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Axcan inaugurates expanded Mont Saint-Hilaire head office premises


Sep 16, 2004 - 12:00 ET

MONT SAINT-HILAIRE, Quebec, Sept. 16 / - Axcan Pharma Inc.
("Axcan" or the "Company") officially opened its newly expanded head office in
Mont-Saint-Hilaire today in the presence of Mr. Michel Audet, Quebec Minister
of Economic and Regional Development and Research and some 200 leaders of
Quebec's biopharmaceutical and financial communities as well as elected
officials.
    The facility, built at a cost of CAN $15 million, houses senior
administrative functions including finance, scientific affairs, business
development and export operations as well as additional space for warehousing
and shipping. Axcan, which began in Mont-Saint-Hilaire in 1982, now employs
over 400 people in Quebec, Alabama and France. The Company forecasts sales to
exceed US $240 million in the present fiscal year and has recorded nine-month
profits of US $35.4 million.
    "The completion of this new facility, marks not only the culmination of
22 years of effort on the part of our innovative team but also a turning point
in our development as our pipeline of product candidates points to strong
growth in sales and profitability over the next five years," said Léon F.
Gosselin, President and CEO of Axcan Pharma.
    "The pharmaceutical industry ranks second in terms of R&D with close to
9% of its expenditures in research and development," said Minister Audet. "It
therefore makes an important contribution towards transforming Quebec into a
knowledge-based economy. Quebec is proud to be able to count on the presence
of specialized pharmaceutical companies and also proud of our very real local
successes such as Axcan Pharma," he concluded.
    Axcan's new facility includes 66,000 square feet on three levels and will
initially accommodate some 135 employees with room for expansion. Construction
began one year ago. The project's general contractor was J.E. Verrault of
Montreal, and engineering was handled by Breton, Banville et Associés (BBA) of
Mont-Saint-Hilaire. The architect's were Desnoyers, Mercure et Associés. The
building calls upon the innovative use of geothermal energy for both heating
and cooling.

    About Axcan Pharma

    Axcan is a leading specialty pharmaceutical company involved in the field
of gastroenterology. Axcan markets a broad line of prescription products sold
for the treatment of symptoms in a number of gastrointestinal diseases and
disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome,
cholestatic liver diseases and complications related to cystic fibrosis.
Axcan's 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 and other regulatory 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
    and  the Canadian Multijurisdictional Disclosure System.


David W. Mims, Executive Vice President and 
Chief Operating Officer, Axcan Pharma Inc., (205) 991-8085 ext. 223 or Julie 
M. Thibodeau, Manager, Investor Relations, Axcan Pharma Inc., (450) 467-5138 
ext. 2062; Web: www.axcan.com