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BIOCHEM IS STILL GROWING

 MONTREAL, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its performance in the past few months, BioChem Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: BCHXF) today announced that it anticipates good growth in sales of its diagnostic and vaccine products during the fiscal year 1993/1994. In the therapeutics sector, the compound 3TC has begun the most significant phase of its development, while several other BioChem discoveries have successfully completed the preliminary phases and are approaching the clinical trial phase.
 This is how Dr. Francesco Bellini, president and chief executive officer of BioChem Pharma, described the company's progress during the annual shareholders' meeting. BioChem had a total of 46.7 million shares in circulation at Jan. 31, 1993. The main institutional shareholders are Glaxo Canada, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and the Fonds de solidarite des travailleurs (QFL).
 For the current fiscal year, the diagnostics sector expects to continue its strong growth. This would be in addition to the 50 percent increase during the last fiscal year. The increase in sales of diagnostics products was made possible primarily by the expansion of the international distribution network, through strategic alliances.
 In the vaccines sector, the approval of the new split influenza vaccine will enable the company to penetrate markets which were previously closed to it. Following a public call for tenders, the Canadian Government (Supply and Services Canada) gave the company a major supply contract for the influenza vaccine. Many provinces followed suit, including Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
 With respect to its affiliated company NAVA (North American Vaccine), several new vaccines, including DPT and DPT-Polio, are currently at the clinical trial phase.
 Finally, in the therapeutics sector, the IXth International Conference on AIDS in Berlin last week, confirmed the company's hopes for its 3TC compound. The results of the in-vitro studies and clinical trials currently under way show an anti-viral activity and lack serious drug-related toxicity on patients tested, as well as synergy with AXT.
 Parallel to the development of 3TC in the fight against AIDS, the company is continuing clinical tests of this same molecule (under the name lamivudine), for the treatment of hepatitis B. The development of other BioChem compounds, particularly those to treat cancer and chronic pain, is also progressing on schedule.
 "Our scientific ability no longer needs to be proved: it has reached an international level and is recognized as such by our peers," Dr. Bellini said.
 The president and chief executive officer said he could sum up the past fiscal year in three parts: "First, our company has continued its rapid growth, as it has done since its beginning, and continued to make substantial investments in research and development, as demonstrated by the $12.3 million spent in this sector. Second, the year just ended had been difficult for the entire pharmaceutical industry. Finally, BioChem Pharma remains a sound and solid company from all perspectives."
 On Jan. 31, 1993, the company reported assets of about $138 million, more than half of which consists of cash and short-term assets. Working capital was $64.6 million, compared with $38.8 million the previous year. Shareholders' equity was $114 million, corresponding to a capitalization rate of over 80 percent.
 Dr. Bellini concluded by pointing out that BioChem's corporate development is proceeding as planned. The company now has three operating subsidiaries, each responsible for one sector of activity: BioChem Therapeutic, BioChem ImmunoSystems (diagnostics) and IAF BioVac (vaccines).
 Construction of a new facilities complex to house the head office and state-of-the-art laboratories is proceeding on schedule.
 BioChem Pharma is a pharmaceutical company which, through its subsidiaries, operates internationally in the therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics sectors. The company's common shares are traded on the Montreal and Toronto stock exchanges (BCH) and on the NASDAQ stock market (BCHXF).
 -0- 6/17/93
 /CONTACT: Jean-Yves Duthel, vice president-public relations of BioChem Pharma Inc., 514-681-1744, or Fern Lazar, executive vice president of Dewe Rogerson, Inc., 212-688-6840, for BioChem Pharma Inc./
 (BCHXF)


CO: BioChem Pharma Inc. ST: Quebec IN: MTC SU:

TS-LR -- NY062 -- 3132 06/17/93 13:18 EDT
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Date:Jun 17, 1993
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