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Aequus Announces Sandoz Contract Expiry at Year End and Expected Health Canada Approval for Zimed® PF (Preservative Free)

Aequus Pharmaceuticals
Aequus Pharmaceuticals

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) (“Aequus” or the “Company”), announced today that it has agreed to end its promotional service agreement with Sandoz Canada Inc. (“Sandoz”) on Tacrolimus Immediate Release (Immunosuppressant/Transplant) (“Tacrolimus IR”) and PrVistitan™ (bimatoprost 0.03% ophthalmic solution), effective December 31, 2022. Additionally, Aequus is expected to receive a “Notice of Compliance” from Health Canada for the launch of Zimed® PF (bimatoprost 0.03% ophthalmic solution), the first “Preservative Free” bimatoprost eye drop for patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Health Canada approval is expected before year end 2022.

The Sandoz commercial collaboration began nearly seven years ago and included both PrVistitan™ and Tacrolimus IR. Aequus deployed two dedicated national sales teams to accelerate the quick adoption of both products. Through targeted awareness, valued added services, and customized support for both provincial and transplant centre stakeholders, Aequus has achieved a 4-Year CAGR of almost 20% for the Sandoz Tacrolimus IR brand. PrVistitan™ is a prostaglandin for IOP lowering in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. With an experienced ophthalmology sales force, targeted digital marketing services as well as strong relationships with Sandoz and the Canadian Ophthalmology community, Aequus achieved consistent growth in a competitive Canadian market.

“The expiry of the promotional services agreement allows us to move our business to the next phase as we look to advance our focus to licensed products that have higher revenue potential, rather than third party products. We are proud of the two products our marketing team launched as the Sandoz collaboration showcased our ability to promote and grow specialty brands, which are at the critical early-stage market penetration phase,” says Grant Larsen, Chief Commercial Officer (“CCO”). “As Aequus launches Zimed® PF, transitions to new therapeutic areas, and continues to expand our commercial capabilities in new channels, we are optimistic we can add value for new partners, Canadian physicians and patients.”

Doug Janzen, CEO and Chairman of Aequus noted that “as Sandoz transitions to a publicly traded global business their needs have evolved. We wish them luck and hope to collaborate again in the future.”

Approval Pending with Health Canada for Zimed® Preservative Free Bimatoprost (IOP Lowering/Glaucoma) in Canada

Aequus Pharma is anticipating a Health Canada approval by December 31, 2022 for Zimed® PF in a multi-dose format. Zimed® PF will provide eye care professionals and patients a new option for the treatment of open-angled glaucoma and ocular hypertension. “For patients who are sensitive to preservatives or have ocular surface disease, this new product to Canada is both convenient and environmentally friendly,” says Grant Larsen, CCO of Aequus Pharma. “We look forward to working with Medicom Healthcare to launch this product in 2023.”

Doug Janzen added that ”We are very excited about the Zimed® PF product and it’s revenue potential for Aequus. It will take a few quarters to launch and build Zimed® PF sales, which we expect to eventually exceed previous revenues from the Sandoz products. The last payment from Sandoz is expected to be received in the first quarter of 2023. During the launch period our revenues will be impacted and, like in the past, I will personally provide funding to Aequus if needed.”

ABOUT AEQUUS PHARMACEUTICALS INC.

Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing high quality, differentiated products. Aequus has grown its sales and marketing efforts to include several commercial products in ophthalmology. Aequus plans to build on its Canadian commercial platform through the launch of additional products that are either created internally or brought in through an acquisition or license, remaining focused on highly specialized therapeutic areas. For further information, please visit www.aequuspharma.ca.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENT DISCLAIMER

This release may contain forward-looking statements or forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities legislation (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) that may not be based on historical fact, including, without limitation, statements containing the words “believe”, “may”, “plan”, “will”, “estimate”, “continue”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “potential” and similar expressions. Forward- looking statements are necessarily based on estimates and assumptions made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as the factors we believe are appropriate. Forward-looking statements used herein include but are not limited to statements relating to: the implementation of our business model and strategic plans; the regulatory approval of Zimed® PF on the anticipated timing contemplated herein, if at all; anticipated or projected growth trends into the future; and the Company’s ability to secure potential partners to further grow our product portfolio. Such statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties and are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Aequus, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors could cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In making the forward looking statements included in this release, the Company has made various material assumptions, including, but not limited to: obtaining regulatory approvals; general business and economic conditions; the Company’s ability to successfully out license or sell its current products and in-license new products; the assumption that the Company’s current good relationships with third parties will be maintained; the availability of financing on reasonable terms; the Company’s ability to attract and retain skilled staff; market competition; the products and technology offered by the Company’s competitors; the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Company’s operations; and the Company’s ability to protect patents and proprietary rights. In evaluating forward looking statements, current and prospective shareholders should specifically consider various factors set out herein and under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form dated June 30, 2022, a copy of which is available on Aequus’ profile on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com, and as otherwise disclosed from time to time on Aequus’ SEDAR profile. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties, or a risk that is not currently known to us materialize, or should assumptions underlying those forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release and we do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently uncertain. Accordingly, investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward looking statements.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

PrVistitan™ is Trademark owned or used under license by Sandoz Canada Inc.

Contact Information:

Aequus Investor Relations
Email: investors@aequuspharma.ca
Phone: 604-336-7906