WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.

WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.

March 16, 2005 08:30 ET

Collaboration Between ESTEVE and WEX Grows to Co-Development


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: WEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC.

TSX SYMBOL: WXI

MARCH 16, 2005 - 08:30 ET

Collaboration Between ESTEVE and WEX Grows to
Co-Development

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 16, 2005) - WEX
Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("WEX" or the "Company") (TSX:WXI) is pleased to
announce that it has mutually decided with its European partner,
Laboratorios del Dr. Esteve S.A. ("ESTEVE") to make certain amendments
to the previously executed License and Collaboration Agreement relating
to the Company's products Tectin™, Tetrodin™ and Tocudin™. The
amendments expand the existing collaboration to include additional
co-development work. Both parties agree that to achieve
commercialization of Tectin™ in the most expeditious manner it is
necessary to effectively utilize their combined resources. ESTEVE will
pursue development in Europe and is planning to commence a double blind
placebo controlled study in Europe later this year.

Under the agreement, WEX and ESTEVE will be jointly responsible for
patent portfolio expansion and certain development work, including
non-clinical work, required to meet regulatory requirements. Employees
of both companies will jointly manage co-development work covered by the
agreement.

WEX will receive a payment from ESTEVE of EUR 2,000,000 within 10
business days as their commitment to the recently completed Phase IIa
trial in Canada.

WEX will continue to retain the exclusive rights to manufacture and
supply its products to Europe as well as the rest of the world and
ESTEVE will retain exclusive rights to market the products in Europe.

About WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.

WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a neuro-bio-science company dedicated to the
discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of moderate to
severe pain, symptom relief associated with addiction withdrawal from
opioid abuse, and medicines designed for local and regional anaesthesia.
The Company's principle business strategy is to derive drugs from
naturally occurring toxins and develop proprietary products for the
Global market. The Company's Chinese subsidiary sells generic products
manufactured at its facility in China and are expanding its marketing
efforts in the rest of Asia.

About Laboratorios del Dr. Esteve S.A.

ESTEVE is one of the largest pharmaceutical-chemical corporations in
Southern Europe, with close to 2500 employees and sales in excess of EUR
800 million. They have an international presence through subsidiaries in
Italy and Portugal and worldwide licensees and distributors. Since 1960,
ESTEVE has established strategic alliances with multinational
pharmaceutical-chemical companies to market their products worldwide.
ESTEVE has established its own successful research and development
capabilities, developing new chemical entities and manufacturing active
pharmaceutical ingredients with its research products marketed in over
90 countries.

Forward Looking Statements

This News Release contains forward-looking statements which may not be
based on historical fact, including without limitation statements. Such
forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results,
events or developments to be materially different from any future
results, events or developments expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, Wex's
dependence on Esteve, Esteve's planned clinical trials, and the
regulatory approval and risks associated with clinical trials. These
factors should be considered carefully and readers are cautioned not to
place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The company
disclaims any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly
announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking
statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or
developments.

-30-

Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.
    Don Evans
    (604) 683-8880 or 1-800-722-7549
    or
    WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.
    Gordon Stanley
    Corporate Communications
    (604) 683-8880 or 1-800-722-7549
    (604) 683-8868 (FAX)
    wex@wexpharma.com
    www.wexpharma.com