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BIOCHEM AND ASTRA REACH AGREEMENT ON PAIN CONTROL COMPOUNDS

BIOCHEM AND ASTRA REACH AGREEMENT ON PAIN CONTROL COMPOUNDS
 LAVAL, Quebec, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- BioChem Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: BCHXF) and AB Astra of Sweden have reached an agreement in principle concerning the development of BioChem's pain control compounds, it was announced today.
 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, thereby avoiding side effects mediated by the central nervous system, including physical dependence and respiratory depression. A lead compound, BCH-150, has reached the preclinical stage 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 and receive a royalty on future product sales.
 BCH-150 resulted from collaborative research between Dr. Peter Schiller of the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal and BioChem scientists.
 "This agreement demonstrates the depth of our science base and our ability to work with some of the best pharmaceutical companies worldwide," said Dr. Francesco Bellini, president and chief executive officer of BioChem. "We have high regard for Astra's acquired expertise in pain control."
 AB Astra is the leading research-oriented pharmaceutical company in Scandinavia. Astra's research has produced a number of essential drugs, such as Xylocaine (local anesthetic), Seloken/Betaloc (betablocker), Pulmicort (inhaled steroid) and Losec (acid pump inhibitor).
 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).
 -0- 06/15/92
 CONTACT: Dr. Francesco Bellini, president and CEO of BioChem Pharma, 514-681-1744, or Gerard Berube or Michele Roy of National Public Relations, 514-843-7171, for BioChem Pharma
 (BCHXF) CO: BIOCHEM PHARMA INC.; AB ASTRA IN: MTC ST: -- NY041 -- X531 06/15/92
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 15, 1992
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