Dechra Pharmaceuticals to develop drugs with LAB International

               Partnership agreement underpins Dechra's strategy                  to develop its veterinary drug portfolio   MONTREAL, May 8 /CNW/ - Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC ("Dechra" or "the Group") have signed a veterinary drug development partnership agreement with Canadian based, LAB International Inc. ("LAB").  LAB will provide research studies on selected therapeutic agents and Arnolds Veterinary Products Limited ("Arnolds"), a subsidiary of Dechra, will be responsible for the regulatory submissions of these products which will be marketed and sold in the agreed countries under the Arnolds brand. Manufacturing and formulation will be managed by Dechra's manufacturing facility, Dales Pharmaceuticals Limited.  Various product opportunities have been identified, including a canine cardiac product that is already under development and is anticipated to be in a position for commercial launch by the end of Dechra's financial year ending 2004.  Ed Torr, Executive Director, Dechra Pharmaceuticals and MD of Arnolds commented:  "This partnership clearly underpins the Group's strategy to develop and accelerate its licensed veterinary pharmaceutical portfolio. The relationship with LAB will further enhance the international aspect of this strategy."  "Arnolds success in developing licensing and branding our own products, together with LAB's development expertise will enable both Companies to target major established companion animal markets worldwide."  Dr. Halvor Jaeger, CEO of LAB International added:  "This development agreement provides an attractive opportunity for LAB and creates a solid foundation on which to grow a lasting partnership. The development of new veterinary products opens an additional market to LAB and provides access to Arnolds' expert knowledge and skills related to the marketing and distribution of therapeutic products."  "LAB's expertise in drug development applies equally well to human and veterinary based pharmaceutical products, however in the veterinary market products can be delivered to market in a much shorter timeframe, providing LAB with an additional pathway to near-term revenue."  The agreement between Dechra, through its trading subsidiary, Arnolds Veterinary Products Limited ("Arnolds") and LAB International Inc. will run for an initial five-year period and provides Arnolds with territory exclusivity in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany, with further options on other geographical territories.        Editors Notes:     About LAB     www.labinc.ca     -------------   Established in 1998, LAB International Inc. (TSX: LAB) is a drug development company, comprised of LAB Development with a pre-clinical contract research organization (CRO), LAB Pre-Clinical. LAB Pre-Clinical is a growing, profitable CRO with an experienced scientific team of more than 110 employees in 75,000 sq. ft. of facilities. LAB Development is focused on developing promising new and generic therapeutics. By leveraging the expertise, infrastructure and stable revenue stream of LAB Pre-Clinical, LAB Development offsets the costs and avoids the risks associated with traditional drug research and development. LAB's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") under the symbol "LAB" with 28.4 million shares outstanding.        About Dechra     www.dechra.com     --------------   Dechra Pharmaceuticals are specialists in the UK and international veterinary and animal healthcare markets.  Quoted on the London Stock Exchange (under pharmaceuticals and biotech: Reuters: DPH.L), the business is split into four businesses: National Veterinary Services ("NVS"), Arnolds Veterinary Products ("Arnolds"), Dales Pharmaceuticals Limited ("Dales"), NationWide Laboratories/Cambridge Specialist Laboratory Services.        Arnolds     www.arnolds.co.uk     -----------------   Arnolds is one of the most well respected and recognised brand names in the veterinary markets and holds a leading position in several specialist veterinary pharmaceutical sectors of the UK market such as endocrinology, local anaesthesia and equine anti-inflammatory with strong positions in several other companion animal sectors.  The success of recent introductions to Arnolds' licensed product portfolio, including Vetoryl(R) and Felimazole(R), provides exciting opportunities for the future. Already, preparation is underway to license these products in other key markets.        Dales     www.dalespharma.com     -------------------   Dales Pharmaceuticals, the Group's manufacturing arm is a fully licensed M.C.A. approved plant. It produces veterinary pharmaceuticals on behalf of Arnolds, and human pharmaceuticals for third parties on a contract manufacturing basis. /For further information: Enquiries: Dechra(R) Pharmaceuticals PLC - Ian  Page, Chief Executive, Ian.page(at)nvs-ltd.co.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 1782 771100; Ed Torr, Executive Director, Ed.torr(at)arnolds.co.uk, Tel:  +44 (0) 1743 441632; Simon Evans, Group Finance Director, Tel:  +44 (0) 1782 771100, www.dechra.com; LAB International Inc. - Dr Michael  Hemprich, Vice President, LAB Development, Laval, Quebec, Canada, hemprichm(at)labinc.ca, Tel: +1-450-973-2240; James Smith, M.Sc, The Equicom Group, Tel: +416-815-0700, jsmith(at)equicomgroup.com, www.equicomgroup.com; Citigate Dewe Rogerson - Fiona Tooley/Katie Dale, Tel +44 (0) 121 455 8370, fiona.tooley(at)citigatedr-bham.co.uk/  (LAB.)  CO:  Lab International Inc. ST:  Quebec IN:  MTC  SU:    -30- 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.