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PAIN CONTROL: BIOCHEM AND ASTRA AGREEMENT SIGNED TODAY

 PAIN CONTROL: BIOCHEM AND ASTRA AGREEMENT SIGNED TODAY
 LAVAL, Quebec, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- BioChem Pharma Inc.


(NASDAQ: BCHXF) and AB Astra of Sweden signed today an agreement concerning the development of BioChem's pain control compounds.
 "This agreement," said Dr. Francesco Bellini, president and chief executive officer of BioChem, "with one of the top classified pharmaceutical companies, proves the exceptional quality of our science base."
 "An agreement of this magnitude," said Mr. Gerry McDole, president of Astra Pharma Inc., "demonstrates that internationally Canada is an extremely attractive research and development investment choice, a situation which can only be improved with an enhanced legislative framework for patient protection." Astra Pharma Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of AB Astra, a worldwide leader in the research, development and manufacture of pain control compounds.
 The compounds covered by the agreement are synthetic narcotics, known as opioid peptides, which act on the same receptors as compounds derived from opium. Such opioid peptides can control pain by acting on the peripheral nervous system without affecting the central nervous system. In so doing various side effects, such as physical dependence and respiratory depression, are avoided. A lead compound, BCH-150, has reached the preclinical state of development.
 The agreement includes an upfront payment, research funding and milestone payments from Astra to BioChem, and provides for the potential future development and commercialization of compounds. Astra will lead the development and commercialization efforts and BioChem will have primary responsibility to supply the active material both for development and commercial purposes. Concerning the economic end result, BioChem will receive a royalty on future product sales and also retain certain commercial rights.
 BCH-150 resulted from collaborative research between Dr. Peter Schiller of the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal and BioChem scientists.
 AB Astra is the leading research oriented pharmaceutical manufacturer in Scandinavia. Astra's research has produced a number of essential prescription medicines, such as Xylocaine (local anesthetic), Losec (ulcer -- acid pump inhibitor). Pulmicort (asthma -- inhaled steroid), and Plendil (hypertension -- calcium channel blocker). Its Canadian subsidiary, Astra Pharma Inc., with headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, is Canada's fastest growing research-based pharmaceutical manufacturer.
 BioChem Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative products for the detection, prevention and treatment of human diseases. The company's common shares are traded on the Montreal and Toronto Stock exchanges (BCH) and on the NASDAQ exchange (BCHXF).
 -0- 10/21/92
 /CONTACT: Jean-Yves Duthel, vice president public affairs - communications of BioChem Pharma Inc., 514-681-1744, or Paulette Eddy, manager - corporate communications of Astra Pharma Inc., 416-566-7826, or Luc Beauregard or Michele Roy - National Public Relations, 514-843-7171, for BioChem Pharma/
 (BCHXF) CO: BioChem Pharma Inc.; AB Astra ST: Quebec IN: MTC SU:


TS-OS -- NY050 -- 2837 10/21/92 11:24 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1992
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