Nortran Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Hoechst Marion Roussel announce collaborativeagreement

August 31, 1999

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 products. Its major products are among the world's leading therapies for allergic, metabolic and central nervous system disorders and as well as cardiovascular and infectious diseases. Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Hoechst Marion Roussel is the pharmaceutical company of Hoechst AG, an international company that focuses on life sciences.

Nortran Pharmaceuticals is a commercially-focused drug discovery company. Using pathology-targeted molecules, Nortran focuses on developing treatments for serious medical conditions and illnesses affecting large numbers of people. Nortran's current drugs in development target life-threatening arrhythmias of the heart, acute cough and pain management.

Nortran operates a website at http://www.nortran.com
-end-
For further information, please contact:

Asa Zanatta
Contemporary Communications
Tel: (604) 734 3663
E-Mail: azanatta@ccpr.com

Robert Rieder
Chief Executive Officer
Nortran Pharmaceuticals
Tel: 604-222-5577
Fax: 604-222-6617

3650 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC
V6S 2L2 CANADA

Contemporary Communications

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