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Treatment for Pain in Opioid Tolerant Patients

Update: Exalgo Now FDA Approved - March 1, 2010

FDA Feedback on Exalgo NDA

Neuromed Receives FDA Feedback on New Drug Application for Exalgo Extended-Release Tablets

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & VANCOUVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 16, 2009 - CombinatoRx, Incorporated and Neuromed Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company, today announced that on November 13, 2009, representatives of Neuromed discussed the pending New Drug Application (NDA) for the product candidate Exalgo (hydromorphone HCl extended release) tablets, seeking FDA approval for the management of moderate to severe pain in opioid tolerant patients requiring continuous, around-the-clock opioid analgesia for an extended period of time, with staff from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In these discussions, the FDA staff indicated that the NDA in its current form would not be sufficient to form the basis for approval of Exalgo under Section 505(b)(1) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, as amended (FDCA). Based on these discussions with the FDA, Neuromed is working with Mallinckrodt, Inc., who owns the commercial rights to Exalgo, to determine the appropriate actions to be taken based on the discussions with the staff of the FDA, which actions may include amending the existing NDA, or potentially resubmitting the NDA under Section 505(b)(2) of the FDCA, which utilizes different criteria to determine the basis for approval of a new drug candidate.

So that each company's stockholders can be provided with additional information regarding these developments, CombinatoRx and Neuromed each plan to convene their respective stockholders meetings at the previously scheduled times and then adjourn these meetings until, in the case of CombinatoRx, 9:00 a.m. ET on November 30, 2009, at the offices of Goodwin Procter LLP, 53 State Street, Boston, MA 02109, and in the case of Neuromed, 8:00 a.m. PT on November 30, 2009, at Neuromed's offices, 301 – 2389 Health Science Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z3.

The U.S. rights to Exalgo were acquired by Mallinckrodt, Inc., a Covidien company, on June 11, 2009. CombinatoRx and Neuromed entered into a definitive merger agreement on June 30, 2009.

About CombinatoRx

CombinatoRx, Incorporated (CRXX) is pioneering the new field of synergistic combination pharmaceuticals. Going beyond traditional combinations, CombinatoRx creates product candidates with novel mechanisms of action, striking at the biological complexities of human disease. The CombinatoRx proprietary drug discovery technology provides a renewable and previously untapped source of novel drug candidates. The Company was founded in 2000 and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To learn more about CombinatoRx, please visit

About Neuromed

Neuromed is a privately held biopharmaceutical company in business to develop new and improved pain medicines. Neuromed has multiple programs aimed at addressing this important unmet medical need. The rights to its lead product candidate, Exalgo, designed to be a once-daily, oral hydromorphone treatment, seeking FDA approval for chronic to severe pain, were recently acquired by Mallinckrodt Inc., a subsidiary of Covidien plc. Neuromed is also developing oral drug candidates to block N-type and T-type calcium channels, an important target directly involved in pain signaling, and includes candidates for potentially treating pain, epilepsy and hypertension. For more information visit Neuromed's website at

Forward-Looking Statement:

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 concerning CombinatoRx and Neuromed, Neuromed's product candidate Exalgo, and its potential and the regulatory strategy for obtaining FDA approval, the timing of the closing of the merger of CombinatoRx and Neuromed, the CombinatoRx drug discovery technology, and the business plans of both CombinatoRx and the combined company. These forward-looking statements about future expectations, plans and prospects of CombinatoRx, Neuromed and the combined company involve significant risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including risks related to the ability of Neuromed or Mallinckrodt to obtain regulatory approval for the sale and marketing of its Exalgo product candidate, the unproven nature of the CombinatoRx drug discovery technology, the Company's ability to obtain additional financing or funding for its research and development and those other risks that can be found in the "Risk Factors" section of the CombinatoRx Annual Report on Form 10-K on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the other reports that CombinatoRx periodically files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from those CombinatoRx contemplated by these forward-looking statements. These forward looking statements reflect management's current views and CombinatoRx does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release except as required by law.

Important Additional Information Available

This press release does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale. In connection with the merger with Neuromed, CombinatoRx has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a registration statement on Form S-4 (File No. 333-161146) (S-4), which, as amended, was declared effective on October 22, 2009. The joint proxy statement/prospectus of CombinatoRx and Neuromed included in the S-4 was filed with the SEC under Rule 424(b)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933 on October 22, 2009 and mailed to CombinatoRx and Neuromed stockholders. Investors and security holders of CombinatoRx are urged to read the S-4 and the joint proxy statement/prospectus (including all amendments and supplements thereto) and the other relevant material because they contain important information about CombinatoRx, Neuromed and the proposed transaction. The S-4, joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials, and any and all documents filed by CombinatoRx with the SEC, may be obtained free of charge at the SEC's web site at In addition, investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the documents filed with the SEC by CombinatoRx by directing a written request to CombinatoRx, Incorporated, 245 First Street, Third Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142, Attention: Secretary. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND THE OTHER RELEVANT MATERIALS BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING OR INVESTMENT DECISION WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPOSED TRANSACTIONS.

(c) 2009 CombinatoRx, Incorporated. All rights reserved.

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