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Atrix launches 3-month Eligard 22.5mg for advanced prostate cancer

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, September 4, 2002 -- Atrix Laboratories announced the US launch of Eligard(TM) 22.5mg (leuprolide acetate suspension for injection), a new proprietary product for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Eligard 22.5mg utilizes Atrix's innovative drug delivery system, Atrigel, to deliver leuprolide acetate over a three-month period.

"The availability of both one-month and three-month Eligard provides new alternatives to current prostate cancer therapy," said David R. Bethune, Atrix's chairman and chief executive officer. "The Eligard products have attributes and features that may be beneficial to patients and caregivers alike. We foresee potential benefits to the physician who wants an effective treatment for the advanced prostate cancer patient; to the patient who uses this therapy; and to the nurse who administers the treatment."

The launch of Eligard 22.5mg prostate cancer product coincides with the start of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Cancer Institute, a majority of advanced prostate cancer patients receive leutenizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) therapy during the course of their treatment.

The American Cancer Society lists prostate cancer as the most common cancer, excluding skin cancers, in American men. It is estimated that approximately 189,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year and approximately 30,200 men will die of the disease. Approximately one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Atrix received approvals from the FDA for its Eligard 7.5mg one-month product and Eligard 22.5mg three-month product in January and July 2002, respectively. In April 2002, Atrix submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) for Eligard 30mg, a four-month sustained release product, which is currently under FDA review.

Eligard 22.5 mg, like other LHRH agonists, causes a transient increase in serum concentrations of testosterone during the first week of treatment. Patients may experience worsening of symptoms or onset of new signs and symptoms during the first few weeks of treatment.

Source: Atrix Laboratories

Posted: September 2002