SOURCE: Celtic Pharma

January 09, 2008 07:10 ET

Celtic Pharma announces Collaboration to Deliver Improved Therapies

Hamilton, Bermuda--(Marketwire - January 9, 2008) -

  Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings and Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals Forge
 Collaboration to Deliver Improved Therapies to Patients with Hemophilia B

New York, London, Bermuda, 09 January 2008 - Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings L.P. ("Celtic Pharma") and Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Inspiration") announced today that they have agreed to enter into a collaboration intended to enhance the development of Inspiration's Factor IX for the treatment of Hemophilia B. Hemophilia B, the second most common type of hemophilia and a $650 million global market today, is largely an inherited disorder in which Factor IX, one of the proteins needed to form blood clots, is missing or reduced. Inspiration's development program is aimed at bringing more affordable, safe and effective therapeutic options to Hemophilia B patients and potentially providing treatment options that are less disruptive to their daily lives.

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, valued at up to $35 million, Celtic will take an equity stake in Inspiration as well as provide clinical development expertise and funding for Inspiration's lead Factor IX product, which is scheduled to enter Phase I safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy studies in 2008. A second generation product, which Celtic and Inspiration aim to introduce into clinical development in 2009, will expand the portfolio by potentially offering improved potency, and longer duration of action to reduce the frequency of injections in prophylactic use. Prophylaxis is well established to be medically preferable for avoiding cumulative and permanent damage from bleeding incidents while significantly reducing the disruption to the patients' daily lives.

"Celtic Pharma has the capabilities and resources, and has now made the commitment, to bring these important potential therapeutic options to market as rapidly as possible in collaboration with our new partners at Inspiration," commented Stephen Evans-Freke, Co-Managing General Partner of Celtic Pharma. "The market for Factor IX products has been growing historically at double digit rates and although medical practice has been shifting from on-demand to prophylactic usage, it remains a much underserved patient population. With the existing patents on the current recombinant product expiring in 2011, the opportunity exists to bring important therapeutic advances to market in this field, and we look forward to doing so with Inspiration."

"With the signing up of this exciting investment, we have completed the commitment of capital in Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings L.P. Our equity investment in Inspiration also provides further diversification to our portfolio both through first and second generation Factor IX programs and through wider exposure to the success of Inspiration and its other hemophilia-related programs," commented John Mayo, Co-Managing General Partner of Celtic Pharma.

"We have chosen Celtic as a partner at this stage of our business model because of their ability to offer development expertise as well as capital. This will allow Inspiration to continue to pursue strategic partnerships for Factor IX as well as the other products Inspiration has in development," said John Taylor, Co-Founder and Chairman of Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals.

About Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings L.P.

Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings L.P. ("Celtic Pharma") is a global private equity investment firm focused on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Celtic Pharma was founded by Stephen Evans-Freke and John Mayo, CBE and is based in Bermuda, with offices in New York and London. Celtic Pharma acquires and invests in late stage pharmaceutical programs and manages these programs through their development to regulatory approval. Celtic Pharma's aim is to bridge the gap between the established pharmaceutical companies' new product pipeline crisis and the biotech industry's capital drought. For further information, please visit Celtic Pharma's website at www.celticpharma.com

Enquiries:

Celtic Pharma     Kathy Armstrong
                  Tel: +1 (212) 616-4042
                  kathy@celticpharma.com

Media Contacts:
FD                US: Jonathan Birt            UK: David Yates /
                                                   Emma Thompson

                  Tel: +1 (212) 850-5634       Tel: +44 (0) 207 831 3113
                  jonathan.birt@fd.com         david.yates@fd.com

About Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals

Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, founded in 2004, is developing treatments for hemophilia that have the potential to broaden patient access to therapy, including prophylactic use. Greater access and more frequent, prophylactic therapy have been shown to reduce complications of the disease and enhance patients' long-term health and quality of life.

Underlying the Company's programs is a novel, proprietary manufacturing technology that allows a greater yield of high-quality protein at a significantly lower cost than is currently available. Inspiration is utilizing this technology to develop a portfolio of hemophilia and bleeding disorder products that address a $5 billion market worldwide.

Inspiration's lead product candidate, an intravenous recombinant Factor IX, has completed preclinical testing and is poised to enter Phase I/II clinical studies in the United States. For further information please visit the company's website at www.InspirationBio.com.

Enquiries:

Inspiration       Alison Arter
                  Tel: + (919) 929-3477
                  aarter@inspirationbio.com

Media Contacts:
Burns-McClellan   Kathy Nugent                 Justin Jackson
                  Tel: +1 (212) 213-0006       Tel: +1 (212) 213-0006
                  knugent@burnsmc.com          jjackson@burnsmc.com



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