Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. Reports Positive Results from In Vivo Testing of RenaZorb

Reduction of Phosphate Established in Animal Testing

Reno, Nevada, UNITED STATES


RENO, Nev., April 11, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ALTI) reported today that data from laboratory testing and animal testing of RenaZorb(tm), the company's new drug candidate for phosphate control in kidney dialysis patients, has demonstrated significant effectiveness in binding phosphate. The new laboratory test results, conducted by a pharmaceutical company, confirmed earlier in vitro testing conducted in Altair's laboratory. Positive results from animal testing are required to progress to eventual testing in humans.

The recently completed study tested both RenaZorb "B" and RenaZorb "H" in rats. Over the entire testing period, rats treated with RenaZorb showed excellent reductions of phosphorus in urinary excretions. Reduced urinary phosphorus is considered positive proof of the drug's efficacy in binding phosphate. RenaZorb reduced phosphate progressively according to the dose administered. There was no reduction in food intake by the animals and there were no negative observations regarding the animals during the duration of the testing program.

Test results showed that RenaZorb "B" was effective at a dosage level of 0.3 percent of diet resulting in a greater than 400 percent reduction in urinary phosphate excretion. RenaZorb "H" reduced urinary phosphate by approximately 200 percent at a dosage level of 0.3 percent of diet and displayed a 260 percent reduction at a dosage level of 0.6 percent of diet.

With the completion of the laboratory and initial animal testing of RenaZorb, Altair believes that RenaZorb has significant advantages when compared to Genzyme's Renagel(tm), the only non-calcium based drug for phosphate control approved by the FDA. "These advantages could include," stated Altair President Dr. Rudi E. Moerck, "lower dosing, no acid burden, higher selectivity for phosphate and ultimately, lower patient cost." Dr. Moerck went on to add that the FDA has issued an approvable letter to UK-based Shire Pharmaceuticals for Fosrenal(tm), the first lanthanum-based pharmaceutical for phosphate control in dialysis patients. RenaZorb, also based on lanthanum chemistry, may offer cost, performance, and dosing advantages when compared to Fosrenal.

Altair also announced that it had received a separate report on testing of RenaZorb in rats and dogs from another pharmaceutical company. Confidentiality agreements do not permit Altair to disclose the results of this report.

"The conclusion of the first phase of in vivo testing represents a milestone in the development of RenaZorb," said Dr. Moerck. "The results achieved in the animal tests combined with our earlier laboratory results provide clear evidence that RenaZorb is a viable drug candidate for phosphate control in kidney dialysis patients. The results from the study also have allowed Altair to make adjustments in RenaZorb's formulation that should further enhance its phosphate binding performance. We are in discussions with four pharmaceutical companies and will make our in vivo testing results available to potential licensees of RenaZorb." Dr. Moerck went on to note that the use of RenaZorb for phosphate control in feline and canine applications is currently being explored with interested companies.

ALTAIR NANOTECHNOLOGIES, INC.

Nanotechnology is rapidly emerging as a unique industry sector. Altair Nanotechnologies is positioning itself through product innovation to become a leading supplier of nanomaterial technology and nanomaterials worldwide. Altair owns a proprietary technology for making nanocrystalline materials of unique quality both economically and in large quantities. The company is currently developing special nanomaterials with potential applications in pharmaceuticals, batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, advanced energy storage devices, thermal spray coatings, catalysts, cosmetics, paints and environmental remediation. For additional information on Altair and its nanoparticle materials, visit www.altairnano.com .

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements pertaining to RenaZorb, the company's new drug candidate for phosphate removal. These forward-looking statements, which are included in accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, may involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company's actual results and performance pertaining to RenaZorb to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested by the forward-looking statements in this release. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the possibilities that the company may be unable to attract licensees for RenaZorb, fund additional research programs or further product development of the product. Additionally, the company's nanoparticle products may not be integrated into any major market groups and products. Other risks are identified in the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the SEC.

The Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. company logo can be found at: http://media.primezone.com/prs/single/?pkgid=511



        

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