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Orion has decided not to continue the development of a new COMT inhibitor candidate

Orion Corporation has decided not to continue the development of their new COMT inhibitor, which has now progressed to the end of clinical Phase I. Based on the overall results received from the studies hitherto the company has concluded that the properties of the lead molecule would not outperform the already commercialised COMT inhibitors. In 1998 Orion launched entacapone, a COMT enzyme inhibitor which enhances the therapeutic effects of levodopa in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. This globally used drug is the most successful proprietary product of Orion so far.
- Based on the achieved results it is unlikely that we would succeed in meeting the original goal and the primary purpose of this project, i.e. to develop this molecule into a medicine that would provide considerable added value to patients suffering from Parkinson's Disease, Timo Lappalainen, President and CEO comments.  - In the course of the project, however, we have learned more of the COMT enzyme than ever and probably also more than anybody else in the world. The challenges of levodopa treatment must be approached in several different ways, and we are continuing our efforts in exploring them, Timo Lappalainen says. 
By issuing this release Orion deviates from its main policy of not issuing separate releases on the results of Phase II clinical trials or earlier phases but will communicate the progress of such projects in the context of its regular financial reporting, when relevant. Orion bases its policy on the fact that high uncertainty and risks are always related to pharmaceutical research. This is why the company regards it justifiable to follow a deliberate and low-profile policy in communications concerning the early phases of the research portfolio. Of projects in clinical Phase I, on an average only one in ten progresses to the stage where a marketing authorisation is granted
Orion Corporation is dedicated to treating and preventing disease by discovery and developing innovative medicinal treatments. In 2007, Orion Corporation generated sales of EUR 683.6 million, invested EUR 97.6 million in research and development and employed approximately 3,180 people. Orion corporate headquarters are in Espoo, Finland.  For more information, please visit:
Orion Corporation
Timo Lappalainen         Olli Huotari
President and CEO      Senior VP, Corporate Functions
Contact person:
Dr. Reijo Salonen, Senior VP, Pharmaceutical R&D, phone +358 10 426 3647, gsm +358 50 966 3647
Orion Corporation
Orionintie 1A, FI-02200 Espoo