Adherex Technologies Reports Second Quarter Results-Company Encouraged by Results From Exherin Study
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--Adherex Technologies Inc. (TSE: AHX - news), a biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics based on cell adhesion technology, today announced significant progress in the development of its product, Exherin, a novel therapeutic compound designed to arrest the growth of cancer tumors by cutting off the blood supply. The company also reported its second quarter results for the period ending December 31, 2001.

Corporate Update

``We are excited about the results from our pre-clinical study at the Piedmont Research Center in North Carolina'', said Dr. Robin Norris, Chief Operating Officer of Adherex. ``The results confirm Exherin's activity in well-controlled study designs. A drug formulation has now been chosen for what will be a routine work-up to secure approval to start our human clinical trials.'' Adherex confirms that it is on course to meet its scheduled milestone of commencing these trials in 2002.

The collaboration between Adherex and AstraZeneca on the development of Exherin remains strong. Besides the ongoing drug development work, the companies will be participating in the upcoming BIO 2002 in June at a session entitled Vascular Targeting - A New Class of Cancer Therapeutic. This leading biotechnology conference is sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization and is expected to attract as many as 14,000 delegates.

Adherex's intellectual property portfolio was also strengthened during the quarter. Four new US patents were issued, providing protection for applications in wound healing, drug delivery, spinal cord repair and gene expression. Adherex now has a total of 11 issued US patents.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, Adherex welcomed Dr. Robin Norris to its management team. His background includes serving as Chief Operating Officer of transdermal drug delivery companies Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVN - news) and PowderJect Pharmaceuticals, Plc (London: PJP). He also served as Corporate Vice President, New Product Assessment and Planning at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now Aventis, NYSE: AVE). Dr. Norris' expertise is in moving therapeutic products into human clinical trials, management of scientific programs and business development and licensing.

``Things are looking very strong for us in 2002,'' said John Brooks, President and CEO of Adherex. ``We anticipate a number of major milestones this year including human clinical trials for our lead product and an enhanced relationship with AstraZeneca in the development of our proprietary cancer compounds. We plan on leveraging our cell adhesion expertise for an expanded platform of possible therapeutic drugs, with pre-clinical work well underway in the area of transdermal drug delivery. And finally, we have strengthened our management team and have the necessary cash to move forward with the ongoing development of our platform technologies.''

Financial Update

Adherex is a development stage company that invests its resources in the research and development of pharmaceutical products based upon its proprietary technology. As such, the company reported a net loss of $856,162 or ($0.02) per share for the quarter ending December 31, 2001, compared to $832,535 or ($0.03) per share for the second quarter last year. The net loss for the six months ended December 31, 2001 increased 64% to $2,219,695 or ($0.06) per share compared to $1,357,284 or ($0.06) per share for the same period in 2000. The company's research and development expenses increased by close to 100% over the same period to $1,904,794 for the six months ended December 31, 2001 from $954,733. This increase reflects the acceleration of the company's research and development efforts including the hiring of scientific staff and the expansion of the firm's chemistry, biology and formulation laboratory facilities.

The company's cash and cash equivalents were $11,561,895 as at December 31, 2001 compared to $14,152,528 at the end of its last fiscal year, June 30, 2001. Adherex reported a net cash burn of $404,725 per month for the quarter and $431,772 per month for the six months ended December 31, 2001. These amounts reflect both revenue from, and research and development cost savings owing to, the Company's collaborative agreement with AstraZeneca.

Adherex will host a conference call and simultaneous audio webcast at 8:45 a.m. ET today (February 14) to discuss these developments. Investors, analysts, brokers and media wishing to participate in this call may dial 888-674-1998 five minutes prior to the start time or visit the Adherex website at www.adherex.com. For those who are unable to listen to the call live, a telephone postview service will be in place from approximately one hour after the conference ends until midnight (ET) February 21, 2002. The postview can be accessed by dialing 800-558-5253 and entering reservation number 20342840 or by visiting the Adherex website.

The complete financial results for the second quarter and six-months ending December 31, 2001 are available on the company's website.

This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction. Certain information contained in this news release is forward-looking and is subject to unknown risks and uncertainties. The actual results, performance or achievements of the company may differ materially from the results, performance or achievements of the company expressed or implied by such forward looking statements.