Speedel Experimenta Receives Entrepreneurial Prize For Northwest Switzerland

BASEL, Switzerland and BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Speedel announced today that its late-stage research unit, Speedel Experimenta, has been awarded the 2004 entrepreneurial prize for small and medium sized enterprises in northwest Switzerland. The prize is to be presented to Speedel Experimenta on 2 December in Muttenz by the trade associations of the Basel region for outstanding entrepreneurial achievements and remarkable contributions to the region's economic development over the past two years.

Speedel Experimenta was established in 2002 with state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at the Innovation Centre in Allschwil, Basel in Switzerland. Its mission is to identify and produce attractive drug candidates that broaden Speedel's pipeline of products and to create in-house intellectual property. Experimenta commenced operations with 7 employees in August 2002 and with further substantial investment it has grown to employ 30 scientists and technicians who provide expertise in medicinal chemistry, crystallography, bio-chemistry, pharmacology, and galenical formulations. There has been a corresponding expansion of laboratory space from 800 to 1400 square meters, together with significant additions to its scientific facilities. Experimenta benefits from access to a world-class Scientific Advisory Board including Professor Ryoji Noyori who was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Dr. Geza Teleki, Director of the regional employers' association, Basler Volkswirtschaftsbund, stated: "Speedel Experimenta has demonstrated all the key qualities of a successful entrepreneurial new company, and made a convincing and easily understood rationale for its future development."

Dr. Alice Huxley, founder and CEO of Speedel, commented: "This award recognises the entrepreneurial dynamism and scientific know-how of our company. The successful establishment of Speedel Experimenta is a strategic investment to produce the next generation of innovative therapies for treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Basel offers an excellent environment for innovative R&D and we are proud to contribute to the region's economic and scientific progress."

Dr. Dimitrios Goundis, Managing Director of Speedel Experimenta, commented: "We are honoured to receive the entrepreneurial prize for northwest Switzerland this year. It reflects Speedel's strong commitment to biopharmaceutical research and rewards the entire team of Speedel for the rapid and successful establishment of Speedel Experimenta as a product-focused research unit. In just over two years we have synthesized more than 5,000 compounds, of which we have tested 700 in-vitro and 45 in-vivo. So far we have filed 16 patent applications."

Speedel is a world leader in renin inhibition, an exciting new approach to treating cardiovascular diseases. Experimenta's expertise in this area is founded on the successful technical and chemical development of SPP100 Aliskiren, the first-in-class renin inhibitor, which is now partnered with Novartis and in phase III development for hypertension. Experimenta is also benefiting from the in-licensing in 2001 of Roche's complete renin inhibitor programme, and from a collaboration with Locus Pharmaceuticals Inc. initiated in 2003. Experimenta is today working on multiple series of novel renin inhibitors, and plans to promote its first compound for clinical development in man during 2005. Experimenta also has the capacity to produce drug candidates with other modes of action for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

For more information on the entrepreneurial prize for small and medium sized enterprises in northwest Switzerland, please visit the website of the organizing association, Basler Volkswirtschaftsbund: http://www.bvb.ch/.

About Speedel

Speedel is a biopharmaceutical company that creates value for patients, partners and investors by developing innovative therapies for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Speedel is a world leader in renin inhibition, an exciting new approach to treating cardiovascular diseases. Our lead compound SPP100 (Aliskiren), a first-in-class renin inhibitor, is partnered with Novartis for phase III development and commercialisation in hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Our pipeline covers three different modes of action, and in addition to SPP100, it includes two compounds in phase II plus three pre-clinical projects.

Speedel develops novel therapies through focused innovation and smart drug development from lead identification to the end of phase II. We either partner with big pharma for phase III and commercialisation of primary-care indications, or we may ourselves complete phase III for specialist indications. Candidate compounds for development and the company's intellectual property come from our late-stage research unit Speedel Experimenta and from in-licensing.

Our team of fifty experienced pharmaceutical scientists and managers is located at our head quarters in Basel, Switzerland and at offices in New Jersey, USA and Tokyo, Japan. Since being founded in 1998 as a private company, we have secured CHF180 million for investment in our pipeline through operating revenues, equity and a convertible loan.

Forward looking statements

This press release contains certain forward looking statements that can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "envisaged", "potentially", and "could" or "may" etc. There are no guarantees that such future events or results will actually be realized, and in particular that the aforementioned licensing agreements or approaches will result in the development of a new drug for cardiovascular indications or any subsequent commercialisation of any product in any market. Any such commercial success can be affected by, among other things, uncertainties relating to product development, regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally, the ability to obtain or maintain patent or other intellectual property protection and competition in general. Any of these and other factors can cause the actual results to differ materially from the expected or predicted results.

Speedel Pharmaceuticals Inc

CONTACT: Nick Miles, Director Communications & Investor Relations, T:+41-61-206-40-00, or D: +41-61-206-40-14, or F: +41-61-206-40-01, orM: +41-79-446-25-21, or nick.miles@speedel.com, or Frank LaSaracina, ManagingDirector, T: +1-732-537-2290, or F: +1-732-537-2292, or M: +1-908-338-0501, orfrank.lasaracina@speedel.com, both of Speedel Pharmaceuticals Inc

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