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Columbia Labs files definitive proxy relating to Watson deal

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MORRISTOWN, N.J. Columbia Labs is seeking shareholder approval for an agreement in which Watson would acquire the U.S. rights to two product lines.

Columbia announced it filed a definitive proxy with the Securities and Exchange Commission in relation to a pending agreement with Watson, which would have rights for Crinone and Prochieve produc lines and 11,200,000 shares of Columbia common stock.

Additionally, Watson confirmed that it has entered into a $15 million loan agreement with Columbia to support Columbia's ongoing investment in the clinical development of the pre-term birth indication for Prochieve as well as other Columbia capital requirements.  If the acquisition transaction with Columbia closes before December 31, 2011, all principal and accrued interest on the loan will be forgiven.

"Filing the proxy represents a significant step towards the closing of our acquisition, which will permit both Watson and Columbia shareholders to begin to realize the value of our proposed partnership," said Paul Bisaro, Watson's president and CEO. "Our forgivable loan to Columbia demonstrates Watson's commitment to supporting the clinical development activities related to Prochieve's expanded pre-term birth indication and to our collaboration with Columbia. If Columbia and Watson are successful in receiving FDA approval for a new pre-term birth indication, we will have the opportunity to address a significant and unmet medical need."

Crinone currently is used for progesterone supplementation for treating infertile women. It also is available under the name Prochieve.

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