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SYNTEX ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO MARKET ELAN'S ONCE-DAILY NAPROXEN FORMULATION IN UNITED STATES

 ATHLONE, Ireland and PALO ALTO, Calif., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Elan Corporation plc. (AMEX: ELN), Drug Research Corporation (AMEX: ELR) and Syntex Corporation (NYSE: SYN) announced today that Syntex Pharmaceuticals International Limited (SPIL) has acquired the exclusive U.S. marketing rights to Elan's once-daily naproxen formulation.
 Elan's formulation which has been developed under its license agreement with Drug Research Corporation, is in the final stages of clinical trials in the United States, and the company expects to submit a new drug application (NDA) to the U.S. Food Drug Administration (FDA) during the second half of calendar 1993. Neither company is forecasting the timing of marketing approval or launch. Syntex Laboratories Inc., Syntex's U.S. marketing organization, will sell the product following FDA marketing approval. No further details of the agreement were disclosed.
 The once-daily naproxen formulation uses Elan's IPDAS (intestinal protection drug absorption system), in which specially coated particles of naproxen sodium are compressed into tablets that are diffused and slowly absorbed throughout the gastrointestinal tract. The naproxen delivered to the patient's bloodstream is the same active ingredient that is in Syntex's Naprosyn(R), the top-selling branded prescription medicine for arthritis pain and inflammation in the United States. Syntex discovered, developed, manufactures and markets naproxen in a variety of formulations worldwide.
 In commenting on the licensing agreement, Elan's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Donald E. Panoz, stated that he was "pleased to have come to an agreement with Syntex to market the product in the United States. I believe their position as market leader among branded nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines prescribed to treat arthritis pain and inflammation makes them an ideal marketing partner for Elan. In addition, Syntex Pharmaceuticals Limited, Syntex's operating unit in the United Kingdom, launched once-daily naproxen, using Elan's technology, in February 1993. Syntex also has exclusive marketing rights for the product in Ireland."
 "We are particularly happy to announce this agreement," Paul E. Freiman, Syntex chairman and chief executive officer, said. "We think this product has the potential to fill an important need in the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory marketplace," he said.
 Elan Corporation plc. is a world leader in the specialized health care field of advanced reformulations and drug delivery, concentrating on improved drug absorption and utilization. Elan operates research and manufacturing facilities in Athlone, Ireland; Gainesville, Ga.; Brea, Calif. and Cambridge, Mass. in the United States; Enschede, Netherlands; Manila, Philippines and Mezzovico, Switzerland. Currently 20 Elan products have received regulatory approval for marketing in one or more of 38 countries worldwide.
 Syntex Corporation is a multinational, research-based healthcare company dedicated to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of innovative, cost-effective prescription medicines. The company's products include medicines to treat pain and inflammation; allergies; cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, gynecologic, viral and skin diseases; and oral contraceptives. Syntex also discovers, develops, manufactures and markets animal pharmaceutical products and medical diagnostic systems.
 NAPRELAN(R)
 Naprelan(R) is Elan Corporation's once-daily, controlled-release formulation of naproxen. Used by arthritis sufferers to alleviate pain and stiffness associated with this inflammatory condition, naproxen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which inhibits prostaglandin synthetase. Developed with Elan's Intestinal Protective Drug Absorption System (IPDAS(R)) technology, Naprelan is being studied for treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
 Elan's formulation of naproxen is designed to overcome the adverse effects of this compound on the gastrointestinal tract. Using its IPDAS technology, each Naprelan tablet contains many specialized multiparticulate high-density beads. The tablet rapidly disintegrates in the stomach upon ingestion, spreading the many drug-containing beads throughout the gastrointestinal tract. The beads are coated with specialized rate-controlling polymers that slowly release Naproxen into the bloodstream. The combination of product characteristics thus protects the gastric and intestinal mucosa from damage and permits a once-a-day dose administration schedule.
 Naprelan is currently completing U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Phase III clinical trials in over 1,000 patients at 40 sites as a treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that approximately 15.8 million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis and an additional 2.1 million Americans are affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Wall Street analysts have estimated the market for all arthritis therapeutics at more than $5 billion a year.
 -0- 3/17/93
 /CONTACT: Brian Crotty, vice president, communications, or Donald E. Panoz, chairman and CEO, 212-688-6840, both of Elan Corporation/
 (ELN)


CO: Elan Corporation plc.; Drug Research Corporation;
 Syntex Corporation ST: California IN: MTC SU:


SM-WB -- NY007 -- 6930 03/17/93 09:52 EST
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Date:Mar 17, 1993
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