obtain rights to technology from licensors; liability for patent
claims and other claims asserted against us; the requirement for substantial
funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization
activities or consummate acquisitions; the size of the market and the
potential market for our products in specific disease areas, other factors
referenced in our annual information form and other filings with the
applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities or the Securities and
Exchange Commission; and any other factors that may affect performance. In
addition, our business is subject to certain operating risks that may cause
the actual results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in
this report to differ materially from our actual results. These operating
risks include: our ability to successfully complete preclinical and clinical
development of our products; the ability to obtain and enforce timely patent
and other intellectual property protection for our technology and products;
decisions, and the timing of decisions, made by health regulatory agencies
regarding approval of our technology and products; the ability to complete and
maintain corporate alliances relating to the development and commercialization
of our technology and products; market acceptance of our technology and
products; the competitive environment and impact of technological change; and
the continued availability of capital to finance our activities. Given these
uncertainties, assumptions and risk factors, readers are cautioned not to
place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. We disclaim any
obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of
any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this
report to reflect future results, events or developments.


    

    -------------------------
    (1) Description and statistics taken from Canadian Association of Cardiac
    Rehabilitation website found at: http://www.cacr.ca; Paus Jenssen,
    L. Erik, Atrial Fibrillation Following Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting.
    Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation (CACR) newsletter:
    http://www.cacr.ca/news/news_0209.htm
    (2) Almassi GH, Schowalter T, Nicolosi AC, Aggarwal A, Moritz TE,
    Henderson WG, et al. Atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery: a major
    morbid event? Ann Surg 1997;226:501-11.
    (3) Aranski SF, ShawDP, Adams DH, Rizzo RJ, Couper GS, VanderVliet
    M. Predictors of atrial fibrillation after coronary artery surgery.
    Current trends and impact on hospital resources.
    Circulation 1996;94:390-7.
    





For further information:

For further information: Angiotech Contacts: Jodi Regts, Angiotech
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (604) 221-7930, jregts@angio.com; Symphony Medical
Contact: Raymond Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, Symphony Medical, Inc., (949)
348-1188; Deirdre Neary, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (604) 222-7056,
dneary@angio.com

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