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Verus Pharmaceuticals Announces Divestiture of Pediatric Asthma Development Programs to AstraZeneca
Date:9/24/2007

Agreement Validates Verus' Strategy to Pursue Pediatric Programs Addressing

Unmet Needs

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pediatric-oriented specialty pharmaceutical company, announced today that AstraZeneca, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, has acquired its pediatric asthma development programs. Included in the transaction are the North American rights to a Captisol(R) enabled budesonide solution (controller medication), a proprietary short-acting beta agonist solution (rescue medication), a customized version of eFlow(R) (novel nebulizer delivery device) for use with both medications, and other intellectual property and related assets from Verus.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verus is to receive an upfront payment of $30 million, development expense reimbursements, and a potential earn-out payment of $280 million. No further terms have been disclosed.

"We are excited to have completed this transaction with AstraZeneca, the North American leader in pediatric asthma treatment innovation, and are eager to collaborate with them to address the multiple unmet medical needs in this rapidly expanding patient population," said Robert W. Keith, President and Chief Operating Officer of Verus. "This transaction allows us to refocus our time and resources on our other emerging development programs, including those targeting unmet needs associated with related atopic diseases and conditions."

"AstraZeneca is proud to be a part of these next generation development programs that hold the potential to help millions of children suffering from asthma and may positively impact their quality of life," said Jim Helm, Vice President respiratory primary care at AstraZeneca.

About Pediatric Asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood illness affecting almost 10 percent of children in the United States. Approximately 6.5 million children under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with asthma and the prevalence rates have more than doubled since 1980. For children under the age of 15, each year asthma accounts for 3.5 million doctor visits, 650,000 emergency room visits and 200,000 hospitalizations. The estimated annual cost of treating asthma in children under the age of 18 is $3.2 billion.

About Verus

Verus Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to improving the lives of children and those who care for them. Verus is building a portfolio of products for the unmet medical needs of children through acquisitions and alliances, with an initial focus on the treatment of asthma, allergies, and related diseases and conditions. Verus is differentiated by its pediatric orientation and its strong financial position and experienced management team, which allows the company to capitalize on an extensive network to build its product portfolio and pursue complementary transactions. The company's rigorous, disciplined approach to strategic decision-making and core competencies in development and commercialization is expected to provide significant value to its partners. More information about Verus is available on the company's corporate website at http://www.veruspharm.com.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in research, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US $26.47 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection product sales. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

Verus(R) is a registered trademark of Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Captisol(R) is a registered trademark of CyDex, Inc. and eFlow(R) is a registered trademark of PARI Pharma GmbH.

Forward-Looking Statements

Verus Pharmaceuticals cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts may be forward-looking statements. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Verus that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Verus' business including, without limitation, statements about: its ability to identify appropriate acquisition, licensing, or co-development and/or promotion candidates in the future or be able to take advantage of the opportunities it identifies; difficulties or delays in developing, obtaining regulatory approval, manufacturing and commercializing its products; unexpected performance or side effects of its products that could delay or prevent 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 companies; and its ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Verus undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.

Company Contact: Media Contact:

Robert W. Keith Amy Caterina

President and Chief Operating Officer Corporate Communications

Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

rkeith@veruspharm.com acaterina@veruspharm.com

858-436-1615 858-436-1623


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SOURCE Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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