updated 11/23/2010 9:16:37 AM ET 2010-11-23T14:16:37

DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 23, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merrion Pharmaceuticals Plc, a publicly listed product development company, today announced the commencement of an oral drug delivery feasibility and option agreement with Rebel Pharmaceuticals, LLC, on two undisclosed compounds. The agreement will evaluate the ability of Merrion's patented GIPET® technology to enhance the compounds' clinical profile and provide a substantially improved product. On successful completion of the feasibility agreement, Merrion and Rebel Pharmaceuticals will enter into license agreements; the financial terms, including milestones and royalties, have already been agreed. Rebel Pharmaceuticals is a speciality Pharmaceuticals Company focused on enhancing approved drugs using proven and patented drug delivery technologies.

Commenting on the announcement, John Lynch, CEO, Merrion Pharmaceuticals, said "we are very pleased to be entering into this agreement with Rebel Pharmaceuticals and building a relationship with them. We believe there can be substantial patient benefits from improved oral formulations of these compounds using our unique GIPET technology."

David Blume, CEO, Rebel Pharmaceuticals, commented, "we are excited to partner with Merrion Pharmaceuticals to use their GIPET technology to achieve our goals for these development programs of enhancing existing drugs to benefit patients."

Merrion's patented drug delivery technology, GIPET®, is supported by a large database reflecting 10 years' research and development by drug delivery experts and 21 clinical studies conducted on a broad range of drug types. In a database comprising more than 40 compounds which have poor permeability, GIPET has shown the ability to improve absorption by as much as 200 times, achieving excellent intersubject reproducibility and with a positive safety database. This database covers a wide range of compounds with varying physiochemical properties and molecular weights. This includes traditional small molecules as well as biopharmaceutical peptides and proteins, making GIPET a platform technology with broad applicability. Merrion's technology is endorsed through collaborations with pharmaceutical companies such as Novo Nordisk (oral insulin, oral GLP-1), Ferring Pharmaceuticals and others.

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