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Axcan Launches CANASA 1000 mg in the U.S.

Feb 28, 2005 - 12:00 ET

MONT SAINT-HILAIRE, QUEBEC, Feb. 28--Axcan Pharma Inc.
("Axcan" or the "Company") announced today the launch
of CANASA 1000 mg, the only FDA approved once-daily
mesalamine suppository for the treatment of ulcerative
proctitis. Axcan received a three-year marketing
exclusivity for the new dosage form under the non-patent
exclusivity provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and
Cosmetic Act.

"The once-a-day CANASA 1000 mg suppository offers a new
treatment option for patients with ulcerative proctitis,"
said Dr. Miguel Regueiro, Associate Professor of Medicine
and Co-Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center
at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
"The 1000 mg suppository is as efficacious as the
twice-a-day CANASA 500 mg suppository, but 1000 milligrams
once a day is easier for patients to use and should improve

In the United States, the rectal mesalamine market is valued
at approximately U.S. $82 million annually. According to IMS
Health data published in December 2004, approximately 56% of
all U.S. gastrointestinal prescriptions for rectal mesalamine
were written for CANASA 500 mg, making Axcan's 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. In
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 approximately 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. Axcan markets
a broad line of prescription products sold for the treatment
of symptoms in a number of gastrointestinal diseases and
disorders such as irritable bowel disorder, 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.

This press release contains forward-looking statements,
which reflect the Company's current expectations regarding
future events. To the extent any statements made in this
release contain information that is not historical, these
statements are essentially forward looking and are often
identified by words such as "anticipate," "expect,"
"estimate," "should," "project," "plan," and "believe."
Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and
uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially
from those projected herein and depend on a number of
factors including but not limited to risks and uncertainties,
which may include 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 under the Canadian Multijurisdictional Disclosure System.

The name CANASA is a trademark of Axcan Pharma Inc. and its

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) 467-2600 ext. 2062,;