WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.

WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.

July 02, 2008 19:19 ET

WEX Appoints Chief Financial Officer

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 2, 2008) - WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("WEX" or the "Company") (TSX:WXI) announced today the promotion of Mr. Kwong Choo to the position of Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Finance and Administration effective July 1, 2008. He has served as Controller since January 2008. In his new role, Mr. Choo will provide leadership in the development and implementation of financial and operational strategies.

Mr. Choo has over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting, including 10 years as a Controller in Canada. He was previously the Group Controller at RCI Capital Group Inc. Mr. Choo earned a degree in management accounting from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK in 1990 and holds a CGA designation in Canada.

"We are very pleased to expand Mr. Choo's responsibilities at WEX," said Bin Huang, WEX's President and CEO. "His expertise and leadership will be essential as we continue our development of Tectin and growth of the company."

About Tectin

The active ingredient in Tectin is tetrodotoxin (TTX), a highly selective sodium channel blocker derived from the puffer fish. Sodium channels are found on nerves and are involved in transmission of nerve impulses. Tetrodotoxin targets a subset of sodium channels found on nerves which conduct pain impulses. There are changes to this subset of sodium channels in chronic pain conditions. Tetrodotoxin is extremely potent, and much lower dosages are needed to produce an analgesic effect than with other drugs.

WEX recently started a Phase III clinical trial of Tectin for the treatment of cancer pain. This clinical trial (TEC-006) is a multicentre, randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial comparing the efficacy and safety of Tectin to placebo in approximately 120 patients with moderate to severe inadequately controlled cancer-related pain.

Market Opportunity

At present, the management of severe cancer pain generally includes the use of morphine and other opiates. This can often result in undesirable side effects, and treatment with this type of medication is not always effective. Because currently available pain-relieving therapy is unsatisfactory for many patients, there is a need for new therapeutic approaches for the management of moderate or severe cancer pain.

In addition to the unmet medical need, the number of patients suffering from cancer continues to grow. In North America alone, based on estimates provided by the American Cancer Society and the Canadian Cancer Society, 1,604,820 were diagnosed with cancer in the United States and Canada in 2007. Between 75% and 90% of patients with metastatic or advanced stage cancer will experience significant cancer-induced pain. In hospitalized patients, 79% experience pain, with 46% experiencing severe pain despite analgesic therapy. Moreover, the actual treatment of cancer can cause pain, with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy occurring in about half of patients receiving some types of chemotherapy. The global market for pain therapeutics used in cancer patients was approximately US$15.2 billion in 2005 and this is expected to reach at least US$23 billion by 2010.

About WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.

WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc. is dedicated to the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of innovative drug products to treat pain. The Company's principal business strategy is to derive drugs from naturally occurring toxins and develop proprietary products for the global market.

Forward Looking Statements and Information

Certain statements herein may contain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements or information appear in a number of places and can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate" or "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements and information are subject to such risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. See our annual information form and our quarterly and annual management's discussion and analysis for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to the forward-looking statement and information. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements or information referenced herein will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements or information. Also, many of the factors are beyond the control of the Company. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. All forward-looking statements and information made herein, are qualified by this cautionary statement.

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