Healthcare Industry News:  Inex Pharmaceuticals 

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology Licensing

 News Release - March 17, 2006

Inex Pharmaceuticals Licenses Three Targeted Chemotherapy Products to Hana Biosciences

VANCOUVER, March 17 (HSMN NewsFeed) - Inex Pharmaceuticals Corporation ("INEX"; TSX: IEX) announced today that it has signed a Letter of Intent to license three products from its Targeted Chemotherapy pipeline to Hana Biosciences, Inc. ("Hana"; AMEX: HBX). INEX has granted Hana a worldwide license to develop and commercialize Marqibo(TM) (sphingosomal vincristine), INX-0125 (sphingosomal vinorelbine) and INX-0076 (sphingosomal topotecan). The two companies expect to close the transaction in the second quarter of 2006 after the completion of legal agreements.

Upon closing of the transaction, Hana will pay INEX US$11.5 million in an upfront payment, consisting of cash and Hana shares. INEX will receive an additional US$30.5 million if development and regulatory milestones are achieved and will also receive royalties on product sales. Hana will be responsible for all future development of the three products including all future expenses. INEX will support Hana in the near term to transfer knowledge and expertise and to ensure the products can be advanced as quickly as possible and will also be reimbursed for this support.

Timothy M. Ruane, President and Chief Executive Officer of INEX, said that INEX is pleased with the upfront terms of the arrangement and with the prospects of receiving milestone and royalty payments as Hana successfully commercializes the products. "The team at Hana has a strong track record in oncology drug development and our targeted chemotherapy products are a perfect fit in their pipeline. We will support their efforts as they move Marqibo towards commercialization and continue the development of INX-0125 and INX-0076."

Mark Ahn, PhD., President and Chief Executive Officer of Hana, said, "Marqibo has demonstrated promising activity in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in completed and ongoing studies. It enhances Hana's portfolio of novel anticancer compounds and underscores our patient-focused commitment to commercialize novel oncology therapies. We look forward to working with the FDA to finalize the Special Protocol Assessment in hematological cancers, and to initiating registrational trials for Marqibo in 2006, while our current clinical programs continue on schedule."

In addition to supporting Hana with the Targeted Chemotherapy products, INEX will continue its work with the University of British Columbia on its next generation drug delivery platform to use with chemotherapy drugs as well as work to complete the spin-out of its Targeted Immunotherapy assets into Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

About INEX's Targeted Chemotherapy Products

Marqibo (sphingosomal vincristine), INX-0125 (sphingosomal vinorelbine) and INX-0076 (sphingosomal topotecan) are proprietary drugs using INEX's proprietary sphingosomal drug delivery technology. This technology is designed to provide prolonged blood circulation, tumor accumulation and extended drug release at the cancer site. These characteristics are intended to increase the effectiveness while reducing the side effects of the encapsulated drug.

Marqibo has completed phase 2 clinical trials and is ready to enter phase 3 clinical trials in first-line aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An Investigational New Drug (IND) application has been approved for the commencement of phase 1 clinical trials for INX-0125 in both the US and Canada and preclinical development is being completed for INX-0076.

If the transaction does not close for reasons specific to Hana or INEX, the other party will receive a break-up payment.

About INEX

INEX is a Canadian biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing proprietary drugs and drug delivery systems to improve the treatment of cancer. Further information about INEX can be found at

About Hana Biosciences, Inc.

Hana Biosciences, Inc. (AMEX: HBX ) is a South San Francisco, CA-based biopharmaceutical company that acquires, develops, and commercializes innovative products to advance cancer care. The company is committed to creating value by building a world-class team, accelerating the development of lead product candidates, expanding its pipeline by being the alliance partner of choice, and nurturing a unique company culture. Additional information on Hana Biosciences can be found at

Forward Looking Statements

There are forward-looking statements contained herein that are not based on historical fact, including without limitation statements containing the words "believes," "may," "plans," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipates," "intends," "expects," and similar expressions. Such forward- looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, INEX's stage of development, lack of product revenues, additional capital requirements, risks associated with the completion of clinical trials and obtaining regulatory approval to market INEX's products, the ability to protect its intellectual property and dependence on collaborative partners. These factors should be considered carefully and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments.

Source: Inex Pharmaceuticals

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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