Verus Pharmaceuticals Announces Divestiture of Pediatric Asthma Development Programs to AstraZeneca

Monday, September 24, 2007 General News
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SAN DIEGO, Sept. 24 Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., apediatric-oriented specialty pharmaceutical company, announced today thatAstraZeneca, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, has acquiredits pediatric asthma development programs. Included in the transaction arethe North American rights to a Captisol(R) enabled budesonide solution(controller medication), a proprietary short-acting beta agonist solution(rescue medication), a customized version of eFlow(R) (novel nebulizerdelivery device) for use with both medications, and other intellectualproperty and related assets from Verus.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verus is to receive an upfront paymentof $30 million, development expense reimbursements, and a potential earn-outpayment of $280 million. No further terms have been disclosed.

"We are excited to have completed this transaction with AstraZeneca, theNorth American leader in pediatric asthma treatment innovation, and are eagerto collaborate with them to address the multiple unmet medical needs in thisrapidly expanding patient population," said Robert W. Keith, President andChief Operating Officer of Verus. "This transaction allows us to refocus ourtime and resources on our other emerging development programs, including thosetargeting unmet needs associated with related atopic diseases and conditions."

"AstraZeneca is proud to be a part of these next generation developmentprograms that hold the potential to help millions of children suffering fromasthma and may positively impact their quality of life," said Jim Helm, VicePresident respiratory primary care at AstraZeneca.

About Pediatric Asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood illness affecting almost 10percent of children in the United States. Approximately 6.5 million childrenunder the age of 18 have been diagnosed with asthma and the prevalence rateshave more than doubled since 1980. For children under the age of 15, eachyear asthma accounts for 3.5 million doctor visits, 650,000 emergency roomvisits and 200,000 hospitalizations. The estimated annual cost of treatingasthma in children under the age of 18 is $3.2 billion.

About Verus

Verus Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to improving the lives of children andthose who care for them. Verus is building a portfolio of products for theunmet medical needs of children through acquisitions and alliances, with aninitial focus on the treatment of asthma, allergies, and related diseases andconditions. Verus is differentiated by its pediatric orientation and itsstrong financial position and experienced management team, which allows thecompany to capitalize on an extensive network to build its product portfolioand pursue complementary transactions. The company's rigorous, disciplinedapproach to strategic decision-making and core competencies in development andcommercialization is expected to provide significant value to its partners.More information about Verus is available on the company's corporate websiteat

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged inresearch, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescriptionpharmaceuticals and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one ofthe world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US$26.47 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular,neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection product sales. AstraZenecais listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as theFTSE4Good Index.

Verus(R) is a registered trademark of Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.Captisol(R) is a registered trademark of CyDex, Inc. and eFlow(R) is aregistered trademark of PARI Pharma GmbH.

Forward-Looking Statements

Verus Pharmaceuticals cautions you that statements included in this pressrelease that

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