May 7, 2002


Anika Therapeutics Signs Orthovisc Distribution Agreement for Canada

WOBURN, Mass.--Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANIK) today announced the signing of an exclusive distribution agreement for ORTHOVISC® in Canada with Rivex Pharma Inc., the specialty drug distribution division of Aurora, Ontario-based Helix BioPharma Corp. (Toronto, Frankfurt: HBP).

ORTHOVISC is Anika's therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee and is used as a treatment alternative when systemic drugs and lifestyle modifications are ineffective. An estimated 3 million Canadians suffer from osteoarthritis according to The Arthritis Society of Canada. An ultra-pure, highly viscous product based on hyaluronic acid, a natural component of healthy synovial fluid, ORTHOVISC is injected into the knee to replenish synovial fluid and help lubricate, cushion and protect the joint.

"We are impressed with Rivex Pharma's sales and distribution network and its knowledge of the Canadian market, and we look forward to working with Rivex to expand our Canadian franchise," said Charles H. Sherwood, Anika president and chief executive officer.

"We are very pleased to be distributing ORTHOVISC and will begin aggressively marketing it immediately," said Rivex Vice President of Sales & Marketing Bill Chick.

About Rivex Pharma Inc.
Based in Aurora, Ontario, Rivex Pharma Inc. is a subsidiary of Helix BioPharma Corp., a company focused on drug development and commercialization. Rivex markets and distributes a variety of pharmaceuticals throughout Canada.

About Anika Therapeutics
Headquartered in Woburn, Mass., Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (www.anikatherapeutics.com) develops, manufactures and commercializes therapeutic products and devices intended to promote the repair, protection and healing of bone, cartilage and soft tissue. These products are based on hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring, biocompatible polymer found throughout the body's joints. In addition to ORTHOVISC®, Anika markets HYVISC® in the U.S. for the treatment of equine osteoarthritis through Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and manufactures AMVISC® and AMVISC® Plus, HA viscoelastic products for ophthalmic surgery, for Bausch & Lomb. It also produces STAARVISCTM-II for distribution by STAAR Surgical Company and ShellgelTM for Cytosol Ophthalmics, Inc.

Contact:
Anika Therapeutics, Inc.
(781) 932-6616

Pondel Parsons & Wilkinson
Susan Klein, (508) 358-4315
Robert Whetstone, (310) 207-9300

The statements made in this press release which are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including, without limitation, statements that may be identified by words such as "designed," "believe," "will," "expect," "look forward," "expand" and other expressions which are predictions of or indicate future events and trends and which do not constitute historical matters identify forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding the Company's expectations and beliefs with respect to growth in Canadian sales of ORTHOVISC or the Canadian osteoarthritis market or Rivex's ability to market and distribute ORTHOVISC. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the Company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results could differ materially from any anticipated future results, performance or achievements described in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors including the risk that (i) Rivex's aggressive marketing efforts do not result in meaningful sales in Canada, (ii) enactment of adverse government regulation, (iii) competitive pressures among hyaluronic acid viscoelastic products may increase significantly and have an effect on pricing, or (iv) the strength of the Canadian economy. Certain other factors that might cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include those set forth under the headings "Business," "Risk Factors and Certain Factors Affecting Future Operating Results" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2001, as well as those described in the Company's other press releases and SEC filings.