.

  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]



INKINE ANNOUNCES POSITIVE RESULTS OF
LAXATIVE STUDY USING VISICOL™ TABLETS

 
BLUE BELL, PA April 24, 2003 - InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: INKP) today announced the results of the Company's post-marketing study using Visicol™ tablets as a laxative. Visicol is currently marketed in the United States for cleansing the bowel prior to colonoscopy in adults.

The study, which was performed in 31 adult, healthy volunteers, was a controlled, randomized, open label trial that compared the safety and laxative effects of either 8 or 12 Visicol™ tablets taken each morning to Miralax®, the leading marketed prescription laxative. Following a seven day baseline observation period with no treatment, subjects were treated for seven days. Subjects in the Visicol arms took 4 tablets every 15 minutes with 8 ounces of any non-alcoholic beverage until they completed their randomized dose amount (8 or 12 tablets), and the Miralax subjects were given the recommended dose of 17 grams daily. Subjects kept a diary of their bowel movements and various gastrointestinal symptoms, and had periodic assessments of their blood electrolyte levels. During treatment, subjects who had excessive laxative effects had mandatory reductions of their laxative dose.

The results of the study show a consistent statistically significant pattern of greater and more prompt laxative effects for Visicol over Miralax. Subjects randomized to either Visicol dose had significantly more daily bowel movements after just one day of dosing and also at the end of treatment compared to Miralax. The time to the onset of laxative effects was significantly shorter with Visicol than with Miralax. Every subject in both Visicol groups required at least one dose reduction for excessive laxative effects compared to none in the Miralax group, a highly significant difference. Visicol was well tolerated by study subjects. No one taking Visicol dropped out of the study, compared to one person in the Miralax group who left the study after vomiting on the second day of treatment. There were no significant differences between the study groups in changes from baseline in blood electrolyte levels at the end of study treatment.

"These results indicate that Visicol had prompt laxative effects in this study population," said Martin Rose, M.D., J.D., Executive Vice President for Research and Development at InKine. "The laxative effects of Visicol were seen significantly faster than with Miralax, which was expected since the labeling for Miralax indicates that laxative effects may not occur for two to four days. Visicol was well tolerated by these subjects, and electrolyte changes at the end of treatment were minor and did not differ significantly among the study groups. We now have the information needed to proceed to a study in patients with constipation, which we plan to launch early in the third quarter of 2003."

The constipation marketplace represents a potentially large extension of Visicol's utility. Over two million patients seek treatment each year for this condition, which generally requires chronic treatment, yielding over 3.5 million prescriptions.

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.

In addition to historical facts or statement of current condition, this press release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide InKine's current expectations or forecasts of future events. These may include statements regarding anticipated scientific progress on its research programs, development of potential pharmaceutical products, interpretation of clinical results, prospects for regulatory approval, manufacturing development and capabilities, market prospects for its products, sales and earnings projections, and other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts. You may identify some of these forward-looking statements by the use of words in the statements such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe" or other words and terms of similar meaning. InKine's performance and financial results could differ materially from those reflected in these forward-looking statements due to general financial, economic, regulatory and political conditions affecting the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries as well as more specific risks and uncertainties such as those set forth in its reports on Form 10-Q and 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Given these risks and uncertainties, any or all of these forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Therefore, you should not rely on any such factors or forward-looking statements. Furthermore, InKine does not intend (and it is not obligated) to update publicly any forward-looking statements. This discussion is permitted by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.