Nortran Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Hoechst Marion Roussel announce collaborativeagreement

Vancouver, Canada -- Nortran Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Canadian drug discovery company, and Hoechst Marion Roussel ("Hoechst"), the global pharmaceutical subsidiary of Hoechst AG, today announced the signing of a collaborative agreement in the area of cardiac arrhythmias. This collaboration will capitalize on the complementary expertise of the two companies in this area.

Under the terms of the agreement Nortran and Hoechst Marion Roussel will test investigational antiarrhythmic compounds developed by both companies. The companies will evaluate the pharmacological profiles of their compounds through the use of both companies' proprietary electrophysiological models and other preclinical tests.

"We are delighted to be working with a company of Hoechst Marion Roussel's calibre who have demonstrated their leadership in the field of cardiovascular therapeutics," commented Bob Rieder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nortran. "We are confident that this agreement will give fresh impetus to the field of antiarrhythmic drugs and create new opportunities that will benefit both the pharmaceutical industry and ultimately patients with the condition."

Nortran recently presented findings of its preclinical research on atrial fibrillation at the European Congress of Pharmacology in Budapest. "The drugs we have developed exhibit unique pharmacological properties which may lead to a new class of antiarrhythmic drug, " said Greg Beatch, Vice President Research, Nortran. "The heart rate dependent activity of our molecules is the basis for safe, effective antiarrhythmic drugs. We are very excited about the potential for our new class of antiarrhythmics. Our collaboration with Hoechst Marion Roussel can only expedite our research program."

Hoechst Marion Roussel, a world leader in pharmaceutical-based health care, is dedicated to extending human life and enhancing its quality through the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical produ

Contact: Asa Zanatta
Contemporary Communications

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