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West Pharmaceutical Services Announces Agreement With Solvay Pharmaceuticals To License Novel Nasal Delivery Technology For Leading Influenza Vaccine

LIONVILLE, Pa., Jul 2, 2001 /PRNewswire/ --

West Pharmaceutical Services' Patented ChiSys(TM) Nasal Delivery System to be Developed for Influvac(TM) Vaccine, Now Used by Millions of Patients in More Than 35 Countries

West Pharmaceutical Services, Incorporated (NYSE: WST) today announced completion of a license agreement with Solvay Pharmaceuticals, a global pharmaceutical and chemical company, and one of the leading marketers of influenza vaccines in Europe.

Under the terms of the agreement, Solvay has obtained rights to ChiSys(TM), West Pharmaceutical Services' patented chitosan-based technology for nasal delivery of Influvac(TM), an influenza vaccine. Influvac is now sold in more than 35 countries. The license grants Solvay exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture, sell and sublicense ChiSys formulations of influenza vaccines. West Pharmaceutical Services and Solvay will co-develop the ChiSys formulation of Influvac through clinical development up to global product launch. West Pharmaceutical Services will receive milestone payments throughout the development process. After commercial launch of the ChiSys formulation of Influvac, West Pharmaceutical Services will receive sales-based royalties.

"We are delighted about this partnership with Solvay and believe that ChiSys, a cutting-edge nasal delivery technology, in combination with Influvac, will help millions of people get rapid relief from the sometimes devastating effects of influenza," said William G. Little, chairman and chief executive officer of West Pharmaceutical Services. "In the early stages of this agreement, West Pharmaceutical Services will amass considerable clinical experience about ChiSys to demonstrate ChiSys' effectiveness for a broader range of drugs. After the launch of the new Influvac, we expect market demand to increase, potentially providing a substantial revenue stream for West Pharmaceutical Services."

ChiSys is West Pharmaceutical Services' patented technology intended for nasal delivery of drugs and vaccines. ChiSys is based on chitosan, a bioadhesive excipient with conventional nasal delivery systems. Studies show that ChiSys increases the residence time of drugs on mucosal surfaces, potentially leading to improved bioavailability. Nasal delivery is an excellent route for the administration of drugs that are difficult to deliver by other routes or that are given only by injection.

Nasal drug delivery may overcome certain pharmaceutical, clinical and marketing product challenges. West Pharmaceutical Services believes its ChiSys technology can help extend the life cycle of existing drugs and improve patient compliance.

"If West Pharmaceutical Services' ChiSys formulation of Solvay's influenza vaccine meets the needs of clinicians, it has an opportunity to make a real impact on the lives of patients globally and may well improve protection against the miseries of 'flu'," said Donald E. Morel, Jr., PhD., president and chief operating officer of West Pharmaceutical Services. "As West Pharmaceutical Services' product development pipeline remains strong with client-funded studies for products in the central nervous system, osteoporosis, oncology and cardiovascular applications, we have every expectation of further commercialization opportunities in the future."

About Solvay S.A.

Solvay S.A. is an international chemicals and pharmaceuticals group with headquarters in Brussels. Solvay employs about 32,000 people in 50 countries. In 2000, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 8.9 billion generated by its four activity sectors: Chemicals, Plastics, Processing and Pharmaceuticals. Solvay is listed in the Euronext 100 index of top European companies. For further information, visit

About West Pharmaceutical Services

West Pharmaceutical Services supports global pharmaceutical and healthcare markets with products and services that enhance the effectiveness of drug delivery and product dispensing. West Pharmaceutical Services' technologies include drug formulation research and development, clinical research and laboratory services and the design, development and manufacture of components and systems for dispensing and delivering pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer products. For more information, visit West Pharmaceutical Services at and

Statements concerning forecasted results, financial or otherwise, which are contained in the above material, constitute "forward looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results may differ materially from those expressed in any forward looking statement and are dependent on a number of factors including, but not limited to, sales demand, timing of customers' projects, competitive pressures, the strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar, inflation, the cost of raw materials, successful continuance of cost-improvement programs and statutory tax rates.

     Dr. Donald E. Morel, Jr.
     West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.
     President                                                            and
     Chief Operating Officer

     Morgen-Walke Associates
     Theresa Vogt

     Schwartz Communications
     Shoba Vaitheeswaran

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SOURCE West Pharmaceutical Services, Incorporated

CONTACT:          Dr. Donald E. Morel, Jr., President and Chief Operating Officer
                  of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., 610-594-3075; or Theresa Vogt of
                  Morgen-Walke Associates, 212-850-5631,; or Shoba
                  Vaitheeswaran of Schwartz Communications, 781-684-0770, westpharma@schwartz-