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Press releases

Ferring strengthens its infertility portfolio through agreement with Metris Therapeutics for Vorozole

Copenhagen, Denmark
8 February, 2005

Ferring Pharmaceuticals announced today that it has signed an agreement with Metris Therapeutics for all potential infertility indications of the compound vorozole. Under the agreement Ferring has the rights to manufacture, develop, register and market vorozole in ovulation induction and IVF.

Vorozole belongs to the family of aromatase inhibitors which have shown promising results in the area of infertility. Aromatase inhibitors act by blocking the synthesis of oestrogen and early tests indicate vorozole's potential to improve ovulation.

Ferring R&D is planning to embark on a full clinical trial development program for vorozole, starting in 2005, with the aim of developing a new treatment for ovulation induction and In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

"We are very pleased to sign this agreement with Metris Therapeutics. Vorozole is a valuable addition to our infertility portfolio, which is now the widest in the area of infertility," says Dr. Pascal Danglas, Executive Vice President for clinical and product development.

Vorozole will complement Ferring's existing therapies (MENOPUR, BRAVELLE, NORPROLAC, CHORAGON, LUTRELEF and the GnRH agonist DECAPEPTYL), as well as the current pipeline of compounds in development.

"We at Metris Therapeutics are delighted to be associated with a key player in infertility and we look forward to exciting developments for vorozole in this setting," said Dr Peter Knox, Managing Director at Metris Therapeutics.

The treatment of infertility represents one of the most exciting and innovative areas of medicine, with an increasing demand for successful and cost-effective treatments with a good safety profile, to satisfy the growing number of infertile couples seeking help. With vorozole in the pipeline Ferring has taken another step as a key provider of infertility treatments.

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

Ovulation induction (OI):
Can be used as a treatment on its own, or in combination with other infertility treatments such as artificial insemination, or in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). The anti-oestrogens clomifene and tamoxifen have been used traditionally in the treatment of infertility to stimulate ovulation in women with infrequent or irregular periods, or in those whose menstrual cycles have stopped due to polycystic ovaries. They induce the release of gonadotrophins by making the hypothalamus believe the woman's oestrogen levels are too low.

In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF):
The first and most well-known procedure in the area of assisted reproductive technology (ART). The procedure has four stages and involves stimulation of the ovaries to produce and release a number of mature eggs, collection of the eggs from the ovaries, fertilisation outside the body to produce young embryos and transfer of the embryos into the uterus.

About Ferring:
Ferring is a research driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynaecology, infertility and urology.

In recent years Ferring has expanded beyond its traditional European base and now has operating subsidiaries in over 40 countries.

About Metris Therapeutics:
Metris Therapeutics is a relatively new biopharmaceutical company, founded in 1996. It is located in the United Kingdom and focuses on women's healthcare and in particular on the treatment of endometriosis.

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