Major Expansion Of Speedel Experimenta Completed

BASEL, Switzerland, and BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Speedel announced today that it has completed the latest and most significant phase of expansion for Speedel Experimenta, its late-stage research unit, operating in state-of the-art laboratories at the Innovation Centre, Allschwil, Basel in Switzerland. Speedel Experimenta was established in 2002 with a mission to identify and produce attractive drug candidates that broaden Speedel's pipeline of products and to create in-house intellectual property.

Experimenta began operations with 7 employees in August 2002 and with further substantial investment this has now been increased to 30 scientists and technicians. There has been a corresponding expansion of laboratory space from 800 to 1400 square meters, together with significant additions to scientific facilities.

"I am delighted with the rapid establishment of Speedel Experimenta as a product-focused research unit, which now has the fully integrated expertise and capacity to deliver new products for Speedel's pipeline," commented Dr. Dimitrios Goundis, Managing Director of Speedel Experimenta. "In just over two years we have synthesized over 5000 compounds, of which we have tested 700 in- vitro and 45 in-vivo, and we have filed 16 patent applications."

The initial focus of the unit in 2002 was to use medicinal chemistry to perform targeted lead optimisation programmes. During 2003 and 2004 Experimenta has added four scientific disciplines to significantly expand its in-house capabilities. The rationale for this development is to ensure that Experimenta reduces the traditional time period taken from first synthesis of a compound to entry into man in a cost-efficient manner, and that it creates broader intellectual property rights and captures more value for the company.

  These four new disciplines are:

   * Crystallography, for refinement of chemical structures, in
     collaboration with the University of Zurich
   * Bio-chemistry, for assay development and expression of proteins
   * Pharmacology, for in-vitro testing and analyzing of safety profiles
   * Galenical R&D, to produce the most effective formulation of compounds
     for man

Dr. Alice Huxley, CEO of Speedel, said: "We are committed to this strategic investment as a platform for Speedel's continued success in developing novel drugs for treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases."

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 initiated in 2003 with Locus Pharmaceuticals Inc. 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.

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 commercialization 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, D: +41-61-206-40-14, F: +41-61-206-40-01, M:+41-79-446-25-21,; or Frank LaSaracina, ManagingDirector, T: +1-732-537-2290, F: +1-732-537-2293, M: +1-908-338-0501,, both of Speedel Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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