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IVAX/3M Transaction Completed: Respiratory Products Franchise And Sales Force In Europe Expanded.

Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 1, 2003

IVAX Corporation (AMEX:IVX) (LSE:IVX.L) has completed its previously announced agreement with the 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) in which IVAX assumes exclusive rights to branded respiratory products, together with related marketing and sales people in nine European countries: United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The agreement covers the products QVAR(R) (CFC-free beclomethasone dipropionate), Airomir(R) (CFC-free salbutamol, known in the U.S. as albuterol) in Autohaler(R) and MDI devices; and over 200 professionals to market and sell these products.

Neil Flanzraich, IVAX Corporation vice chairman and president, said, "This is a strategic transaction for IVAX. These products, together with the experienced marketing and sales forces currently selling them, will rapidly increase IVAX' market presence and profits in Europe. In Germany, the third largest pharmaceutical market in the world, where IVAX has had no direct pharmaceutical marketing and sales activity, we will now have branded products with strong market share together with the marketing and sales professionals who achieved that success. In France, the world's fourth largest pharmaceutical market, we established a company in 2002 and have, as expected, incurred start-up losses. The additional products and sales and marketing professionals coming from the 3M transaction are expected to accelerate the growth and profitability of our newly-established French company. In the U.K., where IVAX is the third largest respiratory products company, these branded products complement our current line and will allow us to improve our market position. IVAX' enhanced presence in Europe will give it a broader platform from which to sell other products and to further increase our profitability."

In April 2002, IVAX obtained exclusive U.S. rights to QVAR, currently the only CFC-free (free of the chlorofluorocarbons that deplete ozone from the atmosphere) aerosol corticosteroid for asthma on the U.S. market. QVAR delivers its medication in small particles (1.1 microns versus 3+ microns for other orally-inhaled corticosteroids) for greater drug deposition in the small, intermediate, and large airways of the lung. IVAX' U.S. sales of QVAR have grown substantially.

QVAR is a "maintenance" medication used to prevent asthma attacks. Airomir, which contains a CFC-free formulation of salbutamol, is a "rescue" medication to relieve acute asthma symptoms. IVAX and 3M have been world leaders in developing and marketing CFC-free inhaler devices.

3M will continue to manufacture and supply these products to IVAX.

IVAX Corporation, headquartered in Miami, Florida, discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets branded and brand equivalent (generic) pharmaceuticals and veterinary products in the U.S. and internationally.

Copies of this and other news releases may be obtained free of charge from IVAX' website at http://www.ivax.com.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements by IVAX regarding product development efforts, growth prospects, product performance and other non-historical facts which are being made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified and, consequentially, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, that the transaction with 3M may not increase IVAX' presence or profits in Europe, may not provide a platform or otherwise support IVAX' product pipeline and may not improve IVAX' market position; that IVAX' operations in France may not achieve profitability when expected if at all; that IVAX' sales of QVAR will not continue to grow and may decrease; changing market conditions; that the compounds and products in IVAX' pipelines will not be successfully developed, will not receive regulatory approval or will not be successfully commercialized; the impact of competitive products and pricing; and the impact of foreign currency exchange rates and fluctuations in those rates. In addition to the risk factors set forth above, IVAX' forward looking statements may also be adversely affected by general market factors, competitive product development, product availability, manufacturing issues that may arise, trade buying patterns, patent positions and litigation, among other things. For further details and discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see IVAX' Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2003
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