WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.

WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.

August 10, 2005 09:28 ET

WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.: Debenture Redemption Request and Negotiations

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 10, 2005) - WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:WXI) ("WEX" or the "Company") today announced that the Company is in discussions regarding its unsecured convertible debentures in the aggregate principal amount of US$5.1 million that were issued in June 2004 by the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Wex Medical Limited, to 3 investment funds managed by a major Asian financial institution ("Institution").

The Institution alleges that WEX breached certain representations and warranties contained in the agreements in regards to the registered ownership of the drug withdrawal Patent No ZL95190556.2 "Use of Amino Quinazoline Hydride Compound and its Derivative for Abstaining from Drug Dependence" in China (the "Chinese Drug Withdrawal Patent") and believes it is entitled to call for early redemption of the debentures.

The Institution has indicated that it is prepared to consider other options to satisfy its request. WEX is currently in negotiations with the Institution for the amendment of the terms of the debentures in order to resolve the matter.

On June 28, 2005 the Company announced that the ownership of the Chinese Drug Withdrawal Patent was changed from the Company's subsidiary, Nanning Maple Leaf Pharmaceuticals ("NMLP") to one of the inventors and a third party who alleges to be an employer of the other inventor. Subsequently, the Company entered into discussions with the other parties and, as a result, both registered owners of this Chinese Drug Withdrawal Patent have provided written confirmation that they are willing to transfer the ownership back to NMLP on terms to be finalized that the Company believes will be satisfactory. The Company will continue to pursue this business option to regain ownership of the Chinese Drug Withdrawal Patent.

As of June 30, 2005 the Company had $20.7 million in cash, cash equivalents and short term investments and plans to continue to focus its resources on the commercialization of the Company's lead product , Tectin™, for the treatment of moderate to severe cancer pain. To further assist in meeting timelines to complete enrollment by June 2006 the Company has agreed in principle with its clinical research organization to expand its Canadian Phase IIb/III study to include a number of sites in Chile.

About WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.

WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc. is dedicated to the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of innovative drug products to treat moderate to severe acute and chronic pain, symptom pain relief associated with addiction withdrawal from opioid abuse and medicines designed for local anaesthesia. The Company's principal 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.

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. 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.

Contact Information

  • WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.
    Don Evans
    Corporate Communications
    (604) 683-8880 or 1-800-722-7549
    WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc.
    Gordon Stanley
    Corporate Communications
    (604) 683-8880 or 1-800-722-7549