BELLUS Health provides update on activities

    LAVAL, QC, Oct. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - BELLUS Health Inc. (NASDAQ:   BLUS;
TSX: BLU) is pleased to provide an update on its branded nutraceutical and
pharmaceutical activities. The commercial activities surrounding sales of its
first natural health product, VIVIMIND(TM), to protect memory function are in
full gear. Through BELLUS Health's wholly owned subsidiary, OVOS Natural
Health Inc., VIVIMIND(TM) became available at the beginning of September on
the Internet and progressively at over 2,000 retail points of sale across
Canada. The distribution of the brand is on target as OVOS Natural Health has
received many orders from major national drug, grocery, and mass merchandisers
and Quebec natural health food stores, which will further translate into
VIVIMIND(TM) becoming increasingly available to consumers by year-end. The
Company is committed to the success of VIVIMIND(TM) and has therefore launched
extensive marketing, sales and public relations campaigns to increase
awareness and media exposure of the brand across Canada.
    Targeted at healthy baby boomers, VIVIMIND(TM) is a patent-protected,
clinically tested, scientifically proven brand that is being offered to
consumers to protect their aging memory. VIVIMIND(TM)'s uniqueness and
efficacy are anticipated to not only take market share in the current
cognition brand segment, but also grow the size of the market. VIVIMIND(TM) is
expected to create and address a largely underserved self-care market. As part
of its commercial activities to grow and expand into the global market, OVOS
Natural Health is actively taking steps to launch in other geographies as
early as 2009 and 2010, via large retail organizations and via potential
partners with proven track records in the natural health, consumer health,
multi-level marketing and naturopathic doctor channels. Eight months into the
creation of OVOS Natural Health, the masthead brand VIVIMIND(TM) has reached
all milestones in its commercial launch development and is on track to deliver
its 2008 sales projections.
    The pharmaceutical programs are also progressing; BELLUS Health is
advancing its programs in Type II diabetes and certain features of metabolic
syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. The Company expects to file the
Investigational New Drug application for the second Phase III clinical trial
for eprodisate (KIACTA(TM)) for the treatment of Amyloid A amyloidosis in the
fourth quarter of 2008.
    With respect to this second Phase III KIACTA(TM) clinical trial, a new
protocol was developed that includes outcome measures that are similar to
those used in the first Phase II/III clinical trial but with greater focus on
renal disease. The new Phase III protocol was submitted for the Special
Protocol Assessment and for Protocol Assistance to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), respectively.
The FDA has accepted that a p-value of less than 0.05 would be sufficient to
consider the second confirmatory trial for a New Drug Application. BELLUS
Health is pursuing its discussions with the FDA to finalize the study design
details. As well, discussions with the EMEA to conclude on the protocol are
progressing well and its finalization is expected in the coming months. The
Company has already identified more than 40 sites across the world for the
second Phase III clinical trial with close to 190 potentially eligible
    The Company is also looking into various financing scenarios to take
place in the coming months. Picchio Pharma and its affiliates have expressed
their commitment to participate and to purchase at least 30% of the next

    About BELLUS Health

    BELLUS Health is a global health company focused on the development and
commercialization of products to provide innovative health solutions to
address critical unmet needs.

    To Contact BELLUS Health

    For additional information on BELLUS Health and its drug development
programs, please call the Canada and United States toll-free number
1 877 680 4500 or visit the Web Site at

    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
Inc.'s (formerly known as Neurochem Inc.) control. Such risks include but are
not limited to: 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 Group does
business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in costs, and changes to the
competitive environment due to consolidation, that actual results may vary
once the final and quality-controlled verification of data and analyses has
been completed, as well as other risks disclosed in public filings of BELLUS
Health Inc. 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 Inc. 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
the Annual Information Form of BELLUS Health Inc. for further risk factors
that might affect the BELLUS Health Group and its business.

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For further information:

For further information: Lise Hébert, Ph.D., Vice President, Corporate
Communications, (450) 680-4572,; Félicia Amilcar,
MBA, CFA, Director, Investor Relations, (450) 680-4572,

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