Theratechnologies inc.
TSX : TH

Theratechnologies inc.

November 20, 2006 14:02 ET

Theratechnologies' CEO Advocates New Approaches to Strengthen Biotech

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 20, 2006) - Yves Rosconi, President and CEO of Theratechnologies (TSX:TH), told attendees at the BioNorth Conference in Ottawa earlier today that the evolution of pharmaceutical industry is creating exciting new opportunities for Canadian biotech companies. He spoke of growing interest on the part of established pharmaceutical companies in biotech products, which are typically aimed at smaller niche markets. Mr. Rosconi said that this trend is strengthening the negotiating hand of biotech companies and giving them more options to develop their businesses.

Using his own company as an example, Mr. Rosconi explained that Theratechnologies has retained the commercial rights to TH9507 in order to strengthen the Company and create more value for shareholders. He argued that a sustainable Canadian biotech industry is within reach and he other urged companies, investors, and government policy makers to act on the new opportunities.

Shifting landscape favors biotech

The President and CEO of Theratechnologies stated that the pharmaceutical industry's business model based on marketing blockbuster drugs may have run its course.

"The blockbuster strategy that served the industry so well for the past 25 years appears to be running out of steam. Revenue growth has flattened and patent protection is expiring for a growing number of important drugs. At the same time, R&D productivity is in decline. (...) For many years now, Big Pharma has been spending more and getting less for their R&D investments.

Mr. Rosconi maintains that the growing interest in biotech products is creating opportunities for biotech companies.

"In practical terms what this means is we should be able to secure more favourable terms from big Pharma in the future - fewer full-blown out licensing deals and more co-promotions and regional deals."

Theratechnologies' growth plan

Mr. Rosconi said that Theratechnologies has retained commercial rights to TH9507, its lead product currently in Phase 3 clinical development for a condition known as HIV-associated lipodystrophy.

"TH9507 is aimed at a niche market and we have retained the commercial rights to the product in North America and Europe. Our plan is to complete the development of the product ourselves and then work with a commercial partner to establish our own sales force and marketing infrastructure for North America."

While not technically a potential blockbuster in HIV-associated lipodystrophy, a term reserved for drugs with annual sales of more than a billion dollars, TH9507 has the potential to generate substantial sales, Mr. Rosconi explained.

"We estimate that 250,000 HIV patients suffer from HIV-associated lipodystrophy and that among those perhaps 25,000 and 50,000 patients will have access to treatment. This could represent a total market of between $335 million and $850 million per annum. So TH9507 may never be a blockbuster in this indication, but market potential in that range is nothing to sneeze at!"

A call to action

Mr. Rosconi concluded his remarks with a call to action aimed at Canadian biotech companies, investors and government policymakers.

"The new industry landscape that I have described this afternoon is a golden opportunity for biotechnology in Canada. By selecting the right strategies and looking at our companies in new ways, we can generate much more value and begin to build sustainable businesses, and the sustainable industry that so far has eluded us."

About Theratechnologies

Theratechnologies is a Canadian biopharmaceutical company that discovers or acquires novel therapeutic products for development and commercialization. These products target unmet medical needs in commercially attractive specialty markets. The most advanced program is TH9507 in Phase 3 clinical development in HIV-associated lipodystrophy. The Company also has other promising projects at various stages of development.

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the Company's objectives, as well as the anticipated sales and estimated market for TH9507. Such statements inherently involve numerous risks and uncertainties, including the availability of funds and resources, the success and timely completion of clinical trials and the granting of the necessary authorizations. Actual future results may differ materially from the anticipated results. Investors are cautioned against placing undue importance on the forward-looking information contained in this press release and should consult pages 16 and 17 of the Company's 2005 Annual Report, which contains a more exhaustive analysis of risks and uncertainties connected to the business of the Company.

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