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Speedel achieves milestone in Next Generation Renin Inhibitors
-Collaboration with Locus Pharmaceuticals yields promising leads in the SPP800 series-

Basel/Switzerland and Bridgewater NJ/USA, 16 June 2005... Speedel, a world leader in renin inhibition, announced today that it has achieved an important milestone in the development of its next generation renin inhibitors for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Working together with Locus Pharmaceuticals Inc (PA, USA) under a collaboration initiated in 2003, Speedel has produced a novel series of promising lead compounds (SPP800 series) for which it has filed a patent application. This has resulted in a milestone payment to Locus; financial terms of the collaboration are not disclosed.

Dr. Peter Herold, Director of Chemistry, Speedel Experimenta, commented: “This achievement maintains our world leadership in renin inhibition, as we move towards our goal of developing a family of next generation renin inhibitors to follow the success of SPP100 (Aliskiren). The collaboration with Locus on SPP800 is a good fit of complementary skills, and we look forward to further promising results.”

Dr. Jeffrey S. Wiseman, Locus’ Vice President, Technology, added: “We are very pleased to see the first fruits of our collaboration with Speedel. This is an exciting step forward, and confirms the benefits of using Locus’ computational technologies in drug development. The combination of our respective leadership capabilities proved to be very synergistic for this demanding area of drug development.”

Under the research collaboration, Locus has used its proprietary computational technologies to identify hits and potential novel leads for renin inhibitors. Taking the Locus computational designs, Speedel Experimenta, the late-stage research unit of Speedel, then used its world-class medicinal chemistry and in-house modeling expertise to produce highly potent compounds with attractive in-vitro profiles. In particular, Speedel has generated proprietary 3D X-ray structures of this novel class of compounds bound to renin that greatly increased the understanding of their binding properties and accelerated the lead optimisation process. The next key step for the SPP800 series is pharmacological profiling of promising compounds in animal models, with the goal of selecting a pre-clinical candidate in 2006.

Speedel’s most advanced renin inhibitor SPP100 (Aliskiren) is partnered with Novartis in Phase III for hypertension and is expected to be filed for registration in early 2006. Speedel has now announced progress with two series of next generation renin inhibitors: the SPP600 series and SPP800 series. In February 2005 Speedel announced human-microdosing data for SPP630/SPP635, and one or both of these candidates is planned to start Phase I tolerability and safety trials in 2H 2005.

About Hypertension and Renin Inhibitors
Renin inhibitors are a new class of compounds under development for the treatment of hypertension, chronic renal disease and congestive heart failure. Only an estimated 59% of people with hypertension are being treated and of those treated, fewer than 60% reach and maintain adequate blood pressure control with current drugs ; therefore physicians need additional therapeutic options. Global antihypertensive drugs sales are forecasted by Datamonitor to grow from USD 42 billion in 2004 to USD 50 billion by 2009.
Hypertension is a common disorder in which blood pressure is abnormally high, placing undue stress on the heart, blood vessels and other organs such as the kidney and the brain. Blood pressure is determined in two phases as the heart contracts and relaxes. Systolic blood pressure represents the force that blood exerts on the walls of arteries as the heart contracts to pump out blood. Diastolic blood pressure represents the force as the heart relaxes to allow the blood to flow into the heart.

Due to its wide prevalence and impact on cardiovascular health, hypertension is a major cause of disease and death in Europe and North America. More than one in three Europeans and North Americans over the a

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