Atrix Licenses European Marketing Rights for Leuprogel(TM)

Apr 05, 2001, 01:00 ET from Atrix Laboratories, Inc.

    FORT COLLINS, Colo., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Atrix Laboratories, Inc.
 (Nasdaq:   ATRX) announced today that Atrix has entered into an exclusive
 European marketing agreement with MediGene AG, an emerging European leader in
 biotechnology, with a focus on oncology and cardiovascular medicine, for the
 Leuprogel(TM) products, leuprolide acetate for subcutaneous depot injection,
 for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.  With this agreement, Atrix now
 has access to seventy-five percent of the global market for hormone treatments
 for prostate cancer.
     In the agreement, valued at approximately $20 million, Atrix received an
 up-front license fee payment of $2 million and will receive additional
 payments for certain clinical, regulatory and sales milestones.  MediGene
 purchased $4 million of Atrix common stock at a premium to the market as part
 of the agreement, and will provide all resources needed to conduct clinical
 research and regulatory activities associated with seeking European marketing
 approvals.  In addition, Atrix will also receive royalty payments based on
 MediGene's sales of the Leuprogel products following approval, and will
 manufacture Leuprogel for MediGene at its facility in Fort Collins, Colorado.
 The agreement also includes an option for MediGene to develop and market
 Leuprogel for additional indications.
     "In today's uncertain market, Atrix continues to build on our strong
 foundation by partnering with such outstanding companies as MediGene, who will
 effectively market our Leuprogel products and help create significant future
 revenues," said David R. Bethune, Atrix's chairman and chief executive
 officer.  "We chose MediGene over other larger European pharmaceutical
 companies because MediGene demonstrated the intelligence, drive, ambition,
 energy and commitment to seize this opportunity and make Leuprogel an
 important milestone in their becoming a leader in the European oncology
 market."
     "In addition to securing an excellent marketing partner for Leuprogel in
 Europe, the $6 million in up-front payments received from MediGene solidifies
 Atrix's cash position to more than $60 million," continued Bethune.  "With our
 controlled burn rate of approximately $1.5 million per month, we have
 sufficient cash to conduct all of our current R&D activities, including the
 completion of the Leuprogel programs, to reach expected profitability."
     Ninety eight percent of the prostate cancer drug market in Europe is
 luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) therapy, like Leuprogel.  This
 translated into approximately $500 million in European sales in the year 2000.
 Physicians interviewed by MediGene during their market opportunity research
 said they considered Leuprogel's attributes to offer advantages over currently
 marketed products.  In addition, a significant number of physicians said they
 would prefer a subcutaneous injection, like Leuprogel, for LHRH therapies.
     MediGene AG is a publicly traded (Neuer Market: MDG) international
 biopharmaceutical company with headquarters in Martinsried, Germany and a
 subsidiary, MediGene, Inc., in San Diego, California.  The company has five
 compounds in various stages of clinical development with a core competence in
 oncology and cardiovascular disease.  The recent acquisition of NeuroVir
 Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that develops herpes simplex
 virus (HSV) vectors for use as cancer therapeutics, further strengthens
 MediGene's oncology franchise.  MediGene has joint development and
 commercialization programs for its melanoma and cervical cancer products with
 Aventis and Schering AG, respectively.
     "MediGene is the first biotech company in Germany with biotech products
 nearing market approval," said Dr. Peter Heinrich, chief executive officer at
 MediGene.  "Partnering with Atrix to gain European marketing rights for
 Leuprogel has significant strategic benefit for MediGene as it adds novel
 cancer drugs in late clinical development to our product portfolio.  Leuprogel
 offers a number of advantages for patients with prostate cancer and we believe
 these products will be a very important part of treating prostate cancer for
 years to come.  We intend to make Leuprogel a key part of our marketing
 strategy for cancer products in Europe, and we are enthusiastically looking
 forward to the development and registration of these products in Europe."
     The Leuprogel products utilize the company's proprietary Atrigel(R) drug
 delivery system to provide sustained release of leuprolide acetate for periods
 of one, three and four months, for the palliative treatment of advanced
 prostate cancer.  Atrix recently licensed the North American Leuprogel
 marketing rights to Sanofi-Synthelabo.  Atrix submitted a New Drug Application
 (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March for the Leuprogel
 One-Month product, the first of three sustained-release Leuprogel products in
 clinical development, and expects to file an NDA for the Leuprogel Three-Month
 product later this year.
 
     Atrix Laboratories, Inc. is an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company
 focused on advanced drug delivery.  With five unique patented technologies,
 Atrix is currently developing a diverse portfolio of proprietary products,
 including oncology, pain management, and dermatology products.  The company
 also partners with large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to apply
 its proprietary technologies to new chemical entities or to extend the patent
 life of existing products. Atrix has strategic alliances with several
 pharmaceutical companies including recent collaborations with Pfizer, Elan
 Corporation Plc, Sanofi-Synthelabo and the Novartis company -- Geneva
 Pharmaceuticals, to use its drug delivery technologies and expertise in the
 development of new products.  Additional information is available on the Atrix
 Laboratories, Inc. Web site at http://www.atrixlabs.com.
 
     Statements contained in this press release, which are not historical
 facts, are forward-looking statements, as the term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements are
 subject to risks and uncertainties which can cause actual results to differ
 materially from those currently anticipated, due to a number of factors, which
 include, but are not limited to, product demand, pricing, market acceptance,
 changing economic conditions, risks in product and technology development, the
 effect of the company's accounting policies and other risk factors discussed
 in documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission
 from time to time.
 
 

SOURCE Atrix Laboratories, Inc.
    FORT COLLINS, Colo., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Atrix Laboratories, Inc.
 (Nasdaq:   ATRX) announced today that Atrix has entered into an exclusive
 European marketing agreement with MediGene AG, an emerging European leader in
 biotechnology, with a focus on oncology and cardiovascular medicine, for the
 Leuprogel(TM) products, leuprolide acetate for subcutaneous depot injection,
 for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.  With this agreement, Atrix now
 has access to seventy-five percent of the global market for hormone treatments
 for prostate cancer.
     In the agreement, valued at approximately $20 million, Atrix received an
 up-front license fee payment of $2 million and will receive additional
 payments for certain clinical, regulatory and sales milestones.  MediGene
 purchased $4 million of Atrix common stock at a premium to the market as part
 of the agreement, and will provide all resources needed to conduct clinical
 research and regulatory activities associated with seeking European marketing
 approvals.  In addition, Atrix will also receive royalty payments based on
 MediGene's sales of the Leuprogel products following approval, and will
 manufacture Leuprogel for MediGene at its facility in Fort Collins, Colorado.
 The agreement also includes an option for MediGene to develop and market
 Leuprogel for additional indications.
     "In today's uncertain market, Atrix continues to build on our strong
 foundation by partnering with such outstanding companies as MediGene, who will
 effectively market our Leuprogel products and help create significant future
 revenues," said David R. Bethune, Atrix's chairman and chief executive
 officer.  "We chose MediGene over other larger European pharmaceutical
 companies because MediGene demonstrated the intelligence, drive, ambition,
 energy and commitment to seize this opportunity and make Leuprogel an
 important milestone in their becoming a leader in the European oncology
 market."
     "In addition to securing an excellent marketing partner for Leuprogel in
 Europe, the $6 million in up-front payments received from MediGene solidifies
 Atrix's cash position to more than $60 million," continued Bethune.  "With our
 controlled burn rate of approximately $1.5 million per month, we have
 sufficient cash to conduct all of our current R&D activities, including the
 completion of the Leuprogel programs, to reach expected profitability."
     Ninety eight percent of the prostate cancer drug market in Europe is
 luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) therapy, like Leuprogel.  This
 translated into approximately $500 million in European sales in the year 2000.
 Physicians interviewed by MediGene during their market opportunity research
 said they considered Leuprogel's attributes to offer advantages over currently
 marketed products.  In addition, a significant number of physicians said they
 would prefer a subcutaneous injection, like Leuprogel, for LHRH therapies.
     MediGene AG is a publicly traded (Neuer Market: MDG) international
 biopharmaceutical company with headquarters in Martinsried, Germany and a
 subsidiary, MediGene, Inc., in San Diego, California.  The company has five
 compounds in various stages of clinical development with a core competence in
 oncology and cardiovascular disease.  The recent acquisition of NeuroVir
 Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that develops herpes simplex
 virus (HSV) vectors for use as cancer therapeutics, further strengthens
 MediGene's oncology franchise.  MediGene has joint development and
 commercialization programs for its melanoma and cervical cancer products with
 Aventis and Schering AG, respectively.
     "MediGene is the first biotech company in Germany with biotech products
 nearing market approval," said Dr. Peter Heinrich, chief executive officer at
 MediGene.  "Partnering with Atrix to gain European marketing rights for
 Leuprogel has significant strategic benefit for MediGene as it adds novel
 cancer drugs in late clinical development to our product portfolio.  Leuprogel
 offers a number of advantages for patients with prostate cancer and we believe
 these products will be a very important part of treating prostate cancer for
 years to come.  We intend to make Leuprogel a key part of our marketing
 strategy for cancer products in Europe, and we are enthusiastically looking
 forward to the development and registration of these products in Europe."
     The Leuprogel products utilize the company's proprietary Atrigel(R) drug
 delivery system to provide sustained release of leuprolide acetate for periods
 of one, three and four months, for the palliative treatment of advanced
 prostate cancer.  Atrix recently licensed the North American Leuprogel
 marketing rights to Sanofi-Synthelabo.  Atrix submitted a New Drug Application
 (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March for the Leuprogel
 One-Month product, the first of three sustained-release Leuprogel products in
 clinical development, and expects to file an NDA for the Leuprogel Three-Month
 product later this year.
 
     Atrix Laboratories, Inc. is an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company
 focused on advanced drug delivery.  With five unique patented technologies,
 Atrix is currently developing a diverse portfolio of proprietary products,
 including oncology, pain management, and dermatology products.  The company
 also partners with large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to apply
 its proprietary technologies to new chemical entities or to extend the patent
 life of existing products. Atrix has strategic alliances with several
 pharmaceutical companies including recent collaborations with Pfizer, Elan
 Corporation Plc, Sanofi-Synthelabo and the Novartis company -- Geneva
 Pharmaceuticals, to use its drug delivery technologies and expertise in the
 development of new products.  Additional information is available on the Atrix
 Laboratories, Inc. Web site at http://www.atrixlabs.com.
 
     Statements contained in this press release, which are not historical
 facts, are forward-looking statements, as the term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements are
 subject to risks and uncertainties which can cause actual results to differ
 materially from those currently anticipated, due to a number of factors, which
 include, but are not limited to, product demand, pricing, market acceptance,
 changing economic conditions, risks in product and technology development, the
 effect of the company's accounting policies and other risk factors discussed
 in documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission
 from time to time.
 
 SOURCE  Atrix Laboratories, Inc.