Labopharm launches antidepressant OLEPTRO for major depressive disorder in U.S.

Labopharm Inc. (TSX: DDS; NASDAQ: DDSS) today announced that OLEPTRO(TM) (trazodone hydrochloride extended-release tablets), a novel once-daily formulation of the antidepressant trazodone, has been launched in the United States by its joint venture with Gruppo Angelini, Angelini Labopharm. OLEPTRO(TM) is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. The efficacy of OLEPTRO(TM) has been established in a trial of outpatients with MDD as well as in trials with the immediate release formulation of trazodone.

"The U.S. launch of our second product, OLEPTRO(TM), is a major milestone for Labopharm and represents a significant opportunity as we focus on driving revenue as a commercial enterprise," said James R. Howard-Tripp, President and Chief Executive Officer, Labopharm Inc. "The commercialization strategy for OLEPTRO(TM) is based on extensive research into the physician, patient and payer audiences and employs a targeted, efficient sales effort that is designed to maximize the return on the investment in sales and promotional activities. We look forward to reporting on the progress of the launch of our product in the coming months."

The initial OLEPTRO(TM) sales force is composed of 145 individuals and can be scaled up as the product achieves market penetration. The sales effort is complemented by a managed care strategy that maximizes access for OLEPTRO(TM).

"OLEPTRO(TM) offers physicians another therapeutic alternative for treating their patients with major depressive disorder," said Dr. Jeffrey Dayno, Chief Medical Officer, Labopharm Inc. "This is important because we know that patients with MDD present with unique profiles and respond differently to treatment - physicians appreciate options to better individualize patient care."

MDD is a common mental illness often characterized by a combination of emotional, somatic and behavioral symptoms. It affects more than 14 million adults in the U.S. and is the leading cause of disability globally. Nearly 28 percent of patients being treated with antidepressants stop taking their medication within the first four weeks of treatment and as many as 44 percent stop within the first 12 weeks, due to reasons such as lack of efficacy, exacerbation of symptoms, including sleep disturbance and agitation, and/or adverse events such as weight gain or sexual dysfunction.

Source: LABOPHARM INC.

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