IpsenIpsen has signed an agreement with Novartis for the co-promotion in France of the antihypertensive drug Exforge. Already in partnership with Novartis since 2003 in the area of hypertension, with the co-marketing in France of Nisis & Nisisco, Ipsen's new agreement strengthens the commitment of its French teams to the management of cardiovascular risk factors.

Hypertension is currently the leading cause of deaths worldwide one. Despite simple screening and the existence of effective therapies, this disease remains under-diagnosed and insufficiently treated.

Available since August 2007, Exforge combines in a single tablet the power of two of the most widely-prescribed and widely studied antihypertensive drugs: valsartan, a sartan issued from Novartis research, and amlodipine, a calcium inhibitor. In addition, Exforge meets the need for increased efficacy to allow for better control of the condition in a higher number of patients, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the French National Health Authority (HAS).

Christophe Jean, executive vice-president, chief operating officer of the Ipsen Group, stated: "After the success of Nisis and Nisisco, we are delighted to extend our collaboration with Novartis Pharma, and to be able to offer patients and physicians a product with high added value in the field of cardiovascular medicine, which represents a major public health priority." He added: "This partnership will mean that this product will be available to Ipsen's existing sales force in France, in line with our current strategy to optimize our primary care franchise."

Nisis is an oral formulation containing valsartan, while Nisisco contains valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide. The products are used in the treatment of arterial hypertension. Valsartan, one of the active substances in Nisis and Nisisco is a synthetic angiotensin II antagonist compound.

Ipsen is an innovation-driven international specialty pharmaceutical group with over 20 products on the market and a total worldwide staff of nearly 4,000. Its development strategy is based on a combination of specialty products, which are growth drivers, in targeted therapeutic areas (oncology, endocrinology and neuromuscular disorders), and primary care products which contribute significantly to its research financing.