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Axcan Submits 1 g Mesalamine Suppositories for Approval in the U.S. for the Treatment of Ulcerative Proctitis

Jan 14, 2004 - 12:00 ET

Axcan Submits 1 g Mesalamine Suppositories for Approval in the U.S. for the Treatment
of Ulcerative Proctitis

MONT SAINT-HILAIRE, Quebec--Axcan Pharma Inc. ("Axcan" or the "Company") announced
today that it has submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a supplemental
New Drug Application for a 1-gram mesalamine suppository dosage form for the treatment
of ulcerative proctitis. Axcan already markets a 1-gram rectal suppository in Canada
under the brand name of SALOFALK.

"We are very pleased with the submission of this new, stronger, once-per-day
mesalamine dosage form. If approved, we expect to accelerate our position in the U.S.
rectal mesalamine market," stated Léon F. Gosselin, President and Chief Executive Officer
of Axcan. "In addition, patients using mesalamine will be able to use only one suppository
per day, most likely improving acceptability," he concluded.

In the United States alone, the rectal mesalamine market is valued at approximately U.S.
$65 million annually. Axcan's fiscal 2003 U.S. sales of CANASA, its 500 mg form of rectal
mesalamine, amounted to U.S. $16.2 million. According to IMS data at September 30, 2003,
approximately 54% of all U.S. gastrointestinal prescriptions for rectal mesalamine were
written for CANASA 500 mg, making CANASA 500 mg the most prescribed brand of rectal
mesalamine in the U.S.

Ulcerative proctitis is a subgroup of ulcerative colitis, one of the most common
inflammatory bowel diseases. For approximately 30% of patients with ulcerative colitis,
the illness begins as ulcerative proctitis where bowel inflammation is limited to the
rectum. Currently, it is estimated that there are 1,000,000 cases of inflammatory bowel
disease in the U.S. with approximately 400,000 new cases every year.
Axcan is a leading specialty pharmaceutical company involved in the field of
gastroenterology. The Company markets a broad line of prescription products sold for the
treatment of symptoms for a number of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders such as
inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, cholestatic liver diseases and
complications related to cystic fibrosis. Axcans products are marketed by its own sales
force in North America and Europe. Its common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange
under the symbol "AXP" and on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol "AXCA".

"Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 

To the extent any statements made in this release contain information that is not
historical, these statements are essentially forward looking and are subject to risks and
uncertainties, including the difficulty of predicting FDA approvals, acceptance and demand
for new pharmaceutical products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product
development and launch, reliance on key strategic alliances, availability of raw materials,
the regulatory environment, fluctuations in operating results and other risks detailed from
time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The names CANASA and SALOFALK appearing in this press release are trademarks of Axcan Pharma
Inc. and its subsidiaries.

		Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
		Axcan Pharma Inc.
		Tel: (205) 991-8085 ext. 223

or		Isabelle Adjahi
		Director, Investor Relations					
		Axcan Pharma Inc.
		Tel: (450) 467-2600 ext. 2000