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 PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- "We want to share our excitement about the compounds that are now in our research and development pipeline. We believe it's the strongest pipeline we've ever had at Syntex, and that these innovative compounds will truly improve the quality of people's lives in the future," Mr. Paul Freiman, Syntex chairman and chief executive officer, said today at a meeting of approximately 80 securities analysts and portfolio managers in Palo Alto.
 In addition, Mr. Freiman was upbeat about the announcement earlier this week that ALEVE(R), a new over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever with naproxen sodium as its key ingredient, has been cleared for marketing and will be launched by the Syntex-Procter & Gamble joint venture in the spring. He discussed this newest member of the naproxen family, noting the important role that ALEVE, with its Naprosyn(R) (naproxen) and Anaprox(R) (naproxen sodium) heritage, has to play in the approximately $2.7 billion OTC analgesic market.
 "We look forward to introducing fast-acting, strong, long-lasting ALEVE into this highly competitive marketplace," he said. "We believe it offers an important new choice to consumers for broad-spectrum nonprescription pain relief."
 Syntex has said that heavy up-front marketing expenses will prevent the company from realizing profits on ALEVE for the first few years, but emphasized that once established in the marketplace, OTC products have the potential to be profitable for decades. ALEVE will have three years of marketing exclusivity.
 Mr. Freiman said that with the receipt of clearance to market ALEVE, the OTC component of the company's previously announced four-part strategy to help mitigate the negative impact of the expiration of the patent for naproxen in the United States has now been put in place.
 "We said previously that we would continue to market the Naprosyn brand of naproxen, and would continue to develop important new line extensions for this product; that we would sell bulk naproxen to manufacturers of generic drugs; that we would market our own generic version of prescription-strength naproxen in the United States; and that we would also introduce an over-the-counter, nonprescription version of this incredibly successful drug. From now on, it's up to us to execute the strategy effectively, to benefit our shareholders and customers everywhere."
 Mr. Freiman noted that the composition of naproxen sales has shifted dramatically since the introduction in October of generic prescription naproxen, marketed by Syntex's subsidiary, Hamilton Pharma, Inc., and of competing generic products following the Dec. 21 expiration of the Naprosyn patent. Hamilton's generic naproxen outpaced branded Naprosyn in market share of new prescriptions for the first time in early December. According to independent audit data for the week of Dec. 3, 1993, Hamilton generic naproxen captured 9 percent of new prescriptions in the anti-arthritic market, compared to 8.5 percent for Naprosyn.
 Due to the market's quick adoption of Hamilton generic naproxen, as well as competition from other U.S. generic naproxen manufacturers, the company expects its gross margin in fiscal 1994 to be below gross margins in fiscal 1993. Mr. Freiman said in view of the naproxen patent expiration and the changing healthcare environment, the next two years would be difficult ones for the company.
 In response to questions, Mr. Freiman declined to speculate about future dividend declarations, noting that "the dividend is the responsibility of the Board of Directors, which makes a quarterly determination with respect to the dividend."
 The meeting was largely devoted to substantive presentations on the market opportunities and medical need for key compounds in Syntex's research pipeline. Scientific presentations detailed clinical profiles of two compounds: an oral formulation of ganciclovir, which is currently marketed by Syntex in intravenous (I.V.) form as Cytovene(R) (ganciclovir sodium), and mycophenolate mofetil, under study as adjunctive therapy for prevention of acute rejection in patients with transplanted kidneys and for a number of other potential uses in treating and/or preventing acute and chronic organ rejection.
 Oral Ganciclovir
 Phase III studies of oral ganciclovir indicate that the oral formulation may be an important alternative to the injectable formulation for maintenance treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis. Although time to progression of the disease was moderately faster with oral ganciclovir than with I.V. ganciclovir, the reduced incidence of serious side effects, improved patient access and convenience, elimination of costs associated with daily intravenous administration, and its potential use to prevent CMV infection have emerged as potential clinical advantages of the oral formulation. Syntex plans to file a New Drug Application (NDA) for oral ganciclovir in the first half of calendar 1994. Clinical studies are underway to assess the efficacy of the oral formulation in prevention of CMV disease in people with AIDS and transplant patients.
 Mycophenolate Mofetil
 Enrollment of 1500 patients is complete for three pivotal clinical studies of mycophenolate mofetil, an adjunctive therapy that the company is studying initially for prevention of acute rejection in kidney transplant patients. Market research indicates that approximately 220,000 patients worldwide have had or are on the waiting list for transplants, with 57 percent of the transplants being second and third transplantations following organ rejection. In market research conducted by Syntex in Spring 1993, 200 transplant physicians and surgeons in the U.S., Canada, France, U.K. and Germany ranked mycophenolate mofetil as the most promising agent of four compounds currently in development for transplantation. Syntex expects to file a New Drug Application in the second half of calendar 1994 for prevention of acute rejection and treatment of refractory acute rejection in kidney transplant patients.
 Responding to analysts' questions, Mr. Freiman addressed regulatory decisions in Europe concerning Toradol(R) (ketorolac tromethamine). As previously reported, Germany and France have suspended the product license pending further review of available worldwide Toradol usage data and, in the case of France, pending also further deliberations of the European Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP).
 Mr. Freiman indicated that a recently-completed U.S. epidemiology study of 10,000 hospitalized patients treated with Toradol compared with 10,000 treated with opioid analgesics offers further evidence that Toradol provides an important clinical benefit to physicians and patients when used according to prescribing instructions.
 Syntex Corporation (NYSE: SYN) is a multinational healthcare company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human and animal pharmaceutical products and medical diagnostic systems, with more than $2 billion in sales.
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 /CONTACT: Linda Thomas of Syntex, 415-852-1321/

CO: Syntex Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

TM -- SJ006 -- 7393 01/13/94 18:35 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1994

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