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  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 ENTERS INTO CO-PROMOTION AGREEMENT WITH SIGMA-TAU FOR GASTROINTESTINAL PROBIOTIC VSL#3

 

BLUE BELL, PA December 10, 2003 -- InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: INKP) today announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive co-promotion agreement with Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Sigma-Tau International SA of Rome, Italy.   Under the agreement, InKine's U.S. gastrointestinal sales force will promote Sigma-Tau's VSL#3 ® in the second sales position behind InKine's purgative product, Visicol ® .   VSL#3 ® is a probiotic that is effective in treating certain gastrointestinal disorders, including pouchitis, an inflammation of the small bowel reservoir (or pouch).   This serious condition is the most frequent long-term complication following colon removal and pouch creation surgery for ulcerative colitis.

"We are pleased to have InKine as our partner for the co-promotion of VSL#3 ® ," said Claudio Cavazza, President of Sigma-Tau SBA.   "InKine's gastrointestinal sales force has a proven track record and is respected within the United States gastroenterology community.   We believe that InKine is the right partner to help us educate physicians about the novel immunoregulatory properties of VSL#3 ® and its important role in the dietary management of pouchitis and other gastrointestinal conditions," added Mr. Cavazza.

Under the co-promotion agreement, InKine could receive up to $1.5 million over the one-year term based on the completion of 15,000 second position quarterly sales calls.   Additional performance-based incentives are in place to further align InKine's sales force with the success of VSL#3 ® .   The Company will use a portion of the cash generated from the co-promotion agreement to fund the expansion of its gastrointestinal sales force to approximately 50 sales professionals.  

"The addition of VSL#3 ® to our sales force detail provides us the opportunity to generate an additional revenue stream, increase rapport with gastrointestinal physicians and utilize the capacity of our sales organization," said Leonard S. Jacob, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of InKine.   "We are excited about the potential for VSL#3 ® and are pleased that Sigma-Tau chose InKine to detail this important product to the gastroenterology community," added Dr. Jacob.

About InKine Pharmaceutical
InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. is a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products for the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. The Company's development strategy is to acquire late-stage drug candidates with short time lines to commercialization. The Company's franchise product, Visicol ® is the only tablet purgative preparation indicated for bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy. InKine's second product, IB-Stat ® , is an oral hyoscyamine spray for the treatment of a variety of indications.   Additionally, the Company is developing Colirest(TM), which is in clinical trials for the treatment of Crohn's disease. For further information, please visit InKine on its web site http://www.inkine.com .

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