Ambrilia Biopharma Inc.
TSX : AMB

Ambrilia Biopharma Inc.

December 30, 2008 17:29 ET

Ambrilia Biopharma Submits a Request for Arbitration Against Merck

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 30, 2008) - Ambrilia Biopharma Inc. (TSX:AMB) announced today that it has submitted a Request for Arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to resolve disputes, controversies and claims related to a November 14, 2003 Confidentiality Agreement and an October 12, 2006 Exclusive License Agreement between Ambrilia and Merck & Co., Inc. and Merck Sharpe & Dohme Research Ltd (collectively, "Merck") respectively and certain Ambrilia patent and other rights. Following many attempts at resolution with Merck, Ambrilia came to the conclusion that seeking arbitration was the most efficient way to reach a prompt resolution to the situation.

"Our team at Ambrilia has worked hard and been successful in building a strong HIV protease inhibitor program with corresponding intellectual property, and thus creating a solid foundation on which to further build through a collaboration," said Dr. Philippe Calais, President and CEO of Ambrilia. "Based on recent events, however, Ambrilia believes Merck has not met its obligations. Ambrilia not only continues to believe in the potential of PPL-100 and its related compounds to offer advantages to HIV patients over the currently commercialized protease inhibitors, but also believes its positions respecting the partnership will prevail in arbitration."

About the Ambrilia and Merck Partnership

In October 2006, Ambrilia entered into an exclusive licensing agreement granting Merck & Co. - through an affiliate - the worldwide rights to its HIV protease inhibitor program, including lead compound PPL-100. The agreement provided for an upfront payment of $US17 million and potential cash payments totaling $US215 million to Ambrilia upon successful completion of development, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones, and royalties on all future product sales. The agreement also provides for additional milestone-based cash payments and royalties on the future development and commercialization of each back-up compound and/or related compounds developed by Merck and which fall within the scope of the Ambrilia HIV protease inhibitor program. On July 28, 2008, Ambrilia reported that Merck placed Ambrilia's HIV protease inhibitor PPL-100, also known as MK-8122, on a development hold pending outcome of additional basic science efforts to evaluate other PL-100 prodrugs and formulations options and that Merck was also further exploring development of potential related back-up compounds.

About Ambrilia Biopharma Inc.

Ambrilia Biopharma Inc. (TSX:AMB) is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel treatments for viral diseases and cancer. The Company's strategy aims to capitalize on its broad portfolio and original expertise in virology. Ambrilia's product portfolio is comprised of oncology and antiviral assets, including two new formulations of existing peptides for cancer treatment, a therapeutic peptide for prostate cancer, a targeted delivery technology for cancer, an HIV protease inhibitor program (exclusive worldwide rights granted to Merck & Co., Inc.) as well as HIV integrase and entry inhibitors, Hepatitis C virus inhibitors and anti-Influenza A compounds. Ambrilia's head office, research and development and manufacturing facilities are located in Montreal with a regional office in France. For more information, please visit the Company's web site: www.ambrilia.com

Ambrilia's forward looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectation regarding future events. There is a risk that expectations and forward looking statements will not prove to be accurate. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements as they involve risks and uncertainties, which could make actual results differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the outcome of the arbitration proceeding, changing market conditions, successful and timely completion of clinical studies, uncertainties related to the regulatory approval process, establishment of corporate alliances and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings. We refer you to the Risk Factors section of the Company's annual information form which contains a more exhaustive analysis of the risks and uncertainties that are generally connected to the business of the Company. Such statements are also based on various assumptions, including the successful and timely completion of clinical studies on Ambrilia's products demonstrating efficacy and safety for human use, their successful commercialization within the forecasted timelines and the attainment of the forecasted milestone payments and other revenues. While Ambrilia anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause Ambrilia's views to change, Ambrilia specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward looking statements, unless obligated to do so by applicable securities laws.

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