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PanTherix to Develop NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc's Syn2416 for Treatment of Serious Life-Threatening Bacterial Infections.

Business Editors and Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical/Health Writers

GLASGOW, Scotland & EDMONTON, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 2, 2002

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Canada and Scotland Partner in the Fight Against

Antibiotic Resistant Infections

PanTherix Ltd. today announced that it has signed an assignment agreement with NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc., a private Edmonton-based pharmaceutical research company, to develop and commercialize NAEJA's proprietary antibacterial agent, Syn2416.

With the increasing awareness of the antibiotic resistant strains of infection rises a certain fear. Fear that certain infectious diseases will become unbeatable. To combat this universal health threat, NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc. has successfully developed a novel compound that fights antibiotic resistant bacteria. The agreement will see NAEJA's antibiotic, Syn2416, entered into clinical trials led by PanTherix.

The agreement between PanTherix and NAEJA includes terms that will see PanTherix acquiring all rights to Syn2416 in exchange for PanTherix stocks and a percentage of product sales once the compound reaches the market. Annual sales of this antibiotic are expected to exceed US$300 million.

Almost 5 years in development, Syn2416 is ready for clinical trials, the last stage of development before becoming available to the general public. "This is great news as it represents the fourth in a series of similar licensing or co-development deals that NAEJA has made with biotechnology companies in the United States and Europe in the past year; and the third time one of our products will be entering clinical trials," says Dr. Ronald G. Micetich, President and CEO of NAEJA.

"Not only is this research project exciting in its potential to reverse a trend in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria, this project has sparked international collaboration between Canada and Scotland in a global joint venture" adds Mr. Christopher Micetich, NAEJA's Vice President and COO. "Developing advanced drug candidates requires interdisciplinary knowledge and skill, which is why we feel that our partnership with PanTherix is crucial to the success of this product," adds Mr. Micetich.

"We are delighted to be taking Syn2416 into clinical trials. We believe that it will make a significant contribution to the treatment of drug-resistant infections. NAEJA has a track record of success in drug discovery and we believe that this will be another success," says Dr. Chris Latham, CEO of PanTherix.

NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc. a rapidly growing private Canadian company was created from the acquisition of DrisCorp Inc. and assets from SynPhar Laboratories Inc. SynPhar's staff were responsible for the discovery of two drugs -- Tazobactam, a (beta)-lactamase inhibitor marketed worldwide in combination with Piperacillin as Zosyn(r) or Tazosyn(r) by American Home Products; and Mofezolac(r), a non steroidal anti-inflammatory agent particularly useful for arthritis, and marketed in Japan by Yoshitomi Pharmaceutical Ltd. as Disopain(r). Driscorp Inc. was a contract research company performing pre-clinical lead optimization medicinal chemistry primarily for the major pharmaceutical company Warner Lambert. NAEJA employs over 80 scientific staff and specializes in the areas of infectious diseases, cancer and inflammation. In addition to the above internal research, NAEJA utilizes its expertise in carrying out specialized pre-clinical contract research up to the IND stage.

PanTherix is a Glasgow-based anti-infectives company using structure-based drug design to discover and develop new antibiotics acting on novel targets. The company occupies a brand-new purpose-built research center on the West of Scotland Science Park, and is exploiting its expertise in protein crystallography, enzymology, virtual screening, drug design, and medicinal chemistry to design and synthesize new antibacterial agents with reduced potential for the emergence of drug resistance. PanTherix's technology allows the company to determine the structure of target proteins and to design inhibitors of them.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 2, 2002
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