Cardiome And Astellas Announce Regulatory Extension

    VANCOUVER, and DEERFIELD, IL, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Cardiome Pharma Corp.
(NASDAQ:   CRME / TSX: COM) and its co-development partner Astellas Pharma US,
Inc. ("Astellas") today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has requested that Astellas and Cardiome participate in a panel review
to be conducted by the Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee on
December 11-12, 2007. The New Drug Application (NDA) for the intravenous
formulation of vernakalant hydrochloride, an investigational new drug for the
acute conversion of atrial fibrillation, will be reviewed as part of a two-day
meeting regarding therapies for acute conversion of heart arrhythmias.
    In preparation for the panel, and at the request of the FDA, Astellas has
agreed to file additional information including final safety and efficacy data
from the ACT 2 clinical trial, which was ongoing at the time of original NDA
submission. As a result of this amendment to the NDA, the FDA has indicated
that the action date under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) will be
extended by three months to January 19, 2008. It is expected that discussions
related to the application review and labelling will continue with FDA
throughout the intervening period.
    The Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee is convened on
request of the FDA, and reviews and evaluates available data concerning the
safety and effectiveness of human drug products for use in the treatment of
cardiovascular and renal disorders and makes appropriate recommendations to
the Commissioner of Food and Drugs. Although the Committee provides advice to
the Agency and suggests a course of action, final decisions are made by FDA.
    "Upon the acceptance of the NDA for filing in February, we and Astellas
began preparation for an advisory panel, considering that vernakalant (iv) is
a new chemical entity for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. We and our key
clinical advisors welcome the opportunity to present our data on vernakalant
(iv) to the Panel and the American public," stated Bob Rieder, Chief Executive
Officer and Chairman of Cardiome. "Presentation of the program to the Advisory
Committee is an important milestone in the NDA review before an action on the
application from the FDA in January of 2008. Commercialization plans continue
to move forward."
    "Astellas, along with our co-development partner Cardiome, look forward
to discussing the clinical safety and efficacy information for vernakalant
(iv) with the Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee, as a part of
an overall dialogue on new pharmacological therapies for acute conversion of
atrial fibrillation," stated Yoshihiko Hatanaka, President and Chief Executive
Officer at Astellas. "The data from the ACT 2 trial offers both the FDA and
the Advisory Committee additional insight regarding vernakalant (iv) as a
potential new treatment option."
    The NDA for vernakalant (iv), based on a 5-year clinical development
program, was submitted in December 2006 and accepted for review by the FDA in
February 2007. Upon approval, vernakalant (iv) will be marketed in the United
States by Astellas Pharma US, Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Astellas Pharma Inc.
In October 2003, Cardiome granted Astellas Pharma US, Inc. an exclusive
license to develop and commercialize vernakalant (iv) in North America. The
companies have co-developed vernakalant (iv) to NDA, with Astellas responsible
for 75% of development costs. Cardiome has retained all rights to the
intravenous formulations outside of Canada, U.S. and Mexico.
    Cardiome will hold a conference call and webcast on Thursday, August 30,
2007 at 9:00am EDT (6:00am PDT). Please dial 416-340-8010 or 866-540-8136 to
access the call. There will be a separate dial-in line for analysts on which
we will respond to questions. The webcast can be accessed through Cardiome's
website at Webcast and telephone replays of the conference
call will be available approximately two hours after the completion of the
call through September 30, 2007. Please dial 416-695-5800 or 800-408-3053 and
enter code 3233538 followed by the number sign to access the replay.

    About Cardiome Pharma Corp.

    Cardiome Pharma Corp. is a product-focused cardiovascular drug
development company with two late-stage clinical drug programs focused on
atrial arrhythmia (intravenous and oral dosing), a Phase 1 program for
GED-aPC, an engineered analog of recombinant human activated Protein C, and a
pre-clinical program directed at improving cardiovascular function.
    Vernakalant (iv) is the intravenous formulation of an investigational
drug being evaluated for the acute conversion of atrial fibrillation (AF).
Positive top-line results from two pivotal Phase 3 trials for vernakalant
(iv), called ACT 1 and ACT 3, were released in December 2004 and September
2005. Cardiome's co-development partner Astellas Pharma US, Inc. submitted a
New Drug Application for vernakalant (iv) in December 2006. Positive top-line
results from an additional Phase 3 study evaluating patients with
post-operative atrial arrhythmia, called ACT 2, were released in June 2007. An
open-label safety study evaluating recent-onset AF patients, called ACT 4, has
    Vernakalant (oral) is being investigated as a chronic-use oral drug for
the maintenance of normal heart rhythm following termination of AF. Cardiome
announced positive results from a Phase 2a pilot study for vernakalant (oral)
in September 2006. A Phase 2b study for vernakalant (oral) is ongoing.
    In April 2007 Cardiome acquired exclusive worldwide rights for GED-aPC
for all indications. Cardiome intends to initially develop GED-aPC in
cardiogenic shock, a life-threatening form of acute circulatory failure due to
cardiac dysfunction, which is a leading cause of death for patients
hospitalized following a heart attack.
    Cardiome is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (COM) and the NASDAQ
National Market (CRME).

    About Astellas Pharma US, Inc.

    Astellas Pharma US, Inc., located in Deerfield, Illinois, is a US
affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical
company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through
the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The
organization is committed to becoming a global pharmaceutical company by
combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities and continuing to grow in
the world pharmaceutical market. For more information about Astellas Pharma
US, Inc., please visit our website at

    Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer

    Certain statements in this press release contain forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995 or forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities
legislation that may not be based on historical fact, including without
limitation statements containing the words "believe", "may", "plan", "will",
"estimate", "continue", "anticipate", "intend", "expect" and similar
expressions. Such forward-looking statements or information involve known and
unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual
results, events or developments, or industry results, to be materially
different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied
by such forward-looking statements or information. Such factors include, among
others, our stage of development, lack of product revenues, additional capital
requirements, risk associated with the completion of clinical trials and
obtaining regulatory approval to market our products, the ability to protect
our intellectual property, dependence on collaborative partners and the
prospects for negotiating additional corporate collaborations or licensing
arrangements and their timing. Specifically, certain risks and uncertainties
that could cause such actual events or results expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements and information to differ materially from any
future events or results expressed or implied by such statements and
information include, but are not limited to, the risks and uncertainties that:
we may not be able to successfully develop and obtain regulatory approval for
vernakalant (iv) or vernakalant (oral) in the treatment of atrial fibrillation
or any other current or future products in our targeted indications; our
future operating results are uncertain and likely to fluctuate; we may not be
able to raise additional capital; we may not be successful in establishing
additional corporate collaborations or licensing arrangements; we may not be
able to establish marketing and sales capabilities and the costs of launching
our products may be greater than anticipated; we rely on third parties for the
continued supply and manufacture of vernakalant (iv) and vernakalant (oral)
and we have no experience in commercial manufacturing; we may face unknown
risks related to intellectual property matters; we face increased competition
from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; and other factors as
described in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission
available at and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities at Given these risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to
place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements and information, which
are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. All
forward-looking statements and information made herein are based on our
current expectations and we undertake no obligation to revise or update such
forward-looking statements and information to reflect subsequent events or
circumstances, except as required by law.

For further information:

For further information: Peter K. Hofmank, Senior Director, Investor
Relations, (604) 676-6993, or Toll Free: (800) 330-9928, Email:; Maribeth Landwehr, Associate Director, Corporate
Communications, Astellas Pharma US, Inc., (847) 317-8988

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