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1 November, 2006 - 12:09 By Staff Reporter

Mundipharma licenses multi-million pound anti-cancer compound

Mundipharma International in Cambridge has acquired exclusive rights for the anti-cancer compound Bendamustine from Astellas Deutschland GmbH under a license agreement which includes all countries in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA).This also includes Germany where Bendamustine is already marketed as RIBOMUSTIN™ and generates annual sales of €13 million (£8.7m) in the treatment of Non Hodgkin Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma and Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia.

Mundipharma will take over development and marketing rights effective April 1st 2007 and it is expected that the product will be launched in other countries from 2008. In return, Mundipharma will make an upfront payment and a series of milestone payments based on successful development and approvalof the product. Astellas retains the manufacturing rights and will supplyMundipharma with finished goods.

Bendamustine is characterized by a bi-functional activity. Itinduces apoptosis – cell suicide. In addition it induces mitotic catastrophe – disruption of cell division – by down regulation of mitotic checkpoints, potentially providing the reason for its anti-tumour activity in chemotherapyrelapsed and resistant patients.

Åke Wikström, regional director, Europe, for Mundiphama, said: “Bendamustine is an exciting compound which represents a class of its own. Bendamustine will be an important new agent forphysicians and support Mundipharma's growing reputation with haemato-oncologists for providing novel therapies that provide important patient benefits through their efficacy and tolerability.”

Mundipharma in Cambridge is responsible for international licensing and business development activities in support of the Purdue/Mundipharma/Napp independent associated companies with emphasis on Europe. The companies are dedicated to bringing to patients with severe and debilitating diseases the benefits of novel treatment options in fields such as severe pain, haemato-oncology and respiratory disease.

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