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The Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards Depomed a Preclinical Development Grant for Levodopa/Carbidopa in Parkinson's Disease

July 23, 2008 at 6:31 AM EDT

MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 23, 2008--Depomed, Inc. (NASDAQ:DEPO) announced today that it has been awarded a preclinical grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation under the foundation's Therapeutics Development Initiative 2008 Program. The modest grant amount supports Depomed in the development of novel gastric retentive controlled-release dosage forms of Levodopa/Carbidopa under the hypothesis that Levodopa/Carbidopa's window of absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract can be optimized using Depomed's AcuForm(TM) technology. Conceptually, gastric retentive controlled-release could smooth out blood level fluctuations of Levodopa/Carbidopa and lead to more consistent efficacy. One of the major unmet needs in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, or PD, is inconsistent efficacy and 4-6 times daily dosing of Levodopa/Carbidopa.

"Depomed is enthusiastic about the support from The Michael J. Fox Foundation. We appreciate their trust and confidence in our drug delivery technology, which has the potential to make a difference in the lives of Parkinson's patients," said Carl A. Pelzel, president and chief executive officer of Depomed. "While we will continue to focus our resources and efforts on the late-stage value drivers of our company, namely our Gabapentin GR(R) programs for neuropathic pain and menopausal hot flashes, we will keep in mind the needs of patients who may benefit from our AcuForm(TM) technology."

"Our staff and reviewers are excited about the potential of Depomed's work to improve delivery of levodopa, which could lessen debilitating side effects of the drug and impact patients' lives every day," said Katie Hood, chief executive officer of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. "We are pleased that our funding can help keep this idea moving forward, hopefully toward clinical testing and pharmacy shelves."

About Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects nearly one million Americans, with significant prevalence growth expected over the next 25 years due to aging population demographics. Nearly 5 million worldwide are estimated to have Parkinson's. While the average age at onset is 60, disease onset starts by age 40 in an estimated five to 10 percent of patients, and people as young as 30 can also be affected. Current therapies are effective in addressing only the mild/moderate motor symptoms of the disease and have significant long-term side effects. There are no drugs available that target the numerous non-motor aspects of the disease or that modify the underlying degenerative process.

About Depomed

Depomed, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company with two approved products on the market and other product candidates in its pipeline. The company utilizes its proven, proprietary AcuForm(TM) drug delivery technology to improve existing oral medications, allowing for extended, controlled release of medications to the upper gastrointestinal tract. Benefits of AcuForm-enhanced pharmaceuticals include the convenience of once-daily administration, improved treatment tolerability and enhanced compliance and efficacy. Glumetza(R) (metformin hydrochloride extended release tablets) is approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes and promoted by Santarus in the United States. Proquin(R) XR (ciprofloxacin hydrochloride) extended release tablets are approved in the United States for the once-daily treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections and is marketed in the United States within the urology, Ob/Gyn and long-term care specialties by Watson Pharmaceuticals. Product candidate Gabapentin GR(R) is currently in clinical development for the treatment of neuropathic pain and for menopausal hot flashes. Additional information about Depomed may be found on its web site, www.depomedinc.com.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF)

Founded in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease within the coming decade through an aggressively funded research agenda. The Foundation has funded approximately $126 million in research to date.

About MJFF's Therapeutics Development Initiative

In order to further advance its mission of finding improved treatment or a cure for Parkinson's Disease, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has created the Therapeutics Development Initiative, recognizing the important role biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries play in the search for improved Parkinson's Disease therapeutics. The Therapeutics Development Initiative is an industry-only initiative targeted at supporting and stimulating Parkinson's research within industry.

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Statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The inclusion of forward-looking statements, including those related to our pre-clinical development programs and the potential benefits of our product candidates, should not be regarded as a representation that any of our plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in our business, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties related to: our research and development efforts, including pre-clinical and clinical testing; regulation by the FDA and other government agencies; the timing of regulatory applications and product launches; our ability to successfully commercialize our products; the success of our collaborative arrangements with development and commercialization partners; and other risks detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to revise or update this release to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release.

CONTACT: Depomed, Inc.
Ina Cu, 650-462-5900

SOURCE: Depomed, Inc.