Adherex Technologies Inc.
TSX : AHX
AMEX : ADH

Adherex Technologies Inc.

March 01, 2007 08:31 ET

Adherex Completes Buy-Out of Eniluracil Development Options From GlaxoSmithKline

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NORTH CAROLINA--(CCNMatthews - March 1, 2007) - Adherex Technologies Inc. (TSX:AHX)(AMEX:ADH), a biopharmaceutical company with a broad portfolio of oncology products under development, today announced that it has completed the previously announced purchase of all of GlaxoSmithKline's (NYSE:GSK) remaining options for eniluracil under the July 14, 2005 Development and License Agreement. Adherex paid GSK a fee of US$1 million in connection with the buy-out.

"Today's closing brings the development of eniluracil under Adherex's full control and uncaps the potential economic upside of this product for Adherex and its shareholders," said William P. Peters, MD, PhD, Chairman and CEO of Adherex. "Our recent clinical and preclinical work has supported our new understanding of this drug's pharmacology, which we believe will translate into superior treatment results for patients with cancer. We plan to pursue clinical trial designs intended to not only accelerate developmental timelines but also provide for the best commercial opportunities."

"We have a large and expanding oncology portfolio, and where eniluracil was not a current strategic priority for us, we felt this agreement was the best way to ensure eniluracil would continue forward in its development," said Maxine Gowen, PhD, Senior Vice President, Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery, GlaxoSmithKline.

Adherex is developing eniluracil, an oral dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) inhibitor, to improve the therapeutic value and effectiveness of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) by making 5-FU orally active, with fewer side effects and potentially more effective. 5-FU is one of the most commonly used oncology drugs in the world, currently used as first- and second-line therapy for multiple solid tumors, including colon, rectal, breast, gastric, head and neck, ovarian, and basal cell cancer of the skin, among others. The use of 5-FU in combination with eniluracil may also offer the opportunity to broaden the types of cancer in which 5-FU is currently being used.

About Adherex Technologies

Adherex Technologies Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel cancer therapeutics. We aim to be a leader in developing innovative treatments that address important unmet medical needs in cancer. We currently have multiple products in the clinical stage of development, including eniluracil, ADH-1 and sodium thiosulfate (STS). Eniluracil, an oral dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) inhibitor, was previously under development by GlaxoSmithKline for oncology indications. ADH-1, our lead biotechnology compound, selectively targets N-cadherin, a protein present on certain tumor cells and established blood vessels that feed solid tumors. STS, a drug from our specialty pharmaceuticals pipeline, protects against the disabling hearing loss that can often result from treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy drugs. With a diversified portfolio of unique preclinical and clinical-stage cancer compounds and a management team with expertise in identifying, developing and commercializing novel cancer therapeutics, Adherex is emerging as a pioneering oncology company. For more information, please visit our website at www.adherex.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve significant risks and uncertainties. The actual results, performance or achievements of the Company might differ materially from the results, performance or achievements of the Company expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, those regarding the development plans of the Company and the expected timing and results of such development. We can provide no assurance that such development will proceed as currently anticipated or that the expected timing or results of such development will be realized. We are subject to various risks, including the uncertainties of clinical trials, drug development and regulatory review, the early stage of our product candidates, our need for additional capital to fund our operations, our reliance on collaborative partners, our history of losses, and other risks inherent in the biopharmaceutical industry. For a more detailed discussion of related risk factors, please refer to our public filings available at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov.

Contact Information

  • Adherex Technologies Inc.
    Melissa Matson
    Director, Corporate Communications
    919-484-8484
    matsonm@adherex.com