H. Lundbeck and Pharmexa Achieve Important Milestone in Research Collaboration


HORSHOLM, Denmark, Dec. 10, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Pharmexa (Other OTC:PMXAY) today announced important progress in a research collaboration with H. Lundbeck established in April 2000. The focus of the collaboration is the development of a ground-breaking new drug against Alzheimer's disease using Pharmexa's proprietary AutoVaca technology.

- During the course of the research phase of the collaboration proof of concept in animals has been achieved. This means that the AutoVaca technology applied to the protein target causing Alzheimer's disease in relevant animal models has shown the desired therapeutic effect

- Concurrently, H. Lundbeck has decided to take the project into the early development phase, where a limited number of AutoVaca molecules will be further examined with a view to finally select the molecule to be used in the first human clinical trial. H.Lundbeck and Pharmexa is currently discussing the structure of theirfurther collaboration

- This releases a milestone payment to Pharmexa in accordance with the parties' agreement

- Pharmexa further announce today that the focus of the collaboration is Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is an incurable dementia disease, which constitute one of the largest unmet medical needs today.

In April 2000 Pharmexa entered into a 3-year research and developmentcollaboration with H. Lundbeck concerning the use of the AutoVaca technology on a certain protein target in the central nervous system to develop a treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The collaboration gives H. Lundbeck a global exclusive license to apply the AutoVaca technology on this protein target. If successful, Pharmexa will receive milestone payments amounting to approximately DKK 150 million as well as royalties on eventual product sales.

In accordance with the agreement, H. Lundbeck and Pharmexa work on abiological drug based on Pharmexa's AutoVaca technology that represent an entirely new way of treating Alzheimer's disease. Rather than traditional symptom relief, the approach constitutes actual treatment of the disease. The collaboration place H. Lundbeck and Pharmexa on the very forefront of the development of new biotechnology-based drugs against Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Peter Hongaard Andersen, Divisional Director of Biological Research in H. Lundbeck said: "We have in the last few years seen indications that biotechnology-based drugs could be relevant in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders, and here H. Lundbeck in the collaboration with Pharmexa has achieved a leading position. We have had an excellent collaboration with Pharmexa and it is therefore natural that the collaboration continue from the research stage into the development stage where we combine our own long standing expertise in Alzheimer's disease with Pharmexa's expertise in the development of protein based drugs for active immunotherapy."

Soren Mouritsen, CEO of Pharmexa said: "We are very pleased with our partnership with H. Lundbeck, one of the worlds leading companies in the field of psychiatric and neurological disorders, and with the results achieved so far in the collaboration. We have put a lot of effort into showing that an AutoVaca product will be without the side effects seen in other companies working with immunotherapy against Alzheimer's disease and in this respect we have achieved very promising results. The market potential for such a product is very large and the need from patients, their relatives and society as a whole for an effective treatment of Alzheimer's disease is enormous."

Alzheimer's disease is a deadly neurodegenerative disease that attacks brain cells, nerves and the communication between these. The disease affects millions of people worldwide and the number is increasing. It is strongly age dependent and 90% of cases affect people over the age of 65. Current treatments are limited to symptom relief and there is a huge need for new and improved drugs.

The disease is characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration, i.e. deterioration in memory, perception and speech problems, which in time will make the patient unable to take care of him/herself. In the late stages of the disease mental problems such as anxiety, confusion and anger may occur.

The milestone payment is accounted for in Pharmexa already announced expectations to the result for the year and therefore does not giverise to any changes.

Additional information:
Soren Mouritsen, chief executive officer
telephone +45 2145 6244

Birger Borregaard, chief operating officer
telephone +45 4516 2525

Jakob Schmidt, chief financial officer
telephone +45 4516 2525

Please click on the link to view the full press release: http://reports.huginonline.com/884798/111270.pdf