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Echo Therapeutics and Handok Pharmaceuticals Sign South Korea License for Needle-free Symphony(TM) Transdermal Continuous Glucose Monitoring System


6/17/2009 9:22:38 AM

FRANKLIN, Mass., June 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Echo Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that it has signed a license agreement with Handok Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. ("Handok"), the largest diabetes care-focused pharmaceutical company in South Korea, under which Echo granted Handok rights to develop, market, sell and distribute Echo's Symphony(TM) tCGM System ("Symphony") for painless, needle-free, transdermal, continuous glucose monitoring ("tCGM") in medical facilities and by diabetics in South Korea. Echo's non-invasive Symphony tCGM System incorporates its Prelude(TM) SkinPrep System, a patented skin ablation control technology which allows for quick and painless removal of the outermost layer of the skin for transdermal drug delivery and glucose management. The Symphony tCGM System is designed to provide both diabetics and medical professionals with a reliable, needle-free, easy-to-use, affordable and comfortable-to-wear continuous glucose monitoring device.

"This initial commercial partnering arrangement for our Symphony tCGM System is a strategically significant component of our plan to develop and market this important next-generation technology worldwide. Closing this second licensing transaction this quarter was one of our top priorities," stated Patrick T. Mooney, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Echo Therapeutics. "Handok is the market leader in diabetes care in South Korea with a long history of ethical patient care. This new collaboration combines our deep expertise in transdermal continuous glucose monitoring and Handok's leadership in the large and rapidly expanding glucose monitoring market in South Korea."

Young Jin Kim, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Handok added, "We are extremely excited about our relationship with Echo. We believe that our ability to market and sell Symphony will expand our leadership position in the hospital and diabetes care markets in South Korea. We expect that Symphony will allow for rapid market growth and significantly increase the size of our market opportunity."

Dr. Mooney continued, "As I have stated previously, we believe that there are numerous additional partnering opportunities for our Symphony tCGM System as a needle-free, transdermal continuous glucose monitoring system and for our Prelude SkinPrep System for transdermal drug delivery applications. We are actively engaged with additional potential partners, and we will continue to secure additional commercial partnering arrangements for our core technologies in territories around the world."

Under the terms of the agreement, Echo will receive an upfront license payment from Handok of approximately $600,000. Echo will also receive substantial milestone payments upon the achievement of key development, regulatory and commercial milestones, including FDA clearance of the Symphony tCGM System, the first commercial sale of the product in South Korea, and certain other commercial targets. In addition to the upfront license payment and milestone payments, Handok will pay Echo royalties on net sales of Symphony in South Korea and will be responsible for all remaining product development and regulatory costs associated with the final development of Symphony for use in South Korea.

About Echo Therapeutics

Echo Therapeutics is focused on medical devices and specialty pharmaceuticals. Echo is developing Symphony tCGM, a non-invasive, wireless, transdermal continuous glucose monitoring system for patients with diabetes and for use in hospital critical care units. Echo is also developing its needle-free Prelude SkinPrep System for transdermal drug delivery of a wide range of novel topical reformulations of widely-used, FDA-approved products.

About Handok

HANDOK Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., (002390 KS), based in Seoul Korea, is a company posting 275B KRW in pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and OTC sales in 2008. HANDOK is among ten domestic companies in Korea and it has never recorded a deficit year since its establishment. HANDOK, founded in 1954, is the pharmaceutical company in Korea with the most successful track records in various types of partnerships. It formed a JV with Hoechst in 1964, which led to the current strategic partnership with sanofi-aventis in Korea and, moreover, have 20 other partners focusing on innovative products, including CSL, Solvay, Actelion, and AEterna Zentaris among others. HANDOK is the leader in diabetes treatment in Korea. It is also known to have leading expertise in various therapeutic categories including CV, Urology and respiratory system as well as to strive to get into oncology and CNS area in the future. HANDOK maintains a world class GMP manufacturing facility and was the first local Korean company to incorporate clinical research capabilities with medical directors on staff. For more information, visit the HANDOK website at www.handok.co.kr.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements

The statements in this press release that are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements that are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks related to regulatory approvals and the success of Echo's ongoing studies, including the efficacy of Echo's Symphony tCGM System, the failure of future development and preliminary marketing efforts related to Echo's Symphony tCGM System, the ability to secure additional commercial partnering arrangements, risks and uncertainties relating to Echo's ability to develop, market and sell diagnostic products based on its skin permeation platform technologies, including the Symphony tCGM System, the availability of substantial additional equity or debt capital to support its research, development and product commercialization activities, and the success of its research, development, regulatory approval, marketing and distribution plans and strategies, including those plans and strategies related to its Symphony tCGM System. These and other risks and uncertainties are identified and described in more detail in Echo's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and its current reports on Form 8-K. Echo Therapeutics, Inc. undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Patrick T. Mooney, MD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Echo Therapeutics, Inc., +1-508-530-0329

Web site: http://www.echotx.com/


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