Medivir: Candidate Drug Designated within the Tibotec Collaboration

STOCKHOLM, Sweden--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 29, 2005--The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) collaboration with Tibotec Pharmaceuticals Ltd has recently designated a Candidate Drug (CD). The aim of the research collaboration is to identify and develop orally active inhibitors of the HCV protease NS3/4A. The collaboration was initiated in November 2004 and attaining a CD designation represents an important step on the way towards clinical development.

Separately, the first milestone for preclinical development has been reached in the program, triggering a milestone payment to Medivir of EUR 5m.

"Hepatitis C is a highly interesting area for the development of new, innovative pharmaceuticals, and there is a huge need for new treatment principles. It is enormously satisfying that this project with joint resources and efforts has reached such an important development stage as the designation of a CD. We are extremely pleased with the collaboration and the pace it is progressing", says Medivir's VP Research Bertil Samuelsson.

"The designation of this Candidate Drug is the third in a row of protease-based CDs which we have achieved in less than two years. This further validates the productivity of our protease research engine. It enhances the prospects of entering clinical trials over the next few years with several protease inhibitor projects, targeting large patient populations", comments Medivir CEO Lars Adlersson.

Hepatitis C is caused by the RNA virus HCV. The WHO considers that 3% of the global population is infected with HCV, meaning some 200 million individuals. In the USA, 1.8% of the population is infected, which represents 3.9 million individuals. Around 2 million people have the confirmed diagnosis Hepatitis C in the West. In more than 60% of cases, HCV infection leads to protracted illness and handicap. It is the most common cause of chronic liver disease and of liver tumors and the most common ground for liver transplantation. The HCV market is currently dominated by interferon-based treatments which have limitations as regards to efficacy and are causing side-effects. Datamonitor expects the HCV market to grow rapidly from today's USD 3.6 billion to USD 9 billion by the year 2010.

For additional information, please see Medivir's website

The Medivir Group

Medivir (STO:MVIRB) is an innovative, specialist research company that develops drugs with the objective of becoming a sustaining, profitable pharmaceuticals company. Medivir is located in Huddinge, Sweden and at Chesterford Research Park, Essex, UK.

Medivir's research is oriented on developing new drug compounds based on proteases as target enzyme. The group consists of Medivir AB, its subsidiary Medivir UK Ltd, Medivir HIV Franchise AB and Medivir Personal AB. As of 30 September, the group had 129 employees. Medivir was listed on the Stockholm Exchange O-list in 1996.

Medivir's research portfolio includes projects against hepatitis C, cold sores, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), asthma, multiple sclerosis (MS) and autoimmune disorders. Medivir has five projects in various development phases, whereof one is on its way to phase III.

Medivir HIV Franchise AB focuses on development and divestment of the HIV projects and to ascertain the clinical strategy for MIV-606 against shingles.

Medivir AB (publ.), Lunastigen 7, SE-141 44 Huddinge, Sweden. Phone (switchboard): +46 (0)8 5468 3100

This information was brought to you by Waymaker


Rein Piir, CFO and Vice President, Investor Relations
+46 8 546 831 23 or +46 708 537292

Better Be Business Wired.

Business Wire is the leading source for press releases, photos, multimedia and regulatory filings from companies and groups throughout the world.