.

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  

Robert F. Apple, Chief Operating Officer
InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc.
215-283-6850

Donald C. Weinberger
Wolfe Axelrod Weinberger Assoc. LLC
212-370-4500, 212-370-4505 fax
[email protected]


GUIDELINES DEVELOPED BY THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR
GASTROINTESTINAL ENDOSCOPY CITES VISICOL™
AS A WIDELY ACCEPTED BOWEL PREPARATION

 

BLUE BELL, PA April 4, 2003 - InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: INKP) ) today announced that guidelines developed by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) cite sodium phosphate tablets (Visicol) as 1 of 3 widely accepted bowel preparations for colonoscopy. The guidelines appear in the April issue (Volume 57, Number 4) of the journal "Gastrointestinal Endoscopy". The guidelines state, "when compared with the polyethylene glycol-based preparation, sodium phosphate tablets demonstrated similar efficacy in cleansing of the colon, better patient tolerance, and fewer GI side effects." Additionally, the guidelines stated that "sodium phosphate tablets (Visicol) have been developed providing the same dose of salts as found in liquid solution without the unpleasant taste."

InKine also stated that two recent publications in the "American Journal of Gastroenterology" (from the Mayo Clinic and the Washington University School of Medicine) show that the taste of liquid bowel preparations is the most unpleasant aspect of the testing procedure and could prevent patients from undergoing screening CT colonography or conventional colonoscopy.

In the first study published in December 2002 by Harewood et al. of the Mayo Clinic, the primary concern of the 300 patients (irrespective of screened/never-screened status) undergoing colonoscopy was the need to take a large volume liquid bowel preparation.

The second study published in March 2003 by Ristvedt et al. from Washington University School of Medicine, described patient preferences for CT colonography, conventional colonoscopy and bowel preparation. In this study all 120 subjects received liquid bowel preparations. Of the patients, 109 received Fleets Phospha-Soda® and 11 received PEG electrolyte solution. The authors stated that "one of the most important findings of this study was the markedly negative appraisal of the bowel preparation. The bowel preparation, currently common to both CT colonography and colonoscopy, was clearly rated as the most unpleasant of all aspects of the testing procedure."

"We are pleased that the guidelines developed by ASGE cites Visicol Tablets as a widely accepted bowel preparation for colonoscopy," said Leonard S. Jacob, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. "The publication of these articles in the "American Journal of Gastroenterology" support our belief that Visicol will ultimately become the most widely used purgative and remove an important barrier to colon cancer screening. Our last three consecutive weeks of unaudited IMS prescription data were record weeks for Visicol," added Dr. Jacob.

About InKine Pharmaceutical
InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The Company's development strategy is to acquire late-stage drug candidates with short time lines to commercialization. The Company's first product, Visicol® is the first and only tablet purgative preparation indicated for bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy. InKine's second product, IBStat®, is a novel oral hysocyamine spray for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and spasm of the colon. Additionally, the Company has other development programs such as Colirest™, which is in clinical trials for the treatment of Crohn's disease and completed Phase II trials for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. For further information, please visit InKine on their web site http://www.inkine.com.

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