Labopharm Signs Global Licensing Agreement With Aventis Pharma

 NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCN NEWSWIRE   FOR:  LABOPHARM INC.   TSE SYMBOL:  DDS   SEPTEMBER 20, 2001   Labopharm Signs Global Licensing Agreement With Aventis  Pharma   LAVAL, QUEBEC--    TO: News directors, assignment editors, journalists and   columnists: business and finance news    Labopharm Inc. announced today a definitive worldwide licensing   agreement with Aventis Pharma (Aventis), and another   pharmaceutical company whose name was not disclosed, to develop,   globally, new formulations for one of Aventis's core strategic   brands that incorporates Labopharm's controlled release   technology, Contramid(R).  The brand had global annual sales for   the year 2000 in excess of US$650 million.    Under the terms of the agreement which will last for the life of   the patents, Labopharm will receive milestone payments following   the successful completion of clinical studies, and royalty   payments on product sales for the newly formulated products.  With  the feasibility and formulation studies successfully completed and  initial technology transfer and manufacture of clinical supplies   near completion, the clinical studies are planned to begin within   the next three months.  Aventis has also initiated the process of   full technology transfer to a global manufacturing unit in order   to prepare for production.    In addition, under this agreement, the parties have entered into a  further arrangement whereby Labopharm has granted exclusive   licenses to Aventis and the other pharmaceutical company to   utilize Labopharm technology in a defined therapeutic area.  In   return, Labopharm has obtained the right to formulate further   development compounds for Aventis and the other pharmaceutical   company.    "Aventis is pleased to enter this collaborative agreement with   Labopharm and we look forward to the potential contribution to our  business that will hopefully emerge as a result of this project,"   said Thomas Hofstaetter, Aventis' Senior Vice-President, Corporate  Development.    "The completion of this agreement offers Labopharm the potential   for significant revenues in the foreseeable future," said James   Howard-Tripp, President and CEO of Labopharm.  "Both Aventis and   ourselves are committed to developing these products as rapidly as  possible.  Feasibility and formulation studies were successfully   completed on schedule, proving the viability and efficacy of our   controlled release technology, Contramid(R).  Moreover, our   continued strategic partnership with Aventis may yield additional   opportunities for Labopharm," he added.    About Aventis    Aventis (NYSE: AVE), a world leader in pharmaceuticals and   agriculture, is dedicated to improving life through the discovery   and development of innovative products.  In 2000, Aventis   generated group sales of Euros 22.3 billion and employed around   92,500 people in its Pharma and Agriculture businesses.  Aventis   announced in November 2000 that it intends to focus on   pharmaceuticals and plans to divest its activities in agriculture.   Aventis was launched in December 1999 through the merger of   Hoechst AG of Germany and Rhone-Poulenc SA of France.  Corporate   headquarters are in Strasbourg, France.  For more information   about Aventis, please visit www.aventis.com.    /T/   About Labopharm   Labopharm Product Pipeline and Agreements:   In addition to the above mentioned licensing agreement with Aventis  and the other pharmaceutical company, key products in Labopharm's  pipeline include:   * A once-a-day formulation of Tramadol, a chronic pain drug which    generates worldwide sales of approximately US $1 billion;   * A second major Aventis Pharmaceuticals drug, which cannot be    identified for competitive reasons, with significant brand name    sales in a multi-billion dollar market;  * Xopenex(TM) (levalbuterol HCI), a solid, orally-dosed (tablet)    bronchodilator for the treatment of asthma and those who experience    chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), being jointly    developed with Sepracor Inc. of Massachusetts; and  * Oxybutynin, a urinary incontinence drug in Phase I co-development    with an international pharmaceutical company.   /T/   Labopharm is an international pharmaceutical company specializing   in the development of drugs that deploy an advanced   controlled-release technology. Contramid(R), Labopharm's   proprietary technology can be applied to a wide variety of drugs   in solid, oral dosage form, improving their administration and   performance.  Labopharm's technology is used to develop products   that are either bio-equivalent to existing, branded products or to  create newly branded products with greater therapeutic benefits   made possible by an improved delivery profile.  Labopharm is   listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DDS.   For more information about Labopharm please visit   www.labopharm.com.    This press release contains forward-looking statements, which   reflect the Corporation's current expectations regarding future   events.  The forward-looking statements involve risks and   uncertainties.  Actual events could differ materially from those   projected herein and depend on a number of factors, including the   successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the   uncertainties related to the regulatory process and the   commercialization of the drug thereafter.  Investors should   consult the Corporation's ongoing quarterly filings and annual   reports for additional information on risks and uncertainties   relating to these forward-looking statements.  The reader is   cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements.  The   Corporation disclaims any obligation to update these   forward-looking statements.    Conference Call & Live Webcast    The Company will hold a conference call on Thursday, September 20,  2001 at 9:00 a.m. (E.S.T.).  To access the call, interested   participants should dial 416-695-5801 or 800-478-9326.  The   conference call will also be webcast live at www.labopharm.com and  www.financialdisclosure.ca and archived for 90 days.  Please   connect to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the conference  call to ensure adequate download time for any software that may be  required to hear the webcast.  A telephone re-broadcast of the   call will be available until midnight on September 27, 2001.  To   access the re-broadcast, dial 416-695-5800 or 800-408-3053 and   enter the access code 913-941.    Minimum requirements to listen to the live broadcast are: a   computer with speakers, the RealPlayer software, downloadable free  from www.real.com/products/player/index.html, and an active   connection to the Internet.  If you experience problems listening   to the broadcast, go to www.financialdisclosure.ca and click the   "test" tab.    -30-   FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:   Labopharm Inc.  James R. Howard-Tripp  President and CEO  (450) 686-1017  or  Nathalie Bourque  (514) 843-7171   INDUSTRY:  DRG  SUBJECT:  PAT