Healthcare Industry News:  Naproxen 

Biopharmaceuticals Generics

 News Release - June 19, 2006

NicOx Receives WHO Acceptance of Naproxcinod as Generic Name for HCT 3012, First in a New Class of Treatments for Osteoarthritis

SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS, France, June 19 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- NicOx S.A. (Eurolist: NICOX) today announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has accepted the international non-proprietary (or generic) name naproxcinod for the molecule previously referred to as HCT 3012. Naproxcinod is the first product in a new class of molecules known as COX-Inhibiting Nitric Oxide- Donators (CINODs), which represent an innovative approach to the treatment of inflammatory pain. CINODs are proprietary new chemical entities, which are cleaved in the body to yield two complementary pharmacologically active ligands, a nitric oxide-donating moiety and a balanced COX-1/COX-2 inhibiting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent (NSAID). Naproxcinod is currently in phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis with results of the first phase 3 trial expected in the fourth quarter of 2006.

The new non-proprietary name, naproxcinod, reflects the product's innovative multiple-ligand approach, which allows it to benefit from the gold standard anti-inflammatory activity of Naproxen allied with the beneficial cardiovascular and gastro-intestinal effects of nitric oxide.

Damian Marron, Vice President of Corporate Development at NicOx commented: "We are very pleased with the World Health Organization's acceptance of the naproxcinod name, which reflects the innovative approach of the new class of CINOD compounds. This represents a major step in our pre-launch activities for this important product and is part of an overall global commercial strategy that is fully aligned with the ongoing phase 3 program."

NSAIDs represent the current standard treatment for millions of patients with osteoarthritis and other common conditions involving chronic pain and inflammation but are associated with undesirable side effects, such as raised blood pressure and gastrointestinal discomfort. NicOx is positioning naproxcinod as the drug-of-choice for osteoarthritis patients, particularly for those with co-morbid hypertension, based on its equivalent efficacy to existing NSAIDs and improved side effect profile.

NicOx (Bloomberg: COX:FP, Reuters: NCOX.PA) is a product-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of nitric oxide- donating drugs to meet unmet medical needs. NicOx is targeting the therapeutic areas of pain and inflammation and cardio-metabolic disease. Resources are focused on two lead compounds, naproxcinod (formerly HCT 3012), in phase 3 development for the treatment of osteoarthritis, and NCX 4016, in phase 2 for Peripheral Arterial Obstructive Disease (PAOD). NicOx has strategic partnerships with some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer Inc. and Merck and Co., Inc. NicOx S.A. is headquartered in Sophia-Antipolis, France, and is a public company listed on the Eurolist of Euronext Paris (segment: Next Economy).

The elements included in this communication may contain forward looking statements subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results of the company may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements because of different risks factors described in the company's document de reference.

Source: NicOx

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