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Axcan Pharma appoints new Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer

May 10, 2006 - 11:59 ET

MONT-SAINT-HILAIRE, QC, May 10 - Axcan Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:
AXCA - TSX: AXP) today announced the appointment of Alexandre P. LeBeaut,
M.D., as Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. LeBeaut will
replace François Martin, M.D., who will continue to serve Axcan in an advisory
role through September 30, 2006 to ensure a smooth and effective transition of

In his new role, which is in line with the Company's succession planning
efforts, Dr. LeBeaut will oversee all of Axcan's drug development activities
including the design and execution of Axcan's clinical development programs
and regulatory affairs. He will also provide strategic and tactical input for
in-licensing opportunities. Dr. LeBeaut will be based at Axcan's corporate
office in Mont-Saint-Hilaire (Quebec).

"I'm pleased to welcome Dr. LeBeaut to the Axcan management team as he
brings a proven track record of success in drug development. We really look
forward to calling upon his global experience and depth of knowledge in
pharmaceutical product development as well as his acute knowledge of the field
of gastroenterology. Dr. LeBeaut's leadership will also be invaluable as we
move Axcan to the next stage of growth. With him on board, we will continue to
accelerate our product pipeline development and focus on in-licensing late
stage development products for the treatment of a number of gastrointestinal
diseases and disorders," commented Frank A.G.M. Verwiel, M.D., President and
Chief Executive Officer of Axcan. "On behalf of the Company, I want to thank
Dr. Martin for his nine years of service to Axcan. François has been a key
contributor to the Company's growth since he joined the organization in 1997,"
he concluded.

Dr. LeBeaut's broad industry experience with specialty pharmaceutical
companies spans more than 18 years. Prior to joining Axcan, Dr. LeBeaut held
senior scientific positions with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation where he
was Vice President, Cardiovascular and Metabolism Global Clinical Development
& Medical Affairs. Before occupying this position, he served as Vice
President, U.S. Clinical Development & Medical Affairs - Arthritis, Bone
Metabolism, Gastroenterology and Women's Health. While at Novartis,
Dr. LeBeaut served as a project leader on major research programs, including
the development of Zelnorm® (tegaserod maleate), a drug that was approved in
North America for the treatment of women with constipation as a symptom of
irritable bowel syndrome.

Before joining Novartis in 2002, Dr. LeBeaut held a number of senior
positions with pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., France and Italy,
including the Schering Plough Research Institute (Kenilworlth, NJ), where he
was a project leader for development programs focusing on Cardiovascular and
Metabolism, Gastroenterology, Clinical Immunology and Infectious Diseases.

Dr. LeBeaut is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association,
the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Society of
Microbiology, the American Society of Critical Care Medicine, the American
Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and the Association of Clinical Research

Dr. LeBeaut received his medical degree with honors from the University
of Paris VII, France in 1984 and is a pediatrician by training.


Axcan is a leading specialty pharmaceutical company specialized 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.

This 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," "intend," "project," "plan"
and "believe." Forward-looking statements 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, the protection of
our intellectual property and other risks detailed from time to time in the
Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian
Securities Regulators.

Zelnorm® is a trademark of Novartis AG.

For further information: Isabelle Adjahi, Director, Investor Relations,
Axcan Pharma Inc., (450) 467-2600 ext. 2000,; Source: Axcan
Pharma Inc.;