Stellar Pharmaceuticals Inc.
TSX VENTURE : SLX
OTC Bulletin Board : SLXCF

Stellar Pharmaceuticals Inc.

October 13, 2005 13:37 ET

Stellar Pharmaceuticals Launches a Higher Molecular Weight Hyaluronate Formulation for NeoVisc'R'

LONDON, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 13, 2005) -

NeoVisc's Molecular Weight Now Among Highest in the Industry

Stellar Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Stellar") (TSX VENTURE:SLX)(OTCBB:SLXCF), a Canadian pharmaceutical developer and marketer of high quality, cost-effective products for select health care markets, today announced that it has commenced the marketing and selling of a previously licensed formulation of NeoVisc® containing a 1.5 million Dalton Hyaluronate ("HA"). NeoVisc is a viscosupplement used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Stellar has been manufacturing and supplying NeoVisc with a 0.8 million Dalton HA formulation to the Canadian and international markets since November 1996.

This new formulation of NeoVisc will provide:

- initially, enhanced symptomatic improvement for some patients due to the physical properties of a larger HA molecule (Rheological effect) - toward a more rapid patient symptom improvement in the short term;

- the same long-term symptomatic relief to patients requiring viscosupplementation as that received from the 0.8 million Dalton HA NeoVisc formulation; and

- cost-effective therapy to those patients requiring viscosupplementation.

Peter Riehl, Stellar's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "From its inception, NeoVisc has been positioned as a high quality, non-cock's comb viscosupplement sold at the best available price to patients. Constantly, competitors have attempted to differentiate their products based on hyaluronate molecular weight, implying higher molecular weight is more effective. NeoVisc is now among the highest linear molecular weight, non-cock's comb, hyaluronate products being sold for viscosupplementation. Although clinical evidence has maintained that long term patient outcomes are unaffected by variance in molecular weight(1)(2), it is felt that higher molecular weights may provide some patients with a greater relief of symptoms (pain) in the initial few days of therapy, no doubt due to the rheological properties of HA(3)(4). Based on this research, Stellar has made this change to the NeoVisc formulation and expects that this change will help the Company further strengthen NeoVisc's position in both its domestic and international markets without a material increase in cost. This improved formulation is expected to increase the demand for NeoVisc, making Stellar's present out-licensing agreements for NeoVisc more important for our future growth."

References

(1) Adams ME, Lussier AJ, Peyron JG. (Review) (81 refs). Drug Safety 2000; 23(2):115-30.

(2) Lindenhayn K, Heilmann HH, Niederhausen T, Walther HU, Pohlenz K. European Journal of Clinical Chemistry & Clinical Biochemistry 1997; 35(5):355-63.

(3) Wobig M, Bach G, Beks P et al.. Clinical Therapeutics 1999; 21(9):1549-62.

(4) Toh E, Prasad P, Teanby D. Comparing the efficacy of different hyaluronic acid derivatives: Is there a difference? Unpublished Communication 2004.

About NeoVisc®

NeoVisc is a 2 mL pre-filled syringe of sterile 1.0% sodium hyaluronate solution used for the temporary replacement of synovial fluid in osteoarthritic joints. NeoVisc is packaged, sold and marketed as a three injection therapy that has been shown to provide symptomatic relief of the pain of osteoarthritis for an average of 6-12 months. The product is administered weekly by injection directly into the affected joint. Manufactured in Canada, NeoVisc is marketed and distributed from Stellar's London, Ontario facility.

About Stellar Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Stellar has developed and is marketing direct in Canada, and in countries around the world through out-license agreements, three products based on its core polysaccharide technology: NeoVisc®, for the treatment of osteoarthritis; and Uracyst® and the Uracyst® Test Kit, its patented technology for the diagnosis and treatment of interstitial cystitis (IC), an inflammatory disease of the urinary bladder wall. Stellar also has an in-licensing agreement for NMP22® BladderChek®, a proteomics-based diagnostic test for the diagnosis and monitoring of bladder cancer.

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties impacting the Company's business including increased competition; the ability of the Company to expand its operations, to attract and retain qualified professionals, technological obsolescence; general economic conditions; and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings.

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Stellar Pharmaceuticals Inc.
    Peter Riehl
    President & CEO
    (800) 639-0643 or (519) 434-1540
    or
    Stellar Pharmaceuticals Inc.
    Arnold Tenney
    Chairman
    Cell (416) 587-3200
    or
    INVESTOR RELATIONS COUNSEL:
    The Equity Group Inc.
    Devin Sullivan
    (212) 836-9608
    dsullivan@equityny.com
    or
    The Equity Group Inc.
    Adam Prior
    (212) 836-9606
    aprior@equityny.com