Phase I Clinical Trials for Chronic Pain Drug

Ed Note: The following is a press release from NeuroMed Technologies

VANCOUVER, March 11- NeuroMed Technologies Inc., a Vancouver based biopharmaceutical company, today announced it has initiated Phase I clinical testing for its lead drug candidate for chronic pain, NMED- 160, a calcium channel blocker.

"We are pleased to have reached this major milestone," said Natalie Dakers, President & CEO. "The commencement of our Phase I clinical trial represents a significant step forward in providing a much needed alternative to chronic pain management able to bring relief to the millions of people suffering severe, chronic and neuropathic pain."

The initial Phase I trial will consist of a single-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, single dose study. The Phase I study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of NMED-160 in healthy individuals.

"It is rewarding to see a novel drug candidate now being tested in humans. NMED-160 targets the N-type calcium channel which has been demonstrated to be clinically relevant in chronic pain conditions," said Dr. Terrance Snutch, VP and Chief Scientific Officer. "In preclinical testing NMED-160 exhibited both a broad efficacy and an excellent safety profile. Our small molecule drug candidate is orally available and therefore applicable to large patient populations."

Chronic pain affects millions of lives worldwide. Many of these patients rely on drugs fraught with considerable side effects, and many chronic pain conditions have no effective treatment. Opioids, for example, have significant side effects such as narcotic effects, addiction, constipation and tolerance development, and are generally not effective for neuropathic pain. N-type calcium channel blockers represent a new class of analgesics that are selective for calcium channels involved in pain signal transmission. Drugs targeting the N-type channel are expected to be easily-administered, non- addictive and avoid the side-effects of existing therapeutics. NMED-160 is the first orally delivered drug candidate to be tested in this class.

NeuroMed is also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. William L. Hunter to its Board of Directors. "NeuroMed is one of the most exciting, up- and-coming biotech companies in the country," said William L. Hunter, MD, MSc, President and CEO of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. "Their recent substantial, U.S.-backed, venture financing gives the Company the capital resources to aggressively pursue the clinical development of their proprietary compounds in one of the most important and underserved aspects of medicine - pain management."

Dr. Hunter is a founder and the President and CEO of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. He brings valuable expertise in building biotech companies, both venture-funded and public. His broad experience includes taking a company public on the TSX and NASDAQ, raising more than $500 million, acquisition of two companies, developing a product from conception to commercialization, building partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and expanding a company to 150 employees. Dr. Hunter received his BSc from McGill University in 1985 and his MSc and MD from the University of British Columbia in 1989 and 1992, respectively. Dr. Hunter has earned numerous awards including the 2002 BC Biotech Vision and Leadership Award, the 2001 Pacific Region Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Technology and Communications, British Columbia Science & Technology Award for Industrial Innovation, Business in Vancouver's Top 40 under 40, as well as the Caldwell Partners Canada's Top 40 under 40.

About NeuroMed Technologies Inc.

NeuroMed is a private biopharmaceutical company developing the next generation of chronic pain drugs with pipeline programs in anxiety, epilepsy and cardiovascular diseases. Located in Vancouver, Canada and San Francisco, USA, the Company's drug development programs are designed around validated clinical targets associated with large unmet markets. NeuroMed is the only biotech company focused exclusively on calcium channels as drug targets for treatment of neurological diseases.