Saint Prex, Switzerland, October 10, 2007 - Ferring Pharmaceuticals today announced that it had come to an agreement with Cosmo Pharmaceuticals SpA for the licensing of Budesonide MMX™. The agreement grants Ferring an exclusive worldwide license (excluding Japan and the USA) for Budesonide MMX™, which is predicted to become the first world wide approved oral corticosteroid for ulcerative colitis.
Corticosteroids are known to have a stronger effect than first line mesalamine treatments that approximately 70% of all patients take. At this point in time no corticosteroid drug has been granted worldwide approval for treatment of ulcerative colitis because of the side effect profile associated with the drug group. Budesonide MMX™, however, retains the effectiveness of classical corticosteroids but has substantially reduced side effects, thanks to its targeted release in the colon
Ferring will immediately partner with Cosmo on the extensive multi-centre phase III clinical trials in Europe. Ferring will make an initial payment of € 2 million for licensing rights. Post market entry (scheduled for 2010), Ferring will make revenue-related milestone payments which, depending on the market success of the product, could potentially reach € 58 million over the product life. Ferring has also agreed to pay double-digit royalty on net revenue.
Michel L.Pettigrew, Chief Operating Officer of Ferring Group commented: "We have been following Cosmo's development quite closely and believe that Budesonide MMX™ fits well with our treatment portfolio. We have long been at the forefront of IBD treatment and strive to improve the treatment available in this therapy area. The advantages Budesonide MMX™ offers through its efficacy and better tolerability will help us address a major need of patients with ulcerative colitis."
Mauro Ajani, CEO of Cosmo, stated: "I am very proud of this agreement because it formalizes our relationship with one of the most respected European pharmaceutical companies and further validates our innovative MMX technology. Ferring is one of the pioneers in the IBD sector and has a very experienced and extensive distribution network in Europe."
About Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that produces inflammation and ulcers along the inside of the large intestine. The inflammation can interfere with the normal function of the colon, often causing cramping, bloating, diarrhoea, bleeding, fatigue, weight loss and frequent bowel movements which strongly affect the quality of life. It is believed that as many as 2.2 million people in Europe have IBD. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic relapsing-remitting illness for which there is no known cure. Patients can manage their symptoms. A known issue that arises with ulcerative colitis patients is medication compliance and excessive pill burden: many currently available ulcerative colitis treat¬ments require multiple pills to be taken several times daily, and often involve inconvenient means of administration.
Ferring is a Swiss-based research driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynaecology, fertility and urology. In recent years Ferring has expanded beyond its traditional European base and has offices in over 40 countries. To learn more about Ferring or its products please visit www.ferring.com.
About Cosmo Pharmaceuticals
Cosmo is a speciality pharma company that aims to become a global leader in optimised therapies for certain gastrointestinal diseases. The company's proprietary clinical development pipeline specifically addresses innovative treatments for IBD, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and colon infections. Cosmo's first product is LIALDA™ / MEZAVANT™ that is licensed globally to Giuliani and Shire Pharmaceuticals. Cosmo's proprietary MMX™ technology is at the core of the company's product pipeline and was developed from its expertise in formulating and manufacturing gastrointestinal drugs for international clients at its GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facilities in Lainate, Italy. For further information on Cosmo, please visit the Company's website: www.cosmopharmaceuticals.com
Dr. Chris Tanner, CFO and Head of Investor Relations
Tel: +39 02 9333 7614