Healthcare Industry News:  osteoarthritis 

Biopharmaceuticals Orthopaedic

 News Release - September 22, 2008

Anika Therapeutics Announces Exclusive Latin America Distribution Agreement for ORTHOVISC Products with DePuy Mitek

ORTHOVISC(R) and ORTHOVISC(R) mini to be Distributed Throughout South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico

BEDFORD, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANIK ), a leader in products for tissue protection, healing and repair based on hyaluronic acid (HA) technology, announced today that it has signed an exclusive agreement with DePuy Mitek, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, to distribute and market ORTHOVISC® and ORTHOVISC® mini throughout Latin America. This five-year renewable agreement gives DePuy Mitek exclusive distribution rights for both products in all of South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. DePuy Mitek currently distributes ORTHOVISC in the United States.

“This agreement with DePuy Mitek to distribute ORTHOVISC, our flagship osteoarthritis product, as well as OTHOVISC mini for the treatment of smaller joints, throughout Latin America gives us a strong foothold in a new and exciting market,” said Anika President and Chief Executive Officer Charles H. Sherwood, Ph.D.. “Industry analysts have projected the osteoarthritis market in Latin America to grow at a rate of nearly 20 percent per year though 2016.”

“Our partnership over the last three years has resulted in good success with ORTHOVISC in the United States,” continued Sherwood, “and we look forward to strengthening this relationship with long-term success in the fast growing and relatively untapped markets of Latin America.”

About ORTHOVISC:

ORTHOVISC® is indicated in the United States for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative non-pharmacologic therapy and to simple analgesics, such as acetaminophen. It is a sterile, clear, viscoelastic solution of ultra-pure high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HA) contained in a single-use syringe that is injected into the joint in a series of intra-articular injections spaced one week apart. ORTHOVISC is approved for use in the knee in the United States, and for use in all synovial joints in the European Economic Area.

About ORTHOVISC mini:

ORTHOVISC® mini brings the trusted ORTHOVISC® formulation to a convenient size intended for use in small joints such as the thumb, big toe and ankle. ORTHOVISC mini is indicated for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative non-pharmacologic therapy and to simple analgesics, such as acetaminophen. ORTHOVISC mini is approved for use in all synovial joints in the European Economic Area.

About Anika Therapeutics, Inc.

Headquartered in Bedford, Mass., Anika Therapeutics, Inc. develops, manufactures and commercializes therapeutic products for tissue protection, healing and repair. These products are based on hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring, biocompatible polymer found throughout the body. Anika’s products include ORTHOVISC®, a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee available internationally and marketed in the U.S. by DePuy Mitek; HYVISC®, a treatment for equine osteoarthritis marketed in the U.S. by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.; the ELEVESS™ family of aesthetic dermatology products for facial wrinkles, scar remediation and lip augmentation; AMVISC®, AMVISC® Plus, STAARVISC™-II and Shellgel™ injectable viscoelastic HA products for ophthalmic surgery; INCERT®, an HA-based anti-adhesive for surgical applications; ORTHOVISC® mini a treatment for osteoarthritis targeting small joints and available in Europe; MONOVISC™ a single-injection osteoarthritis product based on its proprietary cross-linking technology and available in Europe; and next generation products for joint health and aesthetic dermatology based on the Company’s proprietary, chemically modified HA.

The statements made in this press release which are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including, without limitation, statements that may be identified by words such as "expects," "anticipate," "intended," "opportunities," "will," "target," and other expressions which are predictions of or indicate future events and trends and which do not constitute historical matters identify forward-looking statements. These statements also include: (i) the Company's expectations concerning its products, and (ii) statements concerning the expected growth rate for the osteoarthritis market in Latin America. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the Company's management and are subject to significant risks, uncertainties and other factors. The Company's actual results could differ materially from any anticipated future results, performance or achievements described in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors. These factors include the risk that (i) this new distribution arrangement for Latin America will not result in meaningful sales of the Company's products, (ii) competitive products will adversely impact the Company's product sales, or (ii) the estimated growth of the Latin American markets which the Company has targeted its products will fail to be achieved. Certain other factors that might cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include those set forth under the headings "Business," "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in each of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31 and June 30, 2008, as well as those described in the Company's other press releases and SEC filings.


Source: Anika Therapeutics

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