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Neuromed Announces that Merck & Co., Inc. Terminates Research Collaboration and License Agreement for Compounds Targeting N-Type Calcium Channels

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA and VANCOUVER, BC, June 11 /PRNewswire/ - Neuromed Pharmaceuticals Ltd. announced today that it has received notification that Merck & Co., Inc. will terminate the research collaboration and license agreement for novel compounds targeting N-type calcium channels for the treatment of pain and other disorders, which the companies entered into in March of 2006.

"Over the past three years we have had an excellent and extremely productive collaboration with our colleagues at Merck. The molecules generated in our collaboration, while effective in disease models, did not demonstrate the profile needed to enter the next phase of testing, including human clinical trials. We remain confident in our goal to generate a new class of medicines from our platform," said Dr. Christopher Gallen, President & CEO of Neuromed. "Neuromed is a leader in ion channel research and we remain committed to further research and development in this field."

N-type calcium channel blockers represent a potentially novel class of analgesics that are selective for calcium channels involved in pain signal transmission. Calcium channels control the entry of calcium into the neuron. When a pain signal is transmitted, the channel opens and the calcium concentration increases, triggering the release of neurotransmitters from synaptic vesicles, thereby sending the pain signal to the brain where it is perceived as pain.

About Neuromed

Neuromed is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development of new and improved pain medicines. Its lead drug candidate is EXALGO(TM) (hydromorphone HCl) Extended-Release Tablets. In addition to its N-type program, Neuromed is also developing oral drug candidates to block T-type calcium channels, a new and important target directly involved in pain, epilepsy and hypertension. For more information visit our website at

Neuromed cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based upon current expectations and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of release of the relevant information, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, Neuromed's forward-looking statements due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Neuromed's business including, without limitation, statements about: the progress and timing of its clinical trials; difficulties or delays in development, testing, obtaining regulatory approval, producing and marketing its products; unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy of its products that could delay or prevent product development or commercialization, or that could result in recalls or product liability claims; the scope and validity of patent protection for its products; competition from other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; and its ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations. Neuromed does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Neuromed Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
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