Forbes Medi-Tech Inc.
OTC Bulletin Board : FMTI

October 17, 2006 08:01 ET

Forbes Medi-Tech's Cholesterol-Lowering Drug, FM-VP4, Selected for Windhover's Top 10 List

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2006) - Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. (TSX:FMI)(NASDAQ:FMTI) today announced that the Company's cholesterol-lowering drug, FM-VP4, has been recognized as one of "Windhover's Top 10 Unpartnered Cardiovascular Projects" for 2006. The selection was made by an independent committee assembled by Windhover Information, a leading provider of business information products and services to senior executives in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. Forbes representatives will be presenting at Windhover's Therapeutic Alliances Cardiovascular conference on November 16, 2006 in Chicago, IL.

"To be selected as one of the top 10 most promising unpartnered cardiovascular drugs is a great distinction for FM-VP4," stated Charles Butt, President and CEO, Forbes Medi-Tech. "The conference is an excellent venue to showcase FM-VP4 as a potential licensing opportunity."

In order to be included amongst the most attractive cardiovascular licensing opportunities all the products included in the Top 10 were screened using a strict set of judging criteria including: the product's target and first indication(s); the competitive advantage of the compound; the clinical results to date and future development plans; and strength of Intellectual Property on the compound or target.

Prior to the Windhover's Therapeutic Alliances Cardiovascular conference, the Company will be represented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions conference in Chicago from November 12 - 15.

FM-VP4 - Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitor

The Company has completed a US Phase II trial for its cholesterol-lowering drug, FM-VP4. The primary efficacy objective of this trial is to determine the effect of two doses of FM-VP4, 450mg and 900mg, given for 12 weeks, compared to placebo, on low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C). The goal of this trial is to demonstrate a minimum of 15% reduction from baseline in LDL-C at Week 12. The results are anticipated to be released in mid-to-late fourth quarter 2006.

The global anti-dyslipidemic market was an estimated US$27 billion in 2005 (Datamonitor 2006). The category within the anti-dyslipidemic market experiencing significant growth is the cholesterol absorption inhibitors (CAIs). CAIs are less potent than statins, but can provide enhanced safety as well as a synergistic efficacy in combination therapy. These products demonstrated 115.8% growth between 2003 and 2004, which was due primarily to the launch of Merck/Schering Plough's compound - Zetia®(i). Zetia®, like FM-VP4, inhibits dietary cholesterol absorption. Global sales for Zetia® in 2005 were $1.4 billion.

The significant and continuous growth of the cholesterol absorption inhibitors confirms the strength of the alternative therapy market for cholesterol lowering. FM-VP4 is one of few other inhibitors in development and, as such, has the potential to achieve a significant market share.

About Forbes Medi-Tech Inc.

Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. is a life sciences company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative products for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Our vision is to develop and market products along a treatment continuum that CVD savvy consumers, healthcare professionals and specialized CVD research and healthcare institutions will identify, recommend and seek. Our business strategy is to develop and commercialize proprietary compounds to address the unmet needs of patients within the cardiovascular disease market.

(i) Zetia® is a registered trademark of MSP Singapore Company, LLC.

Forbes Medi-Tech ("Forbes" or the "Company") has relied solely on publicly available statements from the makers of Zetia® for the information about Zetia® contained in this News Release and the Company disclaims any liability with respect to such information. Conference schedules are subject to change without notice. This News Release contains forward-looking statements regarding upcoming conferences, FM-VP4, and the Company's strategy and vision, which statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will be", "potential", "opportunity", "objective", "goal", "anticipated", "strategy", "vision", "to develop" or comparable terminology referring to future events or results. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors, including uncertainty whether the results of the FM-VP4 Phase II trial will achieve the Company's goal; uncertainty whether FM-VP4 will be successfully commercialized as a drug, or if commercialized, will achieve a significant market share; uncertainty whether FM-VP4 will be licensed out following the Windhover conference or at all; the need for additional clinical trials, the occurrence and success of which is not assured; the need for further regulatory approvals, which are not assured and which may be denied or withdrawn; uncertainty whether the Company will realize its strategies and vision; intellectual property risks; manufacturing risks and the need to manufacture to regulatory standards; product liability and insurance risks; the risk of unknown side effects; the effect of competition; changes in business strategy or development plans; and the Company's need for future funding; as well as a description of other risks and uncertainties affecting the Company and its business, as contained in news releases and filings with Securities Regulatory Authorities in Canada and the U.S., any of which could cause actual results to vary materially from current results or the Company's anticipated future results. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions and expectations of the Company's management at the time they are made, and the Company does not assume any obligation to update any statement should those beliefs, opinions or expectations, or other circumstances change.

NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange have not reviewed and do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this News Release.

Contact Information