Aequus Expands Market in Quebec for Tacrolimus IR

Mar 19, 2018

First-to-market generic tacrolimus will be included on Sigma Santé contract as of May 2018, building on continued commercial success of Aequus’ promotional arm

VANCOUVER, BC. March 19, 2018 - Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) (“Aequus” or the “Company”), announced today that it has been awarded a three-year contract with Sigma Santé for its partnered product, tacrolimus immediate-release (“Tacrolimus IR”), an immunosuppressive therapy used concomitantly with adrenal corticosteroids to prevent or treat rejection following organ transplant and for the reduction of symptoms experienced by patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Sigma Santé is one of the largest healthcare group purchasing organizations (“GPO”) in Quebec and the final GPO in the province to list this first-to-market, generic version of Tacrolimus IR. The contract will be effective as of May 2018.

“This is a very meaningful award for us, as Quebec is the second largest market in Canada, with Sigma Santé representing a significant amount of volume that we have not previously had access to,” said Ian Ball, Chief Commercial Officer of Aequus.Our goal has been to provide transplant patients with access to this high-quality and cost-effective treatment option, and to support physicians and payors regarding the use of this alternative to branded tacrolimus. We are very proud to see this product available to more Canadian patients in need of treatment.”

“This award follows the strongest quarter to date for the Company, based on unaudited revenues in the fourth quarter of 2017. We believe this award will help drive revenues in 2018, as we continue along our expected growth trajectory,” said Doug Janzen, CEO and Chairman of Aequus. “Further, this reaffirms our commercial capabilities as being a key driver of our business, from market access and reimbursement to sales force execution.”

Approved Clinical Uses of Tacrolimus IR in Canada

The following information is based on the Product Monograph for tacrolimus IR. Please refer to the full Product Monograph for all labeled safety information for tacrolimus IR.


- Prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients receiving allogeneic liver, kidney or heart transplants

- Treatment of refractory rejection in patients receiving allogeneic liver or kidney transplants

Tacrolimus is to be used concomitantly with adrenal corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive agents. The safety and efficacy of the use of tacrolimus with sirolimus has not been established.

Only physicians experienced in immunosuppressive therapy and management of organ transplant should prescribe tacrolimus. Patients receiving the drug should be managed in facilities equipped and staffed with adequate laboratory and supportive medical resources. The physician responsible for maintenance therapy should have complete information requisite for the follow-up of the patient.


- Treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients for whom disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy is ineffective or inappropriate

Tacrolimus may be used as monotherapy or in combination with non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and/or steroids, although the possibility of increased toxicity has not been fully explored.

About Aequus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Aequus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (TSX-V:AQS, OTCQB:AQSZF) is a growing specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing high quality, differentiated products. Aequus’ development stage pipeline includes several products in neurology and psychiatry with a goal of addressing the need for improved medication adherence through enhanced delivery systems. With a focus in neurology and other specialty areas, our most recent addition to the development pipeline was a long-acting form of medical cannabis, where there is a high need for a consistent, predictable and pharmaceutical-grade delivery of products for patients. Aequus intends to commercialize its internal programs in Canada alongside its current portfolio of marketed established medicines and will look to form strategic partnerships that would maximize the reach of its product candidates worldwide. Aequus plans to build on its Canadian commercial platform through the launch of additional products that are either created internally or brought in through an acquisition or license; remaining focused on highly specialized therapeutic areas. For further information, please visit .

This release may contain forward-looking statements or forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities legislation that may not be based on historical fact, including, without limitation, statements containing the words “believe”, “may”, “plan”, “will”, “estimate”, “continue”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “potential” and similar expressions. Forward- looking statements are necessarily based on estimates and assumptions made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as the factors we believe are appropriate. Forward-looking statements include but are not limited to statements relating to: the implementation of our business model and strategic plans; revenue growth trends into the future; expected timing for product launches; the Company’s expected revenues; the regulatory approval of its products; the Company’s ability to attract international partners; and ongoing discussions with and the Company’s ability to secure potential partners to further grow our product portfolio. Such statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties and are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Aequus, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In making the forward looking statements included in this release, the Company has made various material assumptions, including, but not limited to: obtaining regulatory approvals; general business and economic conditions; the Company’s ability to successfully out license or sell its current products and in-license and develop new products; the assumption that the Company’s current good relationships with third parties will be maintained; the availability of financing on reasonable terms; the Company’s ability to attract and retain skilled staff; market competition; the products and technology offered by the Company’s competitors; the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Company’s operations; and the Company’s ability to protect patents and proprietary rights. In evaluating forward looking statements, current and prospective shareholders should specifically consider various factors set out herein and under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form dated April 30, 2021, a copy of which is available on Aequus’ profile on the SEDAR website at, and as otherwise disclosed from time to time on Aequus’ SEDAR profile. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties, or a risk that is not currently known to us materialize, or should assumptions underlying those forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release and we do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently uncertain. Accordingly, investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward looking statements.
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