July 19, 2018

BELLUS Health Announces Patent Protection Secured in All Major Pharmaceutical Markets for Lead Drug Candidate BLU-5937

- Grant of Japanese Patent Expands Portfolio That Also Includes United States, Europe and China -

LAVAL, QC, July 19, 2018 /CNW/ - BELLUS Health Inc. (TSX: BLU) ("BELLUS Health" or the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical development company advancing novel therapeutics for conditions with high unmet medical need, today announced that the Japan Patent Office has issued a decision to grant Japanese Patent No. 2015-555508, which grants claims covering the composition of matter of BELLUS Health's lead drug candidate, BLU-5937, and related imidazopyridine compounds, in addition to pharmaceutical compositions comprising BLU-5937 and uses thereof. The patent has an expiration date of 2034. With the grant of this new Japanese patent, BLU-5937 has now obtained patent protection with claims covering its composition of matter in all major pharmaceutical markets, including the U.S., Europe, Japan and China. Similar patent applications are currently pending in other industrialized nations.

"We believe BLU-5937 has the characteristics to be a best in class P2X3 antagonist for chronic cough including an intellectual property estate that affords broad composition of matter protection, " said Roberto Bellini, President and CEO of BELLUS Health. "We now have patent protection in the most important pharmaceutical markets in the world, which is an important milestone in realizing this potential."

About BLU-5937 for Chronic Cough

BLU-5937 is a potent, highly selective, orally bioavailable small molecule antagonist of the P2X3 receptor, a clinically validated target for chronic cough. BLU-5937 has the potential to be a best-in-class therapeutic for chronic cough patients who do not respond to current therapies.

On July 9, 2018, BELLUS Health initiated the Phase 1 clinical study in healthy subjects for BLU-5937 for the treatment of chronic cough, and results are expected in the fourth quarter of 2018. Preclinical studies demonstrated that BLU-5937 is a highly selective P2X3 antagonist exhibiting a potent anti-tussive effect without affecting taste perception and an excellent safety profile. In a guinea pig cough model, BLU-5937 showed comparable anti-tussive efficacy to the current leading P2X3 antagonist in development, Merck & Co's gefapixant (also named AF-219 or MK-7264). In a rat taste model, BLU-5937 was not associated with taste loss whereas, consistent with clinical trial data previously presented by Merck & Co, gefapixant led to significant taste loss.

About BELLUS Health (www.bellushealth.com)

BELLUS Health is a biopharmaceutical development company advancing novel therapeutics for conditions with high unmet medical need. Its pipeline of projects includes the Company's lead drug candidate BLU-5937 for chronic cough and several other partnered clinical-stage drug development programs. BLU-5937, a highly selective P2X3 antagonist, has the potential to be a best-in-class therapeutic for chronic cough patients who do not respond to current therapies.

Chronic cough is a cough that lasts more than eight weeks and is associated with significant adverse social, psychosocial and physical effects on quality of life. A recent commercial assessment performed by Torreya Insights on behalf of the Company concluded that, in the United States alone, more than 26 million adults have chronic cough and more than 2.6 million of these patients suffer from refractory chronic cough lasting for more than a year.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this news release, other than statements of fact that are independently verifiable at the date hereof, may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and regulations. Such statements, based as they are on the current expectations of management, inherently involve numerous important risks, uncertainties and assumptions, known and unknown, many of which are beyond BELLUS Health Inc.'s control. Such risks factors include but are not limited to: the ability to expand and develop its project pipeline, the ability to obtain financing, the impact of general economic conditions, general conditions in the pharmaceutical industry, changes in the regulatory environment in the jurisdictions in which BELLUS Health Inc. does business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in costs, changes to the competitive environment due to consolidation, achievement of forecasted burn rate, potential payments/outcomes in relation to indemnity agreements and contingent value rights, achievement of forecasted pre-clinical and clinical trial milestones and that actual results may vary once the final and quality-controlled verification of data and analyses has been completed. In addition, the length of BELLUS Health Inc.'s drug candidates' development process, their market size and commercial value, as well as the sharing of proceeds between BELLUS Health Inc. and its potential partners from potential future revenues, if any, are dependent upon a number of factors. Consequently, actual future results and events may differ materially from the anticipated results and events expressed in the forward-looking statements. BELLUS Health Inc. believes that expectations represented by forward-looking statements are reasonable, yet there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. The reader should not place undue reliance, if any, on any forward-looking statements included in this news release. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and BELLUS Health Inc. is under no obligation and disavows any intention to update publicly or revise such statements as a result of any new information, future event, circumstances or otherwise, unless required by applicable legislation or regulation. Please see BELLUS Health Inc.'s public filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, including the Annual Information Form, for further risk factors that might affect BELLUS Health Inc. and its business.

SOURCE BELLUS Health Inc.

François Desjardins, Vice President, Finance, 450-680-4525, fdesjardins@bellushealth.com

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