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Phase II Trial Initiated With Once-Daily Diuretic Furosemide

MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 6, 2004-- Depomed, Inc. (NASDAQ: DEPO - News) today announced that it has begun a Phase II clinical trial under its IND for Furosemide GR(TM), a once daily, controlled-release formulation of the leading diuretic furosemide based on Depomed's proprietary Gastric Retention (GR(TM)) drug delivery system. The trial will evaluate the effectiveness of Furosemide GR as a controlled-release diuretic in alleviating the build up of fluid that is often associated with congestive heart failure (CHF). In a previous Phase I trial conducted in healthy volunteers, Furosemide GR achieved bioavailability, diuresis, sodium excretion and total fluid output comparable to that of immediate release furosemide (LASIX®), but with less urinary urgency and less initial frequency.

"Applying our gastric retention technology to furosemide gives us the opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of our GR System in controlling the 'Niagara Effect,' or the intense initial diuresis that makes this otherwise excellent drug an inconvenience for many CHF patients to take every day," said John W. Fara, Ph.D., Chairman, President and CEO of Depomed. "Given the encouraging results we observed in our Phase I trial, we believe Furosemide GR may offer convenient, once daily treatment of edema with less patient discomfort than immediate release furosemide. The initiation of this Phase II trial with Furosemide GR also demonstrates that Depomed continues to make significant progress with our earlier stage Gastric Retention products as well as with our pre-NDA and Phase III products."

The Phase II study is being conducted in approximately 30 congestive heart failure patients at three sites in the United States. It will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of once daily Furosemide GR compared to LASIX, an immediate release formulation, in the treatment of edema associated with congestive heart failure. Patients in the trial will use an electronic diary to record changes in urinary frequency and urgency. Supplied by invivodata, inc., the eDairies will enable Depomed to collect near real-time data directly from patients. Proven to increase patient compliance with study protocols, the invivodata eDiary system increases the quality of patient reported outcomes data. Depomed anticipates completing the Phase II trial in the third quarter of 2004.

Furosemide is a diuretic used to treat edema, a swelling due to excess fluid that is often associated with congestive heart failure, kidney diseases and liver diseases. Immediate release formulations of furosemide often result in an intense peak removal of fluid from the body, which we have characterized as the "Niagara effect," that may lead to discomfort and poor patient compliance. Depomed's Furosemide GR is a once daily, controlled-release formulation of furosemide designed to achieve a sustained and gradual diuretic effect.

Depomed's Gastric Retention (GR) Technology
Depomed's GR System is a patented, oral drug delivery technology designed specifically for drugs preferentially absorbed high in the gastrointestinal tract. Using normal physiological processes by which the stomach retains large objects for further digestion, the GR System swells following ingestion and is retained in the stomach for a number of hours, while it continuously releases the incorporated drug at a controlled rate to absorption sites in the upper intestinal tract. The controlled release of the drug at the preferred absorption site optimizes delivery of the drug during the "therapeutic window," potentially maximizing its therapeutic benefits and decreasing gastrointestinal side effects.

Source: Depomed, Inc.

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