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Altair Nanotechnologies Licenses RenaZorb™
to Spectrum Pharmaceuticals

RenaZorb Targets Potential Multi-Billion Dollar
Chronic Kidney Disease Market

RENO, NV -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 01/31/2005 -- Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI) announced today that a licensing agreement has been signed with California-based Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPI), giving Spectrum the exclusive worldwide rights for human therapeutic and diagnostic applications to develop, market and sell its RenaZorb™ product line. Altair's RenaZorb™ products, which target an emerging billion-dollar-plus market, are for phosphate control in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and hyperphosphatemia, high phosphate levels in blood, associated with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). These products are non-aluminum-, non-calcium-based phosphate binders, which utilize Altair's proprietary lanthanum nanomaterial technology.

Under the terms of the licensing agreement, an initial payment will be made consisting of restricted shares of Spectrum's common stock and a cash purchase by Spectrum of Altair common stock at a 100 percent premium to market price. Upon the successful completion of animal studies later this year confirming specified results, Spectrum will make an additional payment of restricted shares of Spectrum's common stock, for a projected total first year value of approximately $1.3 million. Although no further financial details have been disclosed, the terms of the licensing agreement follows industry norms for drug candidate licensing, with most of the potential consideration coming in the form of milestone payments and royalty rate payments over time. A multi-year collaborative research and development program between Altair and Spectrum is a component of the licensing agreement. Assuming a drug containing Renazorb receives timely FDA approval, the market for phosphate controlling drugs continues to grow at projected rates, and the product becomes a leader in the market place, the total revenues to Altair over the life of this agreement could exceed $100 million.

It is estimated that 340,000 people in the U.S. have ESRD and are on kidney dialysis. Worldwide sales of phosphate binders are estimated at $600 million to $750 million per year. This market is anticipated to grow significantly with the recommendation by the National Kidney Foundation's K/DOQI guideline, which states that patients with Chronic Kidney Disease could benefit from beginning the use of phosphate binders during earlier stages of the disease. With the implementation of the K/DOQI guidelines by the healthcare industry, there would be the potential for an additional 8.4 million patients that many of which could benefit from phosphate binding therapy, driving the potential market to over one billion sales per year within the U.S. alone.

"Spectrum is known for its ability to rapidly assess preclinical research, clinical data, and the commercialization potential of drugs such as RenaZorb," commented Altair Nanotechnologies CEO Dr. Alan J. Gotcher. "Our team is pleased to be working with Spectrum and its people, who have a solid reputation and expertise in taking promising products through the complex development and regulatory approval process to successful commercialization. We are delighted to see RenaZorb, the first of our Life Sciences initiatives, attract an excellent commercial partner."

"This in-licensing of RenaZorb is an important step in our continued effort to build an extensive and well-diversified portfolio of product candidates that span all stages of development and address significant unmet medical needs," stated Rajesh Shrotriya, M.D., Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "We are extremely pleased to establish this alliance with Altair. We look forward to advancing RenaZorb™ into clinical trials, and pursuing the appropriate regulatory strategy to maximize its potential."

"RenaZorb represents a new generation of high-performance phosphate binding drugs that have promise of lowest dose in class and excellent patient compliance," stated Dr. Ravi Thadhani, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Medicine and Renal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, "The partnership between Altair and Spectrum is an excellent complementary marriage of leaders in their respective fields."


RenaZorb is a lanthanum-based phosphate binding drug compound that has demonstrated effective phosphate removal in laboratory and animal tests with excellent binding capacity. Based upon independent research and laboratory testing in simulated human stomach fluid, RenaZorb exhibited new performance standards and may potentially offer the following advantages over existing phosphate control drugs:

-- Lower dosage requirements due to higher phosphate binding levels per
gram of drug and high selectivity for phosphate;
-- Fewer and less severe side effects due to lower dosage, less gassing
and higher acid neutralization capacity; and
-- Better patient compliance due to fewer tablets required per day.

Altair Nanotechnologies, through product innovation, is a leading supplier of advanced ceramic nanomaterial technology worldwide. Altair Nanotechnologies has assembled a unique team of material scientists who, coupled with collaborative ventures with industry partners and leading academic centers, has pioneered an impressive array of intellectual property and product achievements.

Altair Nanotechnologies has developed robust proprietary technology platforms for manufacturing a variety of crystalline and non-crystalline nanomaterials of unique structure, performance, quality and cost. The company has a scalable manufacturing capability to meet emerging nanomaterials demands, with capacity today to produce hundreds of tons of nanomaterials.

The company is organized into two divisions: Life Sciences and Performance Materials. The Life Sciences Division is pursuing market applications in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, dental materials, cosmetics and other medical markets. The Performance Materials Division is pursuing market applications in Advanced Materials for paints and coatings; titanium metal manufacturing, catalysts and water treatment; and alternative energy. For additional information on Altair and its nano-materials, visit www.altairnano.com.

Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.®, and RenaZorb™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.

For Additional Information:
Marty Tullio or Mark Tullio
McCloud Communications, LLC

SOURCE: Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc

This story has been adapted from a news release -
Diese Meldung basiert auf einer Pressemitteilung -
Deze tekst is gebaseerd op een nieuwsbericht -

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