Debiopharm S.A. invests in NanoCarrier Mezzanine Funding Round

Lausanne, Switzerland, March 30, 2006 – Debiopharm’s wholly owned investment affiliate Debioinnovation invested capital into NanoCarrier’s mezzanine funding round of 400 million Japanese yen. This is the third equity investment made by Debioinnovation, which was set up in 2004 to complement the in-licensing objectives of Debiopharm and to address the financing needs of biotechnology and pharmaceutical start-up companies.

In April 2005, Debiopharm signed an exclusive option to license-in a DACH-platin based on NanoCarrier’s proprietary micellar nanoparticle drug delivery systems technology MediCelleTM (ND-01). This oncology project has progressed from lead optimisation to pre-clinical studies. Preliminary results in relevant animal tumor models performed independently by Debiopharm and NanoCarrier have shown ND-01 to have good anti-tumoral activity and a therapeutically suitable pharmacokinetic profile. Additionally, NanoCarrier’s NanoplatinTM (NC-6004), a cisplatin-based new platinum compound, also utilising its MediCelleTM technology started Phase I clinical trials in cancer patients in the United Kingdom (UK).

“NanoCarrier has innovative technology and excellent management. We have worked very well together and are pleased to take our collaboration to the next stage, together with the progress made with ND-01,” said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and CEO of Debiopharm.

“This strategic financing will strengthen our relationship with Debiopharm. I hope that it will bear new fruits and lead our companies down a continuous path of development and worldwide growth. NanoCarrier’s vision is to develop new targeted medicines that will enhance the quality of life and contribute to the welfare of society,” said Dr Ichiro Nakatomi, President and CEO of NanoCarrier.

About Debiopharm S.A.
Founded in 1979 in Lausanne, Switzerland, Debiopharm is an experienced and competent drug development company that in-licenses compounds with promising in-vivo results to develop for global registration and to out-license to sales and marketing pharmaceutical partners.

Debiopharm is part of a group that provides drug development expertise and know-how from the evaluation of early-stage and innovative research, partnering, financing, pre-clinical and clinical trials, to manufacturing and sophisticated drug-delivery systems.

Debiopharm has developed and registered three products with combined sales in excess of $2.2bn in 2005: Eloxatin®, one of sanofi-aventis’ leading marketed products; Decapeptyl®, the leading product of Ipsen; and Trelstar® (1-and 3-month), marketed by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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