April 12, 2006
Gilead Invests $25 Million in Corus Pharma; Establishes Equity Position in Company With Late-Stage Product Candidate for Cystic Fibrosis
FOSTER CITY, Calif. & SEATTLE, Apr 12, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:GILD) and Corus Pharma, Inc. today announced that Gilead has invested $25 million in Corus, a privately-held Seattle-based company focused on the development of novel drugs for respiratory diseases. In return for the investment, Gilead will receive preferred shares in Corus and will become the second largest shareholder in the company. Gilead will also have an exclusive option to purchase the remaining shares of Corus at a pre-specified price.
Corus' lead product candidate, Cayston(TM) (aztreonam lysine for inhalation), is an inhaled antibiotic with activity against gram-negative bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Corus is currently enrolling Phase III studies to evaluate the product as a potential treatment for CF-related pulmonary infections. Aztreonam lysine for inhalation was granted orphan drug status by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in March 2002.
"This investment will provide Corus with the resources to continue the important clinical trials of aztreonam lysine. There is no known cure for cystic fibrosis, and treatment of the disease and of related infections represents an area of tremendous unmet medical need. Through this alliance between Corus and Gilead, patients with cystic fibrosis may gain more rapid access to an important new treatment option," said John F. Milligan, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Gilead Sciences.
"Corus is dedicated to advancing aztreonam lysine for inhalation, and we look forward to completing enrollment in our Phase III program later this year," said A. Bruce Montgomery, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Corus. "Our mission to deliver innovative products that improve health and quality of life for patients is well-aligned with the mission of Gilead, and we are pleased to have the support and involvement of a company with remarkable experience and success in the field of infectious diseases."
Aztreonam lysine is the subject of litigation brought by Chiron Corporation in which Chiron has alleged trade secret misappropriation and other related claims against Corus and two of its officers. Corus vigorously contests Chiron's allegations.
At 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time today, Gilead will webcast a pre-recorded statement on Gilead's website to discuss this announcement. To access the webcast via the internet, log on to www.gilead.com. Please connect to the company's website at least 15 minutes prior to the conference call to ensure adequate time for any software download that may be needed to hear the webcast.
Alternatively, please call 1-866-510-0712 (U.S.) or 1-617-597-5380 (international) and enter the participant passcode 68793912 to access the call. Telephone replay is available approximately one hour after the call through 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15, 2006. To access, please call 1-888-286-8010 (U.S.) or 1-617-801-6888 (international) and enter the participant passcode 35990140. The webcast will be archived on www.gilead.com for one year.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company's mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases worldwide. Headquartered in Foster City, California, Gilead has operations in North America, Europe and Australia. For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company's website at www.gilead.com or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or 1-650-574-3000.
About Corus Pharma
Corus Pharma is committed to developing and commercializing specialty products for respiratory and infectious diseases that can help provide improved health and superior quality of life. Corus is a privately-held, venture capital backed company whose investors include Bear Stearns Health Innoventures, Burrill & Company, JPMorgan Partners (now known as Panorama Capital), Novo A/S, Orbimed Advisors and others. More information about Corus Pharma may be found at www.coruspharma.com.
his press release includes forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including risks and uncertainties related to the ability of Corus and its officers to prevail in litigation brought by Chiron Corporation, the benefits of aztreonam lysine for inhalation to patients with cystic fibrosis and the ability of Corus to develop and commercialize aztreonam lysine for inhalation. For example, the data from the Phase III trial that Corus plans to initiate may not warrant further development of this product and initiating and completing clinical trials may take longer or cost more than expected. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks are described in detail in the Gilead Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead and Gilead assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.
SOURCE: Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Tricia Petersen, 650-522-5839 (Investors)
Amy Flood, 650-522-5643 (Media)
Guy Seaton, 206-728-5090
Dave Syferd and Partners (for Corus Pharma)
Laurie Christomos, 206-262-0395