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Acasti Signs Manufacturing Agreement

LAVAL, Quebec, July 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acasti Pharma ("Acasti" or the "Corporation") (Nasdaq:ACST) (TSX-V:APO), a Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.'s ("Neptune") subsidiary, announces that it has signed an agreement with a world leader in natural based specialty chemicals for the manufacturing of CaPre ® clinical material in expectation of upcoming Pharmacokinetics (PK) and phase III clinical trials in the USA and to substantiate its upcoming submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) filing.

"Acasti's manufacturing processing steps will be followed using current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) guidelines, utilizing scrutinized process directives under our direct supervision," highlighted Dr. Harlan W. Waksal, Executive Vice President, Business and Scientific Affairs at Acasti. Specialized krill oil raw material will first be produced by a North American company using Neptune's proprietary production process. It will then be sent to the specialty chemicals manufacturer for further processing, including purification and formulation into CaPre ® under cGMP guidelines.

"These agreements will ensure sufficient quantities of CaPre ® for expected PK and Phase III clinical trials," added Dr. Waksal. "They will also play a crucial role in the preparation of the Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC) section of Acasti's IND submission to conduct the clinical trials in the USA.  This marks a major milestone and an important step in driving further value creation." Acasti intends to initiate discussions to manufacture CaPre ® at full plant scale, should regulatory approval for commercialization in the USA be obtained. Names of potential partners are not disclosed for confidentiality and strategic reasons.

Acasti is currently conducting Phase II clinical trials of CaPre ®, with the final report for the open-label, dose ranging study (COLT) expected for this summer and completion of the double blind, placebo controlled study (TRIFECTA) projected for the first half of calendar 2014. Concurrently with these trials, the Corporation is moving forward with its plan to submit an IND filing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate PK and phase III clinical trials of CaPre ® in the USA. 

About Acasti Pharma Inc.

Acasti is developing a product portfolio of proprietary novel long-chain omega-3 phospholipids. Phospholipids are the major component of cell membranes and are essential for all vital cell processes. They are one of the principal constituents of High Density Lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and, as such, play an important role in modulating cholesterol efflux. Acasti's proprietary novel phospholipids carry and functionalize the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have been shown to have substantial health benefits and which are stabilized by potent antioxidants. Acasti is focusing initially on treatments for chronic cardiovascular and cardiometabolic conditions within the medical food and prescription drug markets.

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