Pharmexa Focuses and Adjusts the Organization


HOERSHOLM, Denmark, Jan. 29, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- As first announced on September 10, 2002, Pharmexa (Other OTC:PMXAY) is increasingly focusing its resources on the most advanced products, the HER-2 DNA AutoVac(TM), HER-2 Protein AutoVac(TM) and TNF-alpha AutoVac(TM) products. These three successful development projects continue to demand more resources. A comprehensive phase II trial with HER-2 DNA AutoVac(TM) against breast cancer is currently being prepared in several European countries while HER-2 Protein AutoVac(TM), also against breast cancer, soon commences a phase I trial in the United States. At the same time, the TNF-alpha AutoVac(TM) against rheumatoid arthritis is moving quickly towards clinical trials in man. On this basis and as a result of the poor capital markets, Pharmexa has decided to downgrade a number of research programmes within cancer and allergy. The company's RANKL AutoVac(TM) programme against bone degeneration will be continued on a lower resource level.

These adjustments also lead to changes in Pharmexa's organization. Pharmexa today announces a lay-off of 31 employees, which together with a number of other changes will lead to a personnel reduction of 30%. Most lay-offs take place in the research organization but also a number of support functions like administration and IT will be affected, as will the development organization and management. In connection with the adjustment, Chief Operating Officer Birger Borregaard will leave the company. Executive management in Pharmexa hereafter comprises Chief Executive Officer Soeren Mouritsen and Chief Financial Officer Jakob Schmidt.

Soeren Mouritsen, CEO said: "With the depressed capital markets it is even more important that we keep our focus, now that we are moving into the more expensive phases of drug development. We deeply regret having to lay-off so many excellent employees but it is imperative that we are able to allocate sufficient resources to our most promising projects in the coming years. Although the majority of the lay-offs take place in the research organization our scientists will still be able to supply promising AutoVac(TM) candidates to our development pipeline. The difference is simply that now this research is conducted on a smaller number of projects."

Jakob Schmidt, CFO said: "These changes reduce our cost budgets for 2003, 2004 and 2005 with more than DKK 170 million. A significantly reduced cost base provides us with more flexibility and makes us more attractive to investors, which is important in the current financial markets. The funding available from public markets will be limited in the coming years and therefore we need to be even more cost conscious."

Following the adjustment Pharmexa employs approximately 87 employees.

Soeren Mouritsen, Chief Executive Officer