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UNIGENE TO USE ITS PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGY TO PRODUCE CALCITONIN AND OTHER RESEARCH-GRADE PEPTIDE HORMONES

 UNIGENE TO USE ITS PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGY TO PRODUCE CALCITONIN
 AND OTHER RESEARCH-GRADE PEPTIDE HORMONES
 FAIRFIELD, N.J., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Unigene Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: UGNE), announced today that it plans to produce and sell highly-purified calcitonin to the pharmaceutical/biomedical research community later this year.
 Unigene's proprietary production process will enable it to be the lowest cost producer of calcitonin, and the company intends to scale up its monthly in-house production capability to the multiple-gram level in the second quarter. It is anticipated that the product will initially be sold by one or more distributors around mid-year, although the possibility of direct sales to the research marketplace cannot be ruled out at the present time. Research-grade calcitonin can be sold without regulatory approval and is available from peptide suppliers on a custom basis or as a catalog item. Recent retail catalog prices for a milligram of the compound range from approximately $120 to $240.
 Calcitonin, a widely used treatment for osteoporosis and other degenerative bone disorders, is also a focus of intense international research activity. In addition to investigations designed to clarify the hormone's intracellular mechanism of action, research studies are being conducted to assess calcitonin's effectiveness in preventing the development of osteoporosis and in treating different types of pain. If these important studies are successful they could lead to a dramatic expansion of the presently approved therapeutic uses for the hormone, with a concomitant surge in consumer demand.
 The current world market for pharmaceutical-grade calcitonin is estimated to be approximately $1 billion and its primary indication is for osteoporosis. Originally administered exclusively by injection, the recent introduction of a nasal spray formulation has sharply increased sales of the drug in both Europe and Japan, and approval of a similar formulation is pending in the United States. Unigene's technology will later be used to make pharmaceutical-grade calcitonin, either by the company directly or through the efforts of a strategic partner.
 Unigene also plans to expand its calcitonin production activities to include the production of other research-grade peptide hormones which can be made with the same, inexpensive core process and the same capital equipment. "Highly-purified, reasonably-priced peptides of consistent quality are needed by researchers to allow them to establish and confirm the important therapeutic applications that have been postulated for many of these compounds," said Ronald S. Levy, Unigene's vice president. "We have already demonstrated that we can readily meet all of these criteria, and by making these peptides available to the research community we hope that we can help to expedite the development of new therapeutic products."
 Unigene Laboratories, Inc., develops technology and products with applications in the health care field. In addition to calcitonin, its proprietary amidation process can be used to produce peptide hormones which are being tested as treatments for a variety of indications including diabetes, hypertension and infectious diseases.
 -0- 1/27/92
 /CONTRACT: Ronald S. Levy, vice president of Unigene, 201-882-0860/ CO: Unigene Laboratories, Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU:


GK-TM -- NY021 -- 3603 01/27/92 09:49 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 27, 1992
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