VICTORIA, British Columbia, Canada – A new global pharmaceutical company, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corporation, headquartered in Victoria BC has been created to develop high therapeutic value medicines for the treatment of rare diseases.

In the US and Canada there are over 27 million people living with a rare disease. To date, physicians have identified and documented over 6000 rare disorders. Many of these diseases are debilitating and significantly impact both quality of life and longevity. Yet the vast majority of people with rare diseases find their medical and pharmaceutical needs are poorly addressed. As a result rare disease patient advocates are increasingly vocal. They rightly feel excluded from the benefits of medical progress. They argue forcefully that their needs are just as great if not greater than those affected by far more common disorders.

The Company's business strategy and structure have been designed to meet the needs of four key stakeholders: patients with rare disorders; physicians who care for people with rare disorders; pharmaceutical companies with potential orphan drugs; and healthcare investors interested in a risk-reduced clinical-stage portfolio approach to drug development.

Aspreva is well positioned to become the pharmaceutical industry's preeminent partner of choice for rare disease orphan therapeutics. Through the provision of highly specialized orphan drug clinical development programs, the use of innovative regulatory strategies and unique marketing, sales and co-promotion initiatives Aspreva will bring desperately needed medicines to disenfranchised patient populations.


Aspreva Pharmaceuticals is founded by a core team of experienced pharmaceutical and biotechnology executives. Mr. Richard M. Glickman, founder of StressGen Biotechnologies Corporation and Ontario Molecular Diagnostics Inc., will serve as the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Michael Hayden founder of the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network, Xenon Genetics Inc., the Center of Molecular Medicine and Neurovir Corporation, will serve as the company's Chief Medical Officer; and Mr. Noel Hall, a senior pharmaceutical executive with expertise in rare disease marketing and commercialization will serve as the Company's President. The founders' breadth of experience and knowledge of the rare disease field will ensure Aspreva is well positioned to become a leading force in rare disease therapeutics. The founders are supported by a team of world-renowned medical and commercial experts who have agreed to act as advisors for this new venture.

Aspreva's Business Strategy

Despite the financial success for those companies that choose to focus on orphan markets, and the medical benefits and positive corporate image associated with orphan drugs, most major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, for a variety of reasons, are unable to dedicate the resources to develop such therapies. As a result of industry consolidation large pharmaceutical companies now have significantly higher hurdle rates for drugs in development: most drugs must have a realistic chance of bringing in at least $500 million (US) in worldwide sales. Many of these same companies, however, have significant numbers of potential orphan drugs in their portfolios and need innovative partnership strategies and access to rare disease drug development expertise to fully exploit the inherent social equity associated with the provision of orphan therapeutics.

Aspreva's strategy is to partner with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, assisting them in exploiting the full social and economic value of their drug portfolios. Aspreva will in- license orphan drugs from these companies, assuming full responsibility for their development and commercialization. Through unique co-branding and development strategies, Aspreva will ensure the original developer of the molecule will receive recognition for bringing a high value therapeutic to a patient population desperately in need.

The Company's first strategic partnership is with the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network, one of the world's top research organizations in genetic medicine. Over the last 10 years the CGDN has played a key role in identifying many important rare disease genes. Since almost 80 percent of the over 6000 rare diseases are genetic in origin, this relationship provides the Company with a unique window on both scientific and medical breakthroughs in the rare disease field

Aspreva to Locate Corporate Offices in VITP

Aspreva intends to locate its global headquarters in the newly created Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP) located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The VITP will foster a dynamic growth environment that is ideal for recruiting key employees, a critical element in the successful establishment of high technology medical ventures. Furthermore, the state of the art communication systems will facilitate the establishment of the company's global operations. Aspreva's management believes the VITP will become a focal point for the Island's emerging medical and technology industries.

For more information contact:

Richard M. Glickman: 250.213.1523
Noel Hall:   250.813.0403

* Aspreva: Derived from the Latin for hope (spero) the French for dream (reve) and the English word aspiration


The Management and Founders

Richard M. Glickman – Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Richard Glickman was the co-founder, and past President and CEO of StressGen Biotechnologies Corporation, a publicly traded biotechnology company specializing in immunotherapeutic application of stress proteins. The company is in Phase III trials with HspE7, a molecule with broad-spectrum activity against a variety of diseases related to the human papilloma virus. HspE7 was granted orphan product status in 2000 for the treatment of RRP, a rare manifestation of warts in the upper airways that causes considerable morbidity. Formerly, Richard Glickman was the founder and director of Ontario Molecular Diagnostics, a diagnostic facility that evolved into the largest molecular diagnostic laboratory in the country and is now part of the North York General Hospital in Toronto. He was also a co-founder of Probtec Corporation, a rational drug design and molecular genetics firm. Richard Glickman as Vice-President of Corporate Development, established and introduced the first licensed DNA-based forensic and paternity testing services into Canada.

Richard Glickman has served as the Chairman of the British Columbia Biotechnology Alliance and as a member of the federal government's National Biotechnology Advisory Committee. Richard Glickman is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Board of StressGen, Chairman of the Board of Vigil Health Management Inc. and is on the Board of Directors of Epic Biosonics Inc. Richard Glickman is on the Executive of the Board of Directors of the Genetic Diseases Network, a Canadian Centre of Excellence, and is a member of the British Columbia Knowledge Development Funding Committee. Richard Glickman is the recipient of both Canada's and British Columbia's Top 40 under 40 Awards.

Noel Hall – Co-founder and President

Noel Hall was Practice Leader of both the North American Life Sciences & Canadian Pharmaceutical Practices for Hill and Knowlton, one of the world's largest public affairs and marketing communications consultancies. Prior to this Noel Hall ran the UK and European Pharmaceutical practice for H
ill and Knowlton, based in London UK. In this capacity Noel Hall has worked with all major pharmaceutical companies, advising them on a wide range of issues relating to the successful commercialization of numerous pharmaceutical compounds, including several orphan compounds, throughout all stages of their lifecycle. This has included: all aspects of commercial assessment covering product positioning; strategic planning; pre and post launch marketing; medical education; stakeholder management; public relations; market access and product reimbursement. Noel Hall's product campaigns have received many awards including best launch for Zomig. Noel Hall has also worked with biotechnology companies on their pharmaceutical partnering strategies.

Prior to joining Hill and Knowlton Noel Hall was Director of Corporate Affairs (UK) for The Wellcome Foundation Ltd., with primary responsibility for market development, product PR, professional relations and health policy. Noel Hall has also worked for the UK affiliate of Abbott Laboratories as Head of Professional Relations. In this capacity he ran the pre-marketing programs for all clinical-stage research products. Noel Hall was awarded the Annual Chairman's Prize for his project assessing the viability for point-of-care diagnostics. Noel Hall started his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Leo Laboratories where he was a teaching hospital representative and then a regional sales manager.

Noel Hall currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Genetics Disease Network. Previously he sat on the Board of Directors for the HIV and AIDS charity Red Ribbon International and on the steering committee for the UK division for Pharmaceutical Partners for Better Health.

Michael Hayden, MD PhD – Co-founder and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board

Michael Hayden is currently a full professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, as well as the Founder and Director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) in Vancouver. The CMMT is a gene research center associated with UBC's Faculty of Medicine.

Author of over 400 peer-reviewed publications and invited submissions, Michael Hayden focuses his research primarily on genetic diseases, including genetics of lipoprotein disorders, Huntington's Disease, and predictive medicine.

In association with his colleagues, Michael Hayden developed the proposal that led to the award of the Canadian Centers of Excellence on the genetic basis of disease. This effort has been furthered by his involvement in the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network. Michael Hayden has served as the Network's Scientific Director since its inception in 1990.

The recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards, Michael Hayden was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 1992, to the Board of the American Society of Human Genetics in 1994, and to the Royal Society of Canada in 1995. Among his most recent awards is the 1998 Distinguished Scientist Award of the Canadian Society of Clinical Investigation, the 2000 BC Biotechnology Alliance Award for Vision and Leadership and in 2001 Michael Hayden received both the Award of Excellence of the Genetics Society of Canada, and the Ottawa Life Sciences Award of Merit.

Michael Hayden was a co-founder of Xenon Genetics and Neurovir Inc, both research stage biotechnology companies.

Michael Hayden completed his medical training (1975) and received his PhD in Genetics (1979) from the University of Cape Town.