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DURA FOCUSES ON DEVELOPMENT OF DRY POWDER INHALER PRODUCTS AND ELECTS TO DISCONTINUE DEVELOPMENT OF PENTYDE PRODUCTS

 SAN DIEGO, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Dura Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: DURA) today announced that it has elected to discontinue its development efforts on Pentyde(R) Nasal Spray and Pentyde(R) Ophthalmic Solution, based on recent clinical trial results and correspondence from the FDA. The decision reflects Dura's strategic emphasis on further development of its proprietary dry powder inhaler drug delivery system (DPI). Consistent with this strategy, Dura announced last week the signing of a letter of intent to sell the assets of its device division in order concentrate its resources on higher-growth, higher-margin products.
 Elaborating on recent progress on Dura's DPI, Cam Garner, Dura's president and chief executive officer, said, "We are moving ahead successfully on our dry powder drug delivery system. We have begun development on the formulation of three currently marketed respiratory products -- ipratropium, albuterol and bitolterol -- for use with the DPI, have had discussions with the FDA, and are now preparing IND submissions. In addition, we have discussed potential licensing arrangements with numerous major pharmaceutical companies for use of the DPI with a variety of currently available and novel respiratory drugs. Our strategy on the DPI also calls for its use in delivering new compounds, including non-respiratory products such as proteins and peptides," added Garner. "Toward that end, we have successfully conducted laboratory tests on the DPI for use with a number of novel products."
 Regarding Pentyde Nasal, Dura has received a letter from the FDA, stating that the reanalyzed data submitted by Dura in December 1992 are not sufficient to approve the product without an additional clinical trial. Regarding Pentyde Ophthalmic, data from Dura's recent clinical trial did not distinguish the efficacy of the drug from placebo. Dura said the decision to discontinue the Pentyde products will not have any negative financial impact on the company as the Pentyde inventory was previously written off, all clinical and development costs were expensed as incurred and potential sales of the products are not included in its current financial plan.
 In making the decision, Dura stated that it could not justify continuing its development efforts on these products given the additional time and money required to conduct the necessary further trials, especially in light of the significant progress being made on its dry powder drug delivery system. Stated Garner, "The DPI is a more attractive opportunity and we look forward to conducting clinical trials on the use of DPI with asthma products such as ipratropium, albuterol and bitolterol, which have known safety and efficacy in currently marketed formulations. While it is not possible to predict whether those trials will be successful, the endpoints in asthma trials are more definitive than they are in allergy trials such as those conducted for Pentyde."
 Dura Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a San Diego-based developer and marketer of prescription pharmaceutical products and drug delivery systems for the treatment of allergies, asthma and related respiratory conditions.
 -0- 7/19/93
 /CONTACT: Cam L. Garner, president and CEO of Dura Pharmaceuticals, 619-457-2553/
 (DURA)


CO: Dura Pharmaceuticals Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

BP-MF -- SD002 -- 2876 07/19/93 08:32 EDT
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Date:Jul 19, 1993
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