Cypress' Comprehensive Review of the Psychopharmacology of Fibromyalgia Syndrome Featured in Psychopharmacology Bulletin


SAN DIEGO--(BW HealthWire)--Feb. 14, 2002--Cypress Bioscience Inc. (Nasdaq:CYPB) announced today the publication of a review article entitled "The Psychopharmacology of Fibromyalgia: A Drug Development Perspective," authored by Cypress employees, which is featured in the winter 2002 volume of Psychopharmacology Bulletin.

The review, lead-authored by Jay D. Kranzler, M.D., Ph.D., Cypress' chairman of the board and chief executive officer, summarizes our current understanding of the pathophysiology of FMS, with an emphasis on identifying bases for the development of novel therapeutic agents. The article includes a critical review of the existing clinical literature supporting the use of various pharmaceutical agents to treat the condition, as well as proposing several novel approaches based on more recent progress.

"This much needed review is the most comprehensive in the psychiatric literature," commented John Docherty, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Comprehensive NeuroScience Inc. "FMS may share some important biological processes with both major depressive disorder and neuropathic pain. This review provides an overview of those similarities and outlines the lessons learned for novel drug discovery in the field. Its publication in a journal such as Psychopharmacology Bulletin underscores the growing recognition of this area."

"This is just further evidence of Cypress's strong commitment to understanding the science behind FMS, and using this knowledge to identify the most effective pharmacologic therapies for this condition," remarked Daniel J. Clauw, M.D., director, Georgetown Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.

FMS is a chronic and debilitating condition characterized by widespread pain and stiffness throughout the body, accompanied by severe fatigue and headache. It affects an estimated 2%-4% of the population worldwide and is the second most common diagnosis by rheumatologists in the U.S. after osteoarthritis. Despite the high prevalence and severity of this syndrome, today there are no approved treatments specifically for FMS.

Cypress is developing a drug called milnacipran, an approved anti-depressant in 13 countries, for treatment of FMS. Milnacipran, the first of a new class of agents known as NSRI's, or Norepinephrine Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, shares a pharmacological profile with the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), considered the most effective drugs for treatment of FMS, while lacking the side effects associated with the latter. Unlike the related SNRI's, or Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors, such as venlafaxine or duloxetine, the NSRI's are similar to the TCAs, in that their effect is more pronounced on a neurotransmitter known as norepinephrine (NE) than is their effect on a neurotransmitter known as serotonin (5-HT). Cypress filed an investigational new drug application (IND) in December 2001 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that is now open, with Phase II testing planned to begin shortly.

About Cypress Bioscience Inc.

Cypress is committed to be the innovator and commercial leader in providing products that improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with FMS. In January 2001, the company began a strategic initiative focusing on FMS. In August 2001, Cypress licensed its first product for clinical development, milnacipran, to treat the widespread pain associated with FMS. In January of 2002, the company's IND was opened to commence a Phase II clinical trial to treat FMS with milnacipran in the United States. For more information about Cypress, visit the company's Web site at www.cypressbio.com. For more information about FMS, visit www.FMSresource.com.
This press release, as well as Cypress' SEC filings and Web site at http://www.cypressbio.com, contain forward-looking statements regarding the company's continued listing of the company's securities on The Nasdaq SmallCap Market, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could vary materially from those described as a result of a number of factors, including those set forth in Cypress Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent SEC filings. In addition, there is the risk that we may not be able to successfully develop or market any products for the treatment of FMS under the Pierre Fabre agreement or at all; that our clinical development plan or timeline for milnacipran may be delayed, including our plan to begin treating patients in a Phase II clinical trial in early 2002; that we may encounter regulatory or other difficulties in the development of milnacipran for FMS; that milnacipran may not significantly improve the treatment of FMS, that we will not be successful in identifying or developing products under the Georgetown agreement; that Fresenius may not be able to successfully market the PROSORBA column; and that we may not receive any future royalties under our revised agreement with Fresenius. Cypress undertakes no obligation to revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release, except as required by law.

CONTACT:

Cypress Bioscience Inc.

Jay D. Kranzler, M.D., Ph.D. / Manda Hall, 858/452-2323