Neuromed Announces that Merck & Co., Inc. Terminates Research Collaboration and License Agreement for Compounds Targeting N-Type Calcium Channels

    CONSHOHOCKEN, PA and VANCOUVER, BC, June 11 /CNW/ - Neuromed
Pharmaceuticals Ltd. announced today that it has received notification that
Merck & Co., Inc. will terminate the research collaboration and license
agreement for novel compounds targeting N-type calcium channels for the
treatment of pain and other disorders, which the companies entered into in
March of 2006.
    "Over the past three years we have had an excellent and extremely
productive collaboration with our colleagues at Merck. The molecules generated
in our collaboration, while effective in disease models, did not demonstrate
the profile needed to enter the next phase of testing, including human
clinical trials. We remain confident in our goal to generate a new class of
medicines from our platform," said Dr. Christopher Gallen, President & CEO of
Neuromed. "Neuromed is a leader in ion channel research and we remain
committed to further research and development in this field."
    N-type calcium channel blockers represent a potentially novel class of
analgesics that are selective for calcium channels involved in pain signal
transmission. Calcium channels control the entry of calcium into the neuron.
When a pain signal is transmitted, the channel opens and the calcium
concentration increases, triggering the release of neurotransmitters from
synaptic vesicles, thereby sending the pain signal to the brain where it is
perceived as pain.

    About Neuromed

    Neuromed is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focusing on the
development of new and improved pain medicines. Its lead drug candidate is
EXALGO(TM) (hydromorphone HCl) Extended-Release Tablets. In addition to its
N-type program, Neuromed is also developing oral drug candidates to block
T-type calcium channels, a new and important target directly involved in pain,
epilepsy and hypertension. For more information visit our website at

    Neuromed cautions you that statements included in this press release that
are not a description of historical facts may be forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are only predictions based upon current
expectations and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. You are
cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements,
which speak only as of the date of release of the relevant information, unless
explicitly stated otherwise. Actual results, performance or achievement could
differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, Neuromed's
forward-looking statements due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in
Neuromed's business including, without limitation, statements about: the
progress and timing of its clinical trials; difficulties or delays in
development, testing, obtaining regulatory approval, producing and marketing
its products; unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic
efficacy of its products that could delay or prevent product development or
commercialization, or that could result in recalls or product liability
claims; the scope and validity of patent protection for its products;
competition from other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; and its
ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations. Neuromed
does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

For further information:

For further information: regarding this press release please contact:
Rachael Froese Zamperini, Tel: (604) 291-7616, Email:

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