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Labopharm enters into licensing and distribution agreement for once-daily tramadol in Australia with iNova

LAVAL, QC, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Labopharm Inc. (TSX: DDS, NASDAQ: DDSS) today announced that it has entered into a licensing and distribution agreement with iNova Pharmaceuticals (Australia) Pty Limited for its once-daily tramadol product for Australia.

"Building on the launch of our once-daily tramadol product across Europe and in Canada, we continue to add strong distribution partners as we prepare for additional product launches in key markets globally throughout this year," said James R. Howard-Tripp, President and Chief Executive Officer, Labopharm Inc. "Australia represents a sizable opportunity and is an important component of the global commercialization plan for our product."

Under terms of the agreement, iNova will have the exclusive right to market and sell Labopharm's once-daily tramadol product in Australia. Labopharm will supply iNova with finished packaged product and will receive revenue from product sales commensurate with those of previous licensing and distribution agreements that Labopharm has entered into for European markets. Labopharm will also receive payments upon the achievement of certain milestones.

Labopharm is awaiting regulatory and pricing approval of its once-daily tramadol formulation in Australia, which is expected in the first half of 2008, with launch to occur thereafter.

About iNova Pharmaceuticals (Australia) Pty Limited

iNova Pharmaceuticals (Australia) Pty Limited develops and markets a range of over-the-counter and prescription medicines to Australasia, Asia-Pacific, South Africa and other international markets directly and also through other pharmaceutical companies and agents. The company works in partnership with sales and marketing partners and pharmaceutical companies in other countries to make their medicines available to the broader international community. iNova was borne out of more than 50 years heritage from Riker Laboratories and 3M Pharmaceuticals following the purchase of 3M's Asia Pacific pharmaceutical business by Australian private equity firms.

About Labopharm's Once-Daily Tramadol Product

Labopharm's once-daily tramadol product is based on the Company's proprietary Contramid(R) technology, which provides a dual matrix delivery system allowing both rapid and sustained drug release that maintains blood levels within the therapeutic range providing a full 24 hours of pain relief. The Company believes that maintaining drug concentrations within the therapeutic range has the advantage of fewer and less severe side effects while maintaining efficacy. Under its global commercialization program, Labopharm's once-daily tramadol product has been launched in 10 countries, including the five largest markets in Europe and Canada and is approved in 15 other countries. Including those countries in which its product has been launched, Labopharm has licensing and distributions in place for more than 50 markets globally.

About Labopharm Inc.

Labopharm is an emerging leader in optimizing the performance of existing small molecule drugs using its proprietary controlled-release technologies. The Company's lead product, a unique once-daily formulation of tramadol, is being commercially launched in key markets globally. The Company also has a robust pipeline of follow-on products in both pre-clinical and clinical development. Labopharm's vision is to become a fully integrated, international, specialty pharmaceutical company with the capability to internally develop and commercialize its own products. For more information, please visit

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors, including the price of the Company's shares, the uncertainties related to the regulatory process for drug approval and the commercialization of the Company's products, if they are approved. Investors should consult the Company's ongoing quarterly filings and annual reports for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Labopharm Inc.
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