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Positive Clinical Data with Santarus' Zegerid Capsules in Controlling 24-Hour Gastric Acidity Presented in DDW Abstract

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 19, 2008 - Santarus, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNTS), a specialty pharmaceutical company, today announced the presentation of an abstract at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) annual meeting of positive pharmacodynamic study results indicating that, after seven days of pre-breakfast dosing, Zegerid(R) (omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate) Capsules 40 mg/1100 mg produced significantly greater and significantly faster control of gastric acidity in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) than two comparator drugs. The clinical study evaluated the effect of morning dosing of immediate-release ZEGERID Capsules, Protonix(R) (pantoprazole sodium) Delayed-Release Tablets 40 mg and Prevacid(R) (lansoprazole) Delayed-Release Capsules 30 mg on 24-hour gastric acid control. The clinical data were presented by Colin W. Howden, M.D., Division of Gastroenterology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a poster session on May 18, 2008.

All three drugs are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used to treat GERD by reducing the production of gastric acid. A typical measure of gastric acid control is the ability of a therapy to maintain gastric pH at a level greater than 4. Clinical data from a total of 51 patients were analyzed in the open-label, randomized, crossover study. The primary endpoint of the study was to evaluate the effects of pre-breakfast dosing of ZEGERID Capsules, Protonix tablets and Prevacid capsules on 24-hour gastric acid control by measuring the percent time gastric pH was greater than 4 on the seventh day of once-daily, pre-breakfast dosing.

The study results indicated that the percent time gastric pH was greater than 4 with ZEGERID was approximately 43% longer than with Protonix (p less than 0.001) and approximately 22% longer than with Prevacid (p=0.005). In addition ZEGERID was associated with more rapid control of gastric acidity. ZEGERID achieved a pH greater than 4 within 20 minutes, compared with 70 minutes for Protonix and 65 minutes for Prevacid (p less than 0.001 for both comparisons). There were no clinically meaningful differences in the number or nature of adverse events reported in this study among the three drugs. Santarus had previously reported top-line results from this clinical trial in January 2008.

"We are very pleased to present these favorable clinical results at the DDW meeting, which is the largest meeting for gastroenterologists during the year," said Gerald T. Proehl, president and chief executive officer of Santarus. "These study results reinforce our message that ZEGERID is the only oral PPI that offers immediate-release for rapid and sustained control of gastric acidity in GERD patients whether dosed in the morning or at night."

About ZEGERID Prescription Products

ZEGERID (omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate) Capsules contain a combination of omeprazole, a PPI, and sodium bicarbonate, an antacid, which raises the gastric pH and thus protects the omeprazole from acid degradation. ZEGERID Capsules are indicated for the treatment of heartburn and other symptoms associated with GERD, erosive esophagitis, and gastric and duodenal ulcers.

ZEGERID products offer a distinct pharmacological profile - rapidly reaching maximal plasma levels (in approximately 30 minutes) and providing strong acid control. While the correlation of pharmacodynamic data to clinical effect has not been established, the median percentage of time gastric pH was greater than 4 over 24 hours in patients treated with ZEGERID in a pharmacodynamic study ranged from 12.2 hours to 18.6 hours, depending on the strength and dosage form, after repeated once-daily dosing. ZEGERID can be conveniently taken once-a-day on an empty stomach, at least one hour before a meal.

PPIs are widely prescribed for a variety of diseases and disorders of the upper digestive tract. All currently marketed oral PPIs in the U.S., other than ZEGERID, are delayed-release formulations that utilize an enteric coating to protect the PPI from acid degradation, thereby delaying absorption and initial acid suppression. Unlike delayed-release PPIs, ZEGERID Capsules utilize an antacid in lieu of an enteric coating. The antacid neutralizes stomach acid and protects the PPI, omeprazole, from gastric acid degradation and allows for its rapid absorption and suppression of gastric acid.

Important Safety Information

The most frequently reported adverse events with ZEGERID are headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Symptomatic response to therapy does not preclude the presence of gastric malignancy. Atrophic gastritis has been noted occasionally in gastric corpus biopsies from patients treated long term with omeprazole.

ZEGERID Capsules contain 304 mg of sodium per dose. This should be taken into consideration for patients on a sodium-restricted diet. Sodium bicarbonate is contraindicated in patients with metabolic alkalosis and hypocalcemia. ZEGERID is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to any component of the formulation.

Since both 20 mg and 40 mg ZEGERID Capsules contain the same amount of sodium bicarbonate (1100 mg per capsule), two 20 mg capsules are not equivalent to, and should not be substituted for, one 40 mg capsule.

About Santarus

Santarus, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing proprietary products that address the needs of patients treated by gastroenterologists or primary care physicians. The company's current marketing efforts are primarily focused on ZEGERID Capsules and Powder for Oral Suspension. These products are immediate-release formulations of omeprazole, a widely prescribed PPI. More information about Santarus is available on the company's Web site at

Santarus cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Santarus that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Santarus' business, including, without limitation: unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy of ZEGERID that could result in recalls or product liability claims; competition from other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; other difficulties or delays in development, testing, manufacturing and marketing of, and maintaining regulatory approvals for, Santarus' products; and other risks detailed in Santarus' prior press releases as well as in public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Santarus undertakes no obligation to revise or update this news release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Santarus(R) and ZEGERID(R) are registered trademarks of Santarus, Inc. All other trademarks appearing in this press release are the property of their respective owners.


Company Contact:
Santarus, Inc.
Martha L. Hough, VP Finance & Investor Relations
Debra P. Crawford, Chief Financial Officer
Investor Contact:
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, Inc.
Jody Cain,
Bruce Voss,

Posted: May 2008