Debiopharm signs Canadian partner for SANVAR(R)



    LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Feb. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Debiopharm Group
(Debiopharm), a global independent biopharmaceutical development specialist in
oncology and serious medical conditions, announces the signature of a License
and Supply Agreement with Medical Futures Inc., a Canadian based
Gastroenterology focused speciality pharmaceutical company, for the Canadian
distribution rights to SANVAR(R) IR (SANVAR(R)), an immediate release
formulation. The product, developed by Debiopharm for the treatment of acute
esophageal variceal bleeding (EVB), is currently under review for approval by
the Canadian Health Authorities. In addition to purchasing the product
directly from Debiopharm, Medical Futures Inc. is responsible for upfront and
milestone payments.
    "Medical Futures Inc. is excited about partnering with Debiopharm for
SANVAR(R)," says Dr. Par Nijhawan, Chief Medical Officer of Medical Futures
Inc., who believes that SANVAR(R) will help improve the options available for
life threatening variceal bleeds.
    "Medical Futures has created a therapeutic focus and a strong product
offering for the gastroenterology market in Canada," says Dr. Loic Maurel,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Debiovision Inc., the Debiopharm
Affiliate in Canada. "With SANVAR(R) in their capable hands, we are confident
of its success in an important market for us."
    Debiopharm has already signed various sales and marketing agreements for
SANVAR(R), namely with Salix pharmaceuticals in the US; Ranbaxy Laboratories
Ltd in the Indian territories; EMS Sigma Farma in Brazil; Tzamal Bio-Pharma
Ltd in Israel; and LG Life Sciences in Korea.

    About SANVAR(R)

    SANVAR(R) (vapreotide acetate) is a synthetic octapeptide analogue of the
naturally-occurring somatostatin hormone. It has similar pharmacological
properties to native somatostatin but exhibits a longer duration of action. It
is the only somatostatin analogue to have demonstrated statistically
significant benefits in the early treatment of EVB in association with
endoscopic therapy in a placebo-controlled clinical study (Calès et al. New
England Journal of Medicine, 2001). Control of bleeding with survival at
5 days was achieved significantly (p=0.021) more often with SANVAR(R) than
with placebo. In patients with clinically significant bleeding, Sanvar
significantly reduced the number of deaths at day 15 (p=0.02) and 42
(p=0.002). Additional Phase III trials have been completed in Europe in this
indication. SANVAR(R) can be stored at room temperature, an advantage over
other products requiring refrigeration, allowing immediate administration, a
key benefit in a life-threatening situation. It has been granted orphan drug
status in the US, where EVB affects fewer than 200,000 patients per year, and
received an approvable letter from the FDA.

    About Debiopharm Group

    Debiopharm Group is a global biopharmaceutical development specialist
that in-licenses promising biologics and small molecule drug candidates.
Debiopharm develops its products for global registration and maximum
commercial potential for out-licensing to pharmaceutical partners for sales
and marketing.
    Debiopharm independently funds the worldwide development of all of its
products while providing expertise in pre-clinical and clinical trials,
manufacturing, drug delivery and formulation, and regulatory affairs.
    Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Debiopharm
has developed three products with global combined sales in excess of
$2.6 billion in 2006.
    For more information on Debiopharm Group, please visit:
www.debiopharm.com

    About Medical Futures Inc.

    Medical Futures Inc is a niche pharmaceutical company that distributes
both pharmaceutical and natural therapeutic products into the gastrointestinal
marketplace.
    Founded in 2000, this privately held company is dedicated to advancing
the quality of life for all Canadians with a mission to increase and enhance
patient treatment options for the health care professionals.
    Medical Futures Inc. has successful track records of bringing new drugs
to address the unmet needs of the Canadian market with the objective to
improve quality of life.




For further information:

For further information: Debiopharm: Loic Maurel, President & CEO,
Debiovision Inc., (514) 842-9976, Fax: (514) 842-5430, lmaurel@debiopharm.ca;
Jeff Skinner, Associate Director, BD&L, Debiovision Inc., The Debiopharm
Group, (514) 842-9976, Fax: (514) 842-5430, jskinner@debiopharm.ca; Additional
Media Contacts: In London: Maitland Noonan Russo: Brian Hudspith, +44 (0)20
7379 5151, bhudspith@maitland.co.uk; In New York: Russo Partners, LLC: Wendy
Lau, (212) 845-4272, Fax: (212) 845-4260, wendy.lau@russopartnersllc.com;
Medical Futures Inc.: Bipin Kothyari, VP Marketing & Sales, (905) 731-0294,
Fax: (905) 731-2873, bipin@medfutures.com

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DEBIOPHARM GROUP

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DEBIOVISION

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